Many of us shy away from sandwiches when lunchtime arrives, often to do with an inherent fear of carbohydrates or bloating. But if you’re finding yourself snacking on naughties come 3pm, it may be time to re-think your daily salad. While packing your greens with wholegrains is one way to pad it out, if you’ve gone for an extra long run that day, or just happen to be more ravenous than usual, a sandwich isn’t the worst idea in the world, especially when you build it up with these ingredients. But if you’re keen to cutting the carbs, why not opt for an open sandwich? It’s half the bread, and paves the way for melting the cheese under the grill.
Rich in those quintessential omega-3 fatty acids, avocadoes boast a dizzying array of additional health benefits, including disease fighting antioxidants, anti-aging properties, and nearly 20 different vitamins and minerals. It’s skin food, brain food, and heart food.
Replace butter with this protein-packed spread instead. Not only delicious, the plant-based Middle Eastern dip is brimming with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. You can also use hummus as a nuttier, more nutrient-dense substitute for mayo.
For your green base, go with a good handful of dark leafy greens, like spinach and rocket. They contain a generous amount of the B vitamin folate, which has been shown to reduce the risk of getting colorectal, ovarian, and breast cancers. In one study, researchers at Vanderbilt University found that women who ate the mostly dark greens were among the least likely to get breast cancer. Folate can reportedly halt changes in DNA that trigger runaway cell growth, the main characteristic of cancer.
Not only a great way to add more punch to your sambo, onions host a wealth of disease-fighting attributes too. They ward off inflammation and they help fight heart disease by protecting blood vessels and reducing cholesterol. Some studies have found that the natural compounds in onions boost bone density and balance blood sugar. If you’re making your own sandwich and want to reduce the onion aftertaste, try soaking red onions (our favourite variety on sandwiches) in water for 10 minutes before drying on a paper towel.
Is there anything better than a fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil sandwich? The Italian staple herb is not only a smart addition to your sanga because of its punchy aroma and taste, but fresh basil is also a potent anti-inflammatory herb long heralded for fighting a range of chronic diseases, including obesity. It’s also rich in immune-supporting vitamin A, and its natural anti-bacterial properties.
It’s always best to steer clear of processed meats, which are high in sodium, possess no real health benefits and have even been linked to infertility in men. The ultimate brain food, salmon is a delicious protein to build your sandwich around. Hot or cold, smoked or not, salmon is double suitable because it’s just as tasty cold. Omega-3s not only reduce the risk of heart disease, but they have a long list of other health benefits including reducing inflammation, treating depression and lowering blood pressure. Continued studies are also linking a diet rich in omega-3s with prolonged brain health, fighting off degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia.