If I had a dollar for every time someone told me “I can’t go on a diet because I hate salads” I’d be a very wealthy woman! Indeed, salads are among the most common go-to dieting foods for people who are trying to lose weight or even maintain a weight loss. Problem is, many fall into the same ole rut of adding fat-free dressing to a big bowl of mixed greens and all-purpose garden vegetables like tomato, cucumber, and shredded carrots.
Although I’m an absolute sucker for a good salad, if I found myself constantly chomping on bland, boring and flavorless blends day in and day out, I’d probably hate them too.
But, this isn’t at all the case!
In fact, if you know me personally or even follow me on social media, you’ve likely recognized that my salad creations are quite flamboyant and far from bland, boring or flavorless. Since I generally eat one large meal a day, I always incorporate a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods into my salads in order to maintain the sustenance necessary for staying in good health and great shape.
Doing so definitely creates endless options and ideas for food pairing.
So, if you’re becoming increasingly bored with eating the same old salads, try these eight easy tips for building more exciting, wholesome and delicious blends that are well balanced in good carbohydrates, healthy fats, high-quality protein and a ton of essential micronutrients.
Cram in Lots of Leafy Green Vegetables
Salads are without a doubt the absolute best way to get more leafy green veggies in your diet. Leafy greens are exceptionally low in calories and rich in dietary fiber, antioxidant vitamins (A, C, and E), vitamin K, potassium, and the powerful bone-building mineral calcium. Some great choices include kale, spinach, and Swiss chard. If you’d rather use lettuce greens, opt for romaine or loose-leaf, as darker lettuces tend to house the most nutrients.
Add Moderate Amounts of Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are naturally high in fiber, healthy fats, vegan-friendly protein, and numerous health-promoting phytonutrients (phenols and phytosterols), which are collective known to support heart health. For salads, you have a wide variety to choose from including almonds, walnuts, pecans, chia seeds, and flaxseeds. Although all nuts and seeds are rich in valuable nutrients, they’re also relatively high in calories so be sure to monitor your portions.
Create a Colorful Cruciferous Concoction
You can add a little texture and a whole lot of nutrients to any salad by including cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, bok choy, and red cabbage. These veggies contain large amounts of isothiocyanates and indoles, which are potent cancer-fighting phytonutrients that are released when they are chewed. Cruciferous vegetables are also incredibly low in calories so go ahead and indulge freely without the guilt.
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