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Have you had your salad today? Eating salad almost every day may be one of the most healthy eating habits you can adopt -- and one of the simplest, experts say.
Eating salads is a super-convenient way to work in a couple of servings of vegetables and/or fruit. Green salads are on the menu of almost every restaurant. You can even buy a side salad (with Romaine lettuce, carrots and tomatoes, available with fat-free or reduced-calorie salad dressing) for a buck at many fast food chains these days. And you can make a green salad at home in 5 minutes, armed with a bag of pre-washed salad greens, a few carrots or other veggies, and a bottle of light salad dressing.
Not only that, but salads are cool, crunchy, and fun to eat (lots of textures, colors, and flavors). Most people enjoy eating salads--even kids! You can customize them to include the fruits and vegetables that appeal to you the most, and whichever ones you have on hand.
Here are health reasons to reach for a salad today:

If you frequently eat green salads, you'll likely have higher blood levels of a host of powerful antioxidants (vitamin C and E, folic acid, lycopene, and alpha- and beta-carotene,) especially if your salad includes some raw vegetables. Antioxidants are substances that help protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals.

If losing weight is your goal, you may want to start your meals with a green salad

Eating a little good fat (like the monounsaturated fat found in olive oil, avocado and nuts) with your vegetables appears to help your body absorb protective phytochemicals, like lycopene from tomatoes and lutein from dark green vegetables
Specially salads are both full of heart-healthy, cancer fighting, cell building ingredients and are fantastic weight loss and weight maintenance tools.

Obviously, I love making and eating salads. Hopefully after reading these health benefits of eating salad, you will feel more inclined to add salad as a regular item on your daily menu.

Salad Tips

Here are tips for cleaning, storing, and preparing the greens you have selected for your great salad recipe.
How to Wash Greens
  • Place leafy greens in basket of salad spinner. With salad spinner in sink, run cold water through spinner while turning the basket. Repeat once or twice, if necessary, to make sure greens are clean and dry. Pat dry with paper towels, if necessary. If you do not have a salad spinner, rinse greens under cold running water until clean. Then, pat dry with paper towels.
How to Wash Fresh Herbs
  • Always wash fresh herbs before use. Rinse small bunches under cold running water, then blot dry. Or when needing to clean a large amount of herbs, fill the sink with cold water and swish the herbs around to remove any dirt. Remove the herbs from the sink and place in a salad spinner to spin dry. Or, place on paper towels and gently blot dry.
How to store Leafy Greens
  • Store greens wrapped between dry paper towels, if desired, in a perforated plastic bag or loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
How to Store Long Stemmed Herbs
  • Place long-stemmed fresh herbs, such as parsley, cilantro and dill, in a tall glass with the stem ends down. Fill with about an inch of cold water. Cover the leaves with a plastic bag and refrigerate until ready to use, changing the water every 2 days. Herbs should stay vibrant and fresh for about 5 days.
How to Core Lettuce
  • Holding head of lettuce so that bottom, or core end, faces a flat surface, bring the lettuce down hard against the surface to loosen core. Pull out core and discard.
How to Prepare Lettuce
  • Remove the core from the head of lettuce, then pull the lettuce apart from the core end and tear into bite-sized pieces. Do not chop tender lettuces, such as butterhead, with a knife since this can cause the lettuce to turn brown around the edges. Less delicate lettuces, such as romaine, can be cut but be sure to use a sharp knife.
How to Shred Lettuce
  • Cut head of cored iceberg lettuce in half. Place each half, cut side down, on cutting board. Cut across the halves into thin slices, then separate slices into shreds.