I have something to confess, I am a “salad fundamentalist”.
What does that mean exactly? It means I eat salads everyday for lunch and dinner and love every minute of it and I strongly believe in all it’s benefits and powers.
I do try to share my love for salads with a lot of people but most just don’t get it. To a lot of people salads are not “fun” but simply just some veggies you put together in a bowl to make you feel like you did a little something about your health and something you can make sure you remember to brag to your mom about.
So here I go – salads are much more than that.
Here are some salad benefits:
1. It’s a great and easy way to introduce raw and fresh food into our diet
2. There are endless combinations you can choose to get the most of your vitamins and nutrients from a salad.
3. It’s the perfect detox meal to help you eliminate toxins
4. Salads are great to help you lose weight
Do I have your attention a little at least?
And here’s the deal – salads can actually be really yummy. They don’t have to be as bland or boring and you imagine it to be.
How is that? By adding some of the yummy 7 ingredients below. I promise they will make you look at salads a whole new way, enjoy the experience and notice a huge difference, and even experience all the benefits that it’s touted out to be.
Ready for a delicious salad? Read on.
Seeds are awesome. They add a “crunch” to any salad plus they are full of nutrients and minerals that are good for your body. I keep a jar with a mix of chia, flax, sesame and sunflower seeds. They are different in size and texture and make my salad more “playful” when combined. You can try them all together or add them as separate, as as when you wish.
Fruits are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, fiber, vitamin C and folate (folic acid). Plus they add a very unique flavor to any regular salad. You can try adding green pears or green apples to get a little bit of an acidic flavor or if you have a sweet tooth you can try adding a couple of strawberries or diced mango.
This is my favorite because by adding an egg to your salad you are adding protein to your diet plus it fills you for longer rather than a plain green salad would. Try it!
Another of my favorites. It’s a great source of omega-3 fats. Also, it is relatively inexpensive and keeps for quite a while in the pantry, making tuna a convenient protein source when you need a quick meal.
Bell peppers are low in calories, so even if you eat one full cup of them, you get just about 45 calories. Studies show that it reduces “bad” cholesterol, controls diabetes, brings relief from pain and eases inflammation. They also make your green salad look nice and pretty with their rich color.
Nearly all legumes provide protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron, zinc, magnesium and potassium, and mature legumes tend to be particularly rich in these sources. My favorite of all times is lentils – just a couple of spoonful of legumes added to your salad you will create a more nutritious and filling dish.
Packed with protein, fibre and essential fats, nuts are something almost everyone loves. Adding a couple of almonds, pecans or pistachios can skyrocket your salad and take the flavor to another level. Tip: for a health kick, always add raw nuts.
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P.S. Here’s a great image to have handy to help you pair main ingredients for your salads to balance sweet, salty, sour and bitter flavors.