What to Put in Salad to Make them ULTRA Healthy? Here are Some Healthy Things to Add to Salads that You Love!
Your Body Needs Healthy Salads because you get a wide variety of vitamins and nutrients When You Make a Healthy Salad for a Side Dish or a Meal. So What to Put in Your Salad to Make them so much Healthier? Keep Reading!
We all know that good nutrition is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle, and eating lots of nutrient-dense foods is the biggest factor in good nutrition.
So what’s the easiest way to get more nutrient-dense foods and a healthier gut?
EAT MORE SALADS! And what to put in a salad to make it even healthier? Keep Reading!
Did you know that salads are a great way to maintain gut health? And we all know that gut health is important to our overall health.
And, eating a healthy salad can prevent you from becoming “food bored” because it gives you a chance to eat a larger variety of interesting and tasty foods in one bowl.
So fix yourself a healthy salad for lunch, dinner or even breakfast and you will be surprised at how many vitamins and nutrients you can pack into one meal!
Eating More Salads Can Prevent Obesity
Eating more vegetables can aid in weight loss and help to prevent obesity when eaten on a daily basis. Vegetables are useful in reducing weight because the fiber they contain provides bulk and gives you a feeling of being “full” and will also keep you feeling fuller much longer.
To get the best out of most vegetables, they should be eaten raw or lightly steamed to keep all their nutrients in tack.
Green leafy vegetables provide a source for many nutrients, including iron, fiber, vitamins A and C and potassium which help to purify the blood, heal the intestinal tract, anemia and reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
Red and yellow vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplant, potato, carrot, beets are rich in nutrients as well. They contain Vitamin A, Vitamin B, iron, potassium, calcium, and fiber which can improve body immunity and help boost body metabolism.
- Red Vegetables: sliced or diced beets, radishes, red onion, red peppers, tomatoes, red potatoes.
- Orange Vegetables: chopped carrots, diced squash, diced sweet potato.
- Yellow and White Vegetables: fresh corn, sliced mushrooms, onions, shallots, cauliflower.
- Green Vegetables: Asparagus, artichoke hearts broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cucumber, celery, green onion, peas.
It all Starts with A Base of Healthy Lettuce
The base for your salad is definitely nutrient-dense if you start with big plate of leafy dark and red greens.
Next time you’re at the grocery store pick up some red leaf lettuce to give your salad that extra boost of nutrients. The deep red and purple colors in lettuce indicates higher levels of phytonutrients which means much higher levels of antioxidants!
Romaine lettuce is probably one of the most popular choices for a salad and makes an excellent base. Look for Romaine lettuce with a dark green hue and red tips. Romaine is a great source of folic acid and should be included in a healthy diet.
Another great choice for your lettuce base – or to mix in with your healthy Romaine is green leaf lettuce.
- Don’t forget to chop up some raw baby spinach and mix it in with your salad greens.
Always try and add some dark leafy greens to your salad like kale or spinach. Dark leafy greens are loaded with folate, a B-complex vitamin that promotes healthy blood circulation.
Next time you’re at the grocery store pick up some red leaf lettuce to give your dinner salad that extra boost of nutrients. The deep red and purple colors in lettuce indicates higher levels of phytonutrients which means much higher levels of antioxidants.
Healthy Lettuce Choices for Your Nutrient-Rich Salad Base –
Include a mixture of these salad greens for the base of your salad: Did you know that green leaf lettuce has more healthy Vitamin K than Romaine lettuce?
- Swiss Chard
- Red or Green Leaf Lettuce
- Bibb lettuce
- Escarole and Endive,
Add about 1/2 cup of our Favorite Veggies:
- Carrots – sliced
- Beets – Sliced
- Red onions
- Green Peas
- Red and Green Bell Peppers
- Sugar snap peas
- Green onions
Next Chop up these Cruciferous Vegetables to Add to your Salad:
- Bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
- Mustard greens
- Radishes – See why eat more radishes
- Red cabbage
Always add some Nuts and Seeds:
Always add healthy nuts or seeds to your salad. Not only do they provide excellent nutrition, they also add that extra crunch.
Nuts are definitely a great choice for a healthy salad, but use sparingly as they add additional calories.
1/4 cup of Chopped Walnuts – 180 calories
1/4 cup of Sunflower seeds – 180 calories
- Sesame seeds
- Chia seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Chopped Walnuts
- Brazil Nut
- Pine Nuts
Now Add about 3 oz. of Healthy Protein:
- Anchovies and Sardines
- Chopped Eggs
- Crab Meat
- Grilled or Broiled Chicken – How to Cook Boneless Chicken Breasts to Use in Recipes
- Turkey Breast
- Tuna Fish
What About Cheese?
A little cheese goes a long way if you use the right cheese! Try some lower in fat feta or a tablespoon of crumbled blue cheese. Blue Cheese is an excellent choice because you only need a small amount to add a ton of flavor. Don’t like blue cheese? Try a little goat cheese or a tablespoon of shredded Parmesan cheese.
Don’t go too crazy with the cheese. Cheese can add to the calorie and fat totals of the salad. Try different mixtures of salads like mixed greens with bits of beets, blue cheese and roasted pecans. You will find a little of the cheese and nut flavor goes a long way.
