Chew on this

Salad greens getting better all the time

It’s Miami Book Fair week. To begin enjoying our wonderful festival I picked up The Taste of Tomorrow by Josh Schonwald (Harper Collins, $29.95). I anticipated a list and review of food trends but instead found an exploration of the next big thing in salad, meat and fish. Schonwald is a food enthusiast and researcher. He introduces food visionaries who will be bringing greener and healthier offerings to the table. Meat from a test tube and land-locked fish farms are not science fiction. Schonwald makes all this sound palatable and reasonable.

The Taste of Tomorrow begins with an innovation that slowly moved onto the plate and is now ubiquitous: bagged spring mix salad greens. Prior to 1990 we were an iceberg lettuce nation. Farming and marketing pioneers worked out how to grow, bag and distribute the more delicate greens. Their innovation is our nutritional gain. Compared to iceberg lettuce, spring mixes of spinach, romaine, kale, arugula, frisee, red oak, green leaf and mizuna are better sources of calcium, potassium, vitamin C, folate, vitamin K, beta carotene and lutein and zeazanthin. That is a lot of nutrition packed into about 30 to 50 calories.

A bit of a healthy fat, such as olive oil or avocado, releases the carotenoids and makes it easier for the body to absorb these beneficial nutrients. Adding vitamin C rich tomatoes, bell peppers or mandarin oranges to dark greens unleashes the iron and enhances the flavor. These are examples of food synergy.

Another salad benefit comes from researcher Barbara Rolls. She has shown that a 100-calorie salad before a meal takes the edge off hunger and leads to a both a lower calorie meal and greater feelings of satiety. New healthy greens will continue to be identified since, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “a weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.”

Sheah Rarback is a registered dietitian on the faculty of the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine.

Read more Chew On This stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category