As part of the digestion process, we stimulate our senses through the sight, smells and taste of food and this simple to prepare dish does just that with the bright colours and zingy flavours of the dressing.
Popping the salad in a jar or even glass creates a visual enticement to eat and encourages children to add as many colours (and therefore nutrients) as possible.
Adding a range of vegetables not only adds flavour, different textures and colour but most importantly, provides a wider variety of nutrients and soluble fibre, essential for good digestive health and the prevention of type 2 diabetes.
Peppers are a rich source of vitamin C, E and B6 and again have anti-cancer properties.
Tomatoes contain vitamins C and E, anticancer properties and may ease symptoms of asthma. Adding fat (as in olive or vegetable oil) boosts the absorption of the valuable antioxidant lycopene and vitamins further.
Potatoes cannot be counted as one of your 5 a day but are high in vitamin B6 and C as well as an energy giving carbohydrate food. Wholewheat pasta like wholemeal bread and flour contains more B vitamins (important for a healthy nervous system) minerals such as copper, selenium, magnesium and manganese as well as insoluble fibre (fibre in the diet can help to lower blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels as well as maintaining a health digestive system) The refining process needed to make white pasta, flour and bread removes most of these valuable nutrients which is why we always prefer to use these foods. It is a complex carbohydrate food which releases energy slowly (unlike refined carbohydrates like pastries, cakes, white bread/pasta, sugar and sugary drinks). Because they take longer to digest, they keep you fuller for longer.
Cheese is an excellent source of protein, vitamin D, calcium (needed for strong bones) as well as other various vitamins and minerals. Recent research has shown that eaten in moderation, it has little effect on the heart or raise the risk of strokes. The fatty acids in dairy foods also help to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. Like many foods, they should not be eaten in vast amounts but certainly as part of a healthy diet.
Carrots are high in beta carotenes which have anti-cancer protection and vitamin A.
Kidney beans (like all pulses) offer energy giving carbohydrates, protein, soluble fibre, vitamin B1, folate, phosphorous, potassium and iron. Kidney beans also contain a mineral (molybdenum) which destroys sulphites. Sulphites are used as a preservative in many foods and many individuals, especially asthmatics are sensitive to them.