Throw on Some Delicious Carbs
- Steamed Potatoes (yum)
- Potato Salad
- Cold Spicy Noodles
CHICKPEAS! One of our favorites for a salad is a healthy serving of Chickpeas! Chickpeas can actually help you to lose weight by filling up on healthy fiber!
Chickpeas are delicious and contain fiber, potassium, B vitamins, iron and magnesium. Fiber helps decrease your risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels in the blood. Chickpeas contain no cholesterol. 2 tablespoons of chickpeas on a healthy salad is about 100 calories.
Adding Delicious Fruits
Don’t forget to add a 1/2 cup of fresh fruits to your well-balanced salad. A handful of blueberries or hulled strawberries are delicious along with the other vegetables and blend perfectly.
- Strawberries, cleaned, hulled and sliced
- Dried Cranberries
- Orange Slices
- Pear Slices
- Diced Apples
Fresh and healthy Chopped Herbs
Add Some Healthy Salads to Your Salad!
There are tons of healthy salads that you can add to your salad to make it tastier! Try a little bit of healthy cole slaw or tabouli salad!
- Cucumber & Tomato Salad with Feta
- Roasted Beet Salad with Kale
- Egg salad
- Green Bean Salad
- Tabouli Salad
Travel with your Salad or Take your Salad to Work
Pack your salad in one of these nifty jars and it will stay fresh and tasty until you are ready to eat. Just remember to start your base layer of lettuce on the bottom of the jar and work your way up with freshly chopped vegetables.
Now your salad bowl is complete – just how do you dress that salad? Carefully we would say! This is where you can get the biggest fat and calorie bomb so be cautious what you put on that healthy salad.
Try to stick with an oil and vinegar base dressing or even a light vinaigrette. If you would prefer the convenience of bottled dressings there are now many healthy options. Just make sure and read your labels carefully.
Conclusion – If you get into the habit of making fresh & healthy salads, you will easily be adding more nutrient-dense foods to your diet. It’s all a matter of figuring out the best choices of what to put in that salad and what you like.
Make salads that appeal to your taste and you will find yourself reaching for that salad bowl more often!
FEATURED PRODUCT THAT YOU WILL LOVE! HEALTHY LUNCH AND DINNER SALADS HERE WE COME!
We have made about a million salads here at DinnerPlanner.com, and we definitely love using a salad spinner to a crisp salad! You can find our favorite spinner here –> Salad Spinner
You will also want to check out this nifty Smart Planet Eco Collapsible Salad Bowl – perfect for those salads on the go! You can find one right here –> Salad Bowl
HEALTHY SALAD TIPS:
- Wash your greens thoroughly but make sure they are dry before adding the rest of the ingredients. Place lettuce in a salad spinner to remove any leftover water. Or you can wash lettuce and then place between sheets of paper towels and let sit to absorb the water.
- When making fresh salads with the robust taste of the cheeses, nuts, fruits, there is no need to add a heavy dressing. A light vinaigrette will do added in small amounts.
- Fruits go well with a spinach salad. Find a great combination of fruits and cheeses. Spinach & Mandarin oranges with toasted pine nuts with a sprinkle of blue cheese crumbles.
- Add sliced tomatoes to your salad last. Tomatoes tend to “bleed” and will water down your salad.
- Buy fresh lettuce and store in the right container! This container makes all the difference in fresh lettuce and will SAVE you money! Take a look at the Rubbermaid Produce Storage Saver it is perfect to keep lettuce at its best for longer. Don’t wash your lettuce. Keep lettuce dry until ready to use.
SPRING ASPARAGUS SALAD WITH STRAWBERRIES
1 lb. asparagus
1/4 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 small red onion, sliced
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 bag spring mix salad greens
1 bottle balsamic vinaigrette
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Wash asparagus in cold water. Snap the ends off and cut remaining asparagus into 1″ pieces. In a bowl, toss asparagus pieces with olive oil. Lay asparagus pieces on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt & pepper. Bake for 15 minutes. Toss in a large bowl; cooked asparagus, strawberries, red onions, walnuts, and salad greens. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette.
HOW TO MAKE A GREAT CHOPPED SALAD
3 cups chopped iceberg & Romaine lettuce
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
2 medium tomatoes
6-7 slices bacon
1 stalk celery, chopped small
1 small cucumber
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup Ranch dressing
Cook bacon until crisp and drain well on a paper towel. Chop bacon into small pieces after cooled and drained of grease. Cut tomatoes into quarters and remove the seeds. Cut tomatoes into small pieces. Peel cucumber and remove seeds by scraping the center gently with a spoon. Cut cucumber into very small pieces. Place all chopped ingredients in a medium bowl and blend gently with a fork. Add salt & pepper and Ranch dressing; blend again to mix.
SIMPLE GREEK SALAD
4 cups torn romaine lettuce
1 cup cucumber – peeled, seeded and chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 cup diced red onion
4 large black olives, quartered
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
In a large bowl, combine romaine, cucumber, tomato, red onion, and olives.
Whisk together the vinegar & oil and pour over salad mixture. Add salt & pepper and Feta. Toss together and serve.
For a healthy snack, try these Greek Salads on a stick. Simply layer sliced cucumber, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes and a black olive!