Why might tearing your salad leaves be good for your health?
We all love a fresh healthy salad on a summer day, and they’re a great way of making sure you get your daily quota of fruit and vegetables. But adding whole green leaves to your plate may not be the best way to get the nutrition from your leafy greens.
Plants produce polyphenols as their own protection when ‘wounded’ and these self-same polyphenols are increasingly being shown to bring health benefits to humans. So one simple way to increase your intake is by cutting or tearing your leafy greens, including your salad leaves. Some leafy vegetables start out with much higher levels in the first place.
For example, Romaine lettuce contains up to 20 times more vitamin A than the ever popular Iceberg lettuce.
What are polyphenols?
Polyphenols are a set of complex molecules with numerous roles in the plant including defence against pests and diseases and providing colours to attract pollinators and seed dispersers. If you type ‘polyphenols and cancer’ into your online search engine you’ll find endless reports about their protective benefits. Having read some of these articles, odds are you’ll feel that it if you can increase your intake of these nutrients with little effort then it makes sense to do so.
The most nutritious Salad leaves
Lettuce Lollo Rossa – Adds colour to the salad bowl!
This year why not try growing Lollo Rossa lettuce as it not only has a bold nutty flavour and attractive frizzy edges with a bright red fringe, but also contains over twenty times the level of polyphenols of its light green romaine lettuce cousin.