Salad is good for you. Right? Salad can be extremely healthy, chock full of important nutrients, but far too often people load their salad with sugary toppings and fat filled dressings. Therefore, it goes without saying that the nutritional value of salad is depleted. To avoid making this unfortunate casualty, follow the simple guide nutritionist recommend for building a healthy and beneficial salad.
Choose the leafy green you wish to be your base. Lots of leafy greens will provide you with folic acid and lutein. Folic acid aids in the production of new cells while lutein, commonly referred to as the “eye vitamin”, works to prevent eye disease. Choose greens you wish to be the foundation of your salad: spinach, iceberg, romaine hearts, arugula, kale.
Next, choose your fruits and vegetables. For the most part, fresh fruits and vegetables provide so many nutrients without racking up an excess amount of calories that an unlimited amount can be piled onto your salad. Try apples, clementines, strawberries, cucumber, peppers, onions, or carrots.
Add protein! Protein is a great way to stay fueled throughout the day. Studies show protein activates the hormone that controls satiety. To keep you feeling full, be sure to add some protein onto your salad. Great options are quinoa, beans, or tofu.
One extra, not so healthy topping may include dried fruit, avocado, nuts. As always, moderation is key. You don’t need to skip out on tasty toppings such as dates and sunflower seeds, but it is important to be conscientious of just how much you consume.
End with a light salad dressing. There are plenty of delicious options that aren’t packed with fat. If you happen to be craving an unhealthy salad dressing, compromise with yourself. Skip the extra toppings and use your dressing. After all, it is important to listen to your craving. Just be careful with monitoring indulgences.