What is this post all about?
- Why salads should have raw foods – eating salad is a great way to get raw foods into our body…
- What raw foods do…
- How salad helps you digest other foods…
- How salads cleanse your body…
No matter who I talk to, people have different definitions of a salad and associations with it. More often than not these associations are negative.
When thinking of a salad most people imagine the sad version of mixed greens we are familiar with today. Some sad lettuce, a runny flavorless vinaigrette, and a few croutons for crunch.
When I was in culinary school we defined a salad as really anything between raw and fully cooked with vegetables, meats, grains, and beans.
Growing up my definition of salad was more inline with the bland versions we Americans have become used to over the years. The salads and prepared vegetables that were usually served to me tasted quite boring.
Depending who was watching me, I couldn’t always get out of eating my salads so I just learned to douse the greens in ketchup. Yup, I know it sounds gross. But I would just put ketchup on my broccoli and mixed greens.
It was the only way to get any sort of flavoring onto the plate with the limited resources that were usually available to me at the local diner. Most people thought that I was just gross or trying to get attention.
But I Think that I was just a foodie in training who was looking for flavor. Perhaps I was just looking in the wrong places.
I digress, back to the definition of salad… Not to bore you much longer. I promise I’m getting to the point here. The earliest definition of salad that I know of was coined from that Latin word “salad” meaning to salt.
Originally salads were known as the edible parts of various herbs and plants dressed only with salt. To me, this is the closest definition that comes in line with what I believe a salad is meant to be in context with a cleansing lifestyle.
Salad – A mix of raw vegetables presented in their most elegant, tasty, and digestible form for the purpose of improving ones vitality.
So the emphasis here is on vegetables, NOT meats, grains, or legumes. While all of these things may help enhance a salad’s taste, ultimately the most important thing on the plate are the greens and their other watery accompaniments.
The reason I have scaled down the modern culinary notion of salad to this very basic context is because of what I believe the salad is meant to do for us. Salads are meant to provide nutrients and live enzymes, cleanse our body, and help assimilate the passage of heavier foods that we may eat after it.
Why Raw? The Benefits of a Raw Salad
Eating salad is a great non-aggressive way to get more raw foods into our bodies, that isn’t socially deviant from the “normal” way of eating. That is, in most restaurants and diners it is standard to eat a salad before a meal.
Eating a raw salad is one of the best ways to get phyto-nutrients and minerals into your body along with all of their raw enzymes to help break them down. This is also one of the best ways to get top quality vitamins that are easily assimilated by your body.
It is evidently 100 times more effective than taking a multivitamin. This is because the enzymes that are alive and kicking in the greens turn in on themselves once they are in our stomach and they literally help our bodies break themselves down.
This also conserves the use of our own enzymes which may be weak or low in quantity if our health isn’t in tip top shape. So it is simply more nutritious for us and less work for our bodies to assimilate.
Furthermore, eating salads with a little bit of fat also helps the assimilation of nutrients. Our bodies cannot take in the vitamins and minerals from salads without the presence of a little fat. This is why a bit of olive oil, avocados, and nuts goes a long way in a green salad.
I believe that we should play this up and amplify it.
Make the salads more decadent and beautiful so that we are satisfied eating larger portions of the greens with relatively smaller portions of the proteins and starches. As Joel Furman says, “Salad is the main course!” This is just a teaser as to why raw salads are beneficial for the body.
But you get the point!
Salads In Context: When should I eat it?
Eating a big beautiful raw salad is just as important as when you eat it. Raw vegetables can create dysbiosis in the body if eaten at the wrong time just as easily as they can be beneficial. That is why it is important to contextualize our eating habits to best optimize our digestive process.
This all sounds kind of complicated, vague, and trivial, but allow me to briefly explain…
I don’t know if you have heard of food combining, but this little bit of information is something I’ve exercised from the general combining concept. Food combining is a theory of eating foods in specific combinations and in precise orders in order to expedite the process of digestion.
This is done by pairing foods together based on the types of enzymes that break them down as well as the amount of time they take to go through the stomach.