Salad Days

By- Dr Unnikrishnan AG, Editor
Salad Days
Caeser Salad

“The gusts of wind arrived

For a war with the weather.

And brought forth the bumblebees

To steal the dazzle from the flower.

With time, weather must and will change!

So, why shouldn’t my heart change too?”

-    Adapted from popular song, “Sanwar Loon”, lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya

And, dear reader, this changing-with-the-times parable is true for our nutrition too. Remember our wintery Punjabi Dish, “Sarson ka Saag”? Or the nourishing “Shikhanji” drink for the sweltering summer? That said, there is no food that varies as much with the season as the Salad. If you are looking for a salad for every season, then over the year, you will practically see every color of the rainbow flash across the plate.  

A salad is a dish which is a mix of natural ingredients and contains at least one raw ingredient. As everyone knows, salads are healthy to eat. The benefits of fiber, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and proteins in salads and their dressings are obvious. With the increasing occurrence of Diabetes in our midst, it is possible to innovate the humble salad into a powerful tool against Diabetes. This is the focus of our cover story this time. Not only do we provide a do-it-yourself guide to salads, an expert nutritionist also provides a ranking of the best salads. The value of such a salad goes beyond simple Diabetes care.

Scientists are now beginning to unravel the importance of nutrition in healthy aging or even the reversal of aging. Indeed, how we eat may change our destiny, and that for our future generation too. This is because healthy eating may change the way our genes are expressed in the body, turning on cellular switches that help to nourish our cells. But more on the “salad and youth” story later.

If you will indulge me a little, may I serve you a little slice (not a salad!) of history? Last century, an Italian immigrant to North America, Caesar Cardini developed the famous Caesar salad, which is my personal favourite. This salad has lettuce, lime, olive oil and cheese in addition to other ingredients, and the vegetarian version is particularly very tasty. I call it the Caesar among salads. Like the emperor Julius Caesar, this salad too had competition, and there are many types of salads vying for the crown for the best salad. Do read our cover story to find out.

Talking of Caesar, the link between salads and health did not start recently. Indeed, even Shakespeare possibly knew of this, for he gave the salad a voice through Cleopatra when she remembered her wonderful, youthful days with Julius Caesar in the famous play. Cleopatra refers to her youth as “salad days” and since then, the idiom has come to represent the innocence and carefree times of youth. By implication, the salad too became inextricably associated with youthfulness.

With our experts covering salads, as well as different aspects of Diabetes care in this issue of Diabetes Health, I hope that we can return you to your salad days as well!

Happy Reading!

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