Have you eaten a salad and thought it was quite tasty for a bunch of vegetables? Salads partner well with diets or just plain everyday lunch. But the thing is every plate of salad isn’t as healthy as it claims. The ingredients in the dressing or the makeup of the salad itself may be loaded with unhealthy fats, sodium and cholesterol!
Why would people say that salads are healthy then? That’s because the health quotient of a salad is derived from what goes into making it. Salads are simple to prepare and packed with the wholesome goodness of fiber, vitamins and minerals when done the right way. It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes at the most to throw one together.
Here’s How To Perk Up Your Salad’s Health Benefits.
Substitute Croutons with Nuts
Croutons may add that extra bit of crunch, but white bread lacks the nutrients your body needs. Especially when fried, they can be bad for you. So cut your losses and ditch the crouton. Almonds are the way to go. They are full of Vitamin E and healthy oils. Just chop up a few and add them to your salad. Small portions of peanuts, walnuts and generally any crunchy nuts will also do the trick.
Green Lights Says Go
Make green your favourite food colour and start your salad with green leafy veggies. Keep in mind deeper the green colour, higher the nutritional value. Lovely chopped arugula, kale, spinach, romaine or other lettuces are all perfectly greens and have an intense amount of minerals, fibers and vitamins, like A, C, and folate, a form of vitamin B that helps cell growth. All greens offer good nutrition, but to different extents. So, load up different types of green leafy vegetables.
Don’t just stop with the healthy dose of green. Add carrot shreds, tomato cubes, onions, fresh cucumber pieces, raw or boiled beets, some boiled squash or potatoes to sweeten the deal with more flavour and bite. This will add extra minerals and vitamins on your plate.
Add Some Protein
Who said salads should be all vegetables? Grilled or baked chicken, lean meat or tuna, boiled eggs and tofu give salads that additional bit of protein and fats you won’t find in vegetables. Avoid deep fried, greasy proteins. Finally, you could top off your healthy meal with a few low-fat cheese cubes for some creamy goodness.
Homemade Salad Dressing
Making your own dressing is far better than the store bought dressings. Plus, you can prepare more than one kind to go with every salad. The best ingredients for salad dressings are available in your kitchen, such as fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, rosemary and dill, some peppers, chilli flakes, honey, lime juice, vinegars, oils and even salsa. Yogurt, mustard, honey and lemon juice make an excellent creamy dressing. Try out little salad dressing experiments to suit your palate.
Fruit Salad or Fruits in Salads
Fruits tend to work well in mealtime salads just as much as fruit salads. Avocados come compact with vitamins E for tissue repair. Pomegranate seeds are tiny little pack of antioxidants that prevent cholesterol and heart diseases. Toss them into a fresh salad to soak up their benefits. Grapes, apples, oranges and pears are some other fresh fruits to try that give crunch and flavor. If you’re more of a fruit-for-desert person, dice up some fruits that are in season. Canned fruits should be avoided, as they are loaded with sugars and preservatives. Top up the salad with a scoop of coconut cream instead of whipped cream for a healthier garnish.
Simple changes and informed choices can increase your diet’s value. Moderate use of fats and sodium-based elements will leave you with tasty food minus the bad effects. Who knew staying healthy could be so easy?