Are salads healthy? Well, the answer to that is yes….and no. They can be very healthy depending upon the vegetables used, a person’s digestive system and gut health, and how each person reacts to certain vegetables.
For example, I do not do well with raw spinach. Many people don’t. Same with raw kale. It is too rough and somehow does not sit well with me. But I do very well with raw cabbage. Each person must find what suits them.
Also, some salad greens are not that healthy: if they are not organic, it already can be an issue with too many pesticides.
But even organic, it depends how they were grown, what nutrients they have etc.
And certainly greens sitting on a grocery shelf for weeks looking a bit old or wilted cannot be that nutritious!
If you grow your own greens and pick them fresh, obviously that is the best scenario.
But otherwise, it really depends what is available and how they were grown, how fresh they are and so on.
Some people do better with steamed vegetables as it breaks down some of the harder to digest fiber.
Some people do better with greens that are juiced.
And some people actually do better avoiding many greens. They may use certain ones such as parsley, basil, scallions and other herbs and sometimes those are easier on the system than the salad greens.
As for other vegetables, some are better raw, some are better cooked and some are even better not eaten at all. If someone has ulcerative colitis, too much fiber can be a problem during a flare up.
If someone has a problem with FODMAPS, they need to avoid certain vegetables such as onions, garlic etc.
So there is no such thing as a particular vegetable being good for everyone.
Even things like ginger can be good for some people,but if someone has a hot constitution, ginger can make them hotter. It may actually do more harm than good.
Every person’s constitution and health condition at a particular time is different and hence their diet needs to be different.
So do not be fooled by people claiming you must eat a big bowl of salad each day. No you don’t if you don’t feel good with it or it gives you too much gas.
According to Chinese medicine, raw salads are not so good for digestion. Perhaps in very hot weather they are better but in general they feel raw salads can be hard to digest and cool down the digestive juices. They recommend steamed or even baked vegetables.
If you find raw salads are not so great, go ahead and steam your vegetables, bake them, make soups…there are many ways to consume vegetables. I do recommend a bit of raw vegetables too as they have good enzymes and can be useful for health in many ways. But find which ones go well with your system and introduce other things slowly, as you see what will not bother you.
Chewing well is also important, especially with raw vegetables.
Sprouted foods are very good but again, it depends. Sometimes sprouts are harmful if wrong bacteria gets in there.
Fermented vegetables like sauerkraut can be very good for digestion, but even that depends. If someone has, for example, sibo or even colitis, it may not be good for them.
So get to know your own digestive system and make a healthy meal plan accordingly.