A person who follows a healthy diet has to have salads as part of their meal. Power salads are even better as they are packed with enough nutrition to get you through the day.
Of course not all salads are nutritious. Some are high calorie and laden with fatty dressings, cheese and fried ingredients.
Luckily, when you decide to have “just a salad” at home, you can easily make all the right choices to keep it healthy and satisfying. Just remember these four key elements:
- Foundation – The greens
Combine different types of greens to balance textures and flavors. Try tender and mild Boston lettuce with crisp romaine and bold escarole. The reason to adding a bulk of greens is that they are full of fiber and aid in the digestion process.
- The palette – Crunch, flavor and color
Add plenty of vegetables for crunch, flavor and color. The more colors of vegetables you add, the more disease-fighting nutrients you get.
Foods in the blue/purple/deep red range such as radishes and eggplant provide anthocyanins and proanthocyanidinswhich are associated with keeping the heart and brain functioning healthy and functioning well.
- Fuel – Protein
Studies show eating protein helps you feel full longer. You can add this protein in the form of lean meats like chicken, ham, turkey, fish or legumes.
Do not forget to include starches such as potatoes,brown rice, whole-wheat croutons or whole-wheat pasta, all of which add nutrients and staying power.
Fats in the dressing make it easier for you to absorb fat-soluble nutrients. Opt for heart healthy unsaturated fats like olive or canola oil instead of soy oil or sunflower oil which are found in most bottled dressings and are full of omega-6 fatty acids.
Toss that salad keeping in mind these 4 tips and you have a healthy meal in front of you.