Pick up the healthy bowl of greens

Alisha Shinde
Thursday, 30 May 2019

It’s not necessary to always indulge in big meals. Salads are good for both men and women, and if you can add natural proteins, it gets all the more nourishing

If you visit a restaurant with a bunch of friends, you are likely to find your girl friends reaching out for a salad bowl and your guy friends opting for steaks. Usually, women choose salads because they are light and healthy, and men go for the big meals and large portions. But salads are good for all, and both men and women must indulge in the greens. 

Mumbai-based nutritionist and founder of Nutrivity.in, Kejal Sheth, says that we live in a society where men are known to eat large meals and women consume small portions. “Men and women do have different tastes and likings when it comes to food choices, for example, if there is a plate full of fries and fruits, we know who is going to pick what. It’s similar when it comes to wine and beer,” says Sheth adding, “What we fail to understand is that in today’s world both men and women need to pay attention to their weight, more so if they are suffering from any weight-related health condition.” 

“The basic principles of what constitutes a healthy diet remain the same for both men and women,” says Dr Kiran Ahuja, nutritionist and Vegan Outreach Coordinator, PETA India. She is of the opinion that a healthy diet supports a lifetime of good health and provides protection against numerous diseases. “Choose exclusively plant-based meals, opt for no or less oil, and ditch the meat, eggs and dairy,” says Ahuja. 

As a nutritionist, she suggests healthy and yummy vegan foods. “The good news is that there are plenty of vegan foods and recipes which are both finger licking delicious and good for your body, and that can include everything from vegan burgers and pizzas to vegan versions of favourite dishes like Indian and Thai curries,” she says.

Men, who are fitness enthusiasts, include protein shakes in their daily diet but there are plenty of salad options they can choose from and add proteins to make them more nutritious. Both Sheth and Ahuja agree that the best proteins are those that are naturally sourced.  

Ahuja points out that the human body does not require excessive amounts of protein or calcium. “Too much protein is, in fact, linked to kidney disease, certain cancers, osteoporosis and calcium stones, and too much calcium is thought to be possibly linked to prostate cancer — so it all comes down to a natural source of protein which is not harmful for the body,” says she.   

Both the nutritionists recommend eating a variety of vegetables and fruits for a natural protein or calcium boost. So dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, and types of beans, chickpeas, figs and soybeans, which are also particularly strong sources of calcium, should make their way into your salad bowl.


Soy Salad
 Soya chunks…     1 cup
 Cucumber, diced…    1
 Tomato, diced…    1
 Mushroom, diced…    2
 Flax seeds…    2tsp
 Chaat masala…    1tsp
 Olive oil…    1tsp
 Lemon juice…    1tsp
 Salt and pepper as per taste
  Soak soy chunks in salted water for 10-15 minutes.
  Remove the extra water from soy  chunks and keep them in a mixing bowl.
  Heat the oil and sauté soy chunks for 2 minutes.
  Mix all the ingredients.
  Serve.
Paneer Salad
   Paneer…    1 cup
   Lettuce…    1 cup
   Boiled green peas…    ½ cup
   Capsicum, sliced…    ¼ cup
   Garlic, finely chopped…    2 tsp
   Basil leaves, finely chopped…...2 tsp
   Olive oil…    2 tsp
   Lemon juice…    1 tsp
   Salt and pepper to taste
   Mix all the ingredients.
   Toss well.
   Serve.
— Recipes by Kejal Sheth

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