What makes a salad healthy? Eating salads have become part of an everyday habit for many. Most choose them because they are generally healthy and nutritious. A salad can be served as part of a meal, or it can be a light meal by itself. There are many ingredients that you can put in your salad to make it more interesting, satisfying and best of all, healthier. Do not be tied down with just a simple garden salad. By adding fruits, vegetables and other ingredients to your salad, you will benefit from more vitamins and antioxidants. Consider adding these 5 ingredients to your salad:
Fruits make a great addition to a healthier salad. Berries like raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries are rich in vitamin C, which help our immune system function properly and also keep our connective tissue stronger. The flavonoids and phytochemicals present in berries may help in reducing the risks of certain cancers as well. The sweet taste of fruits may help you to reduce or cut-back on the use of processed salad dressing, which is high in calories.
Sprinkling a few nuts in your salad will provide it with that extra crunch most of us look for. Although nuts are high in fats, they are generally unsaturated fats that are good for the heart as they help to lower bad cholesterol levels. Confine your choice to almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews and pistachios when choosing which nuts to mix to make your salad healthy.
3. Green Leaves
Some will say that a salad is really not a salad without a green leafy vegetable mixed in it. There are many varieties of lettuce that you can put in your salad and all of them are low in calories. Just keep in mind that the darker the color of the lettuce or the greens, the more nutritious it is for you. Spinach is a very good green to put in your salad, as it is rich in iron. Other greens like romaine, arugula and escarole are also great choices.
4. Protein Sources
If you want to add more protein in your salad, you may wish to add some meat in the mix such as leaned beef and chicken breast. Avoid using meats that are fried because they are not healthy ingredients at all. You can also opt for tuna, cooked shrimps or sliced hard boiled eggs as your source of protein for your salad. However, use the stated ingredients in moderation as they are high in calories. One boiled egg contains an average of 75 calories.
Vegetables are always great ingredients for a salad. You can use almost any raw vegetable to make your salad healthy. For an additional crunch to your salad, add raw broccoli. It is rich in vitamins such as Vitamin C, A and K, and it is also a good source of fiber. It also contains powerful phytochemicals. The same goes for cherry tomatoes. Tomatoes contain the powerful antioxidant lycopene, which has been known to help reduce the risk of cancer. To add more variety and flavor to your salad, use different vegetables each time.