Salads are a delicious and nutritious way to fill up on vitamins, Hefezopf minerals, and antioxidants. They are easy to prepare and can be made at home or ordered in restaurants.
Healthy salads should include a variety of vegetables, fruits and other ingredients. To add extra nutrients and fiber to your salad, you can also try adding cooked grains and seeds.
Dark Leafy Greens: These are the foundation of any good salad and provide a variety of nutrients. They are rich in iron, calcium, vitamin C and fiber.
Spinach, kale, collard greens, arugula and Swiss chard are great choices. Arugula, kale and other darker greens are full of phytochemicals that protect against heart disease, cancer and arthritis.
Arugula and other darker greens are low in calories and packed with antioxidants. They are rich in calcium, folate and fiber and help regulate blood sugar levels.
Fruits: Adding apples, pears or grapes to your salad provides sweetness and important dietary fiber. They’re also a good source of potassium and vitamin C, which help keep your bones strong.
Cheese and Croutons: Aside from containing saturated fat, a lot of croutons or cheese can be high in calories, so opt for lower-fat versions.
Dressings: There are many different types of dressings, but they all have one thing in common: They are seasoned with oil or vinegar and a flavorful acid. Vinaigrettes are a popular choice, but you can experiment with a variety of flavors to find one that best suits your needs.
Fresh Herbs: A little basil, dill and parsley go a long way in making your salad taste better. You can add a tablespoon of chopped herbs per person to your greens, or toss them in with the dressing for an added punch of flavor.
Tomatoes: Sliced tomatoes are another simple ingredient that adds both eye appeal and a burst of nutrition. Leaving the skins on these fruits adds important dietary fiber and can help reduce your risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
Grains & Carbs: You can add a small amount of cooked grains, such as quinoa, bulgur, couscous or barley, to your salad. These grains will absorb more of your dressing than the vegetables, so it’s important to adjust accordingly.
Choosing the Right Dressing: A classic vinaigrette is traditionally made with olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice, but you can get creative and experiment with your own favorites. You can also use warm bacon fat, or combine any number of different vinegars and citrus juices for a truly delicious vinaigrette.
Thick and Creamy: If you’re looking for a dressing that will really stick to your salad, consider making a vinaigrette with a creamy, thick sauce. You can add warm or cool sour cream, yogurt, buttermilk, mayonnaise or cottage cheese to your vinaigrette for extra flavor and texture.
Getting the Balance Right: When you make your salad, try to have a healthy combination of the four basic food groups: protein, carbohydrates, fat and fiber. This will help you feel satisfied and less likely to overeat.