You know that salads can be an excellent way to get your 5-10 a day of vegetables. But yet, you rarely find yourself dishing them up come mealtime. For most people, when the word ‘salad’ is dropped, they tend to immediately experience great feelings of boredom coupled with a complete lack of excitement. Salads are often dubbed ‘diet food’ and anything ‘diet’ related is usually thought to be tasteless. When you learn to dress up your salad in a healthy manner however, they are anything but tasteless. In fact, salads can give you a number of healthy nutrients you need all while keeping your healthy eating plan in check. Let’s go over 10 great topping ideas that you should consider serving on your next salad. Try these and you’ll find you actually look forward to having that salad as a meal.
Blueberries are a perfect berry to add to a spinach salad as they’ll bring in color as well as nutrition. Often called the ‘brain berry’, blueberries are loaded with powerful antioxidants that will help enhance your memory, focus, and concentration. They’ll also help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and can boost your heart health as well. They’ll hardly add any calories to the salad, so sprinkle them on liberally.
For some added crunch to your salad, consider topping on some slivered almonds. Almonds are a rich source of healthy fats and in addition to that, will also pack in some protein along with dietary fiber. The slivered almond shape works excellent in salads and they’ll be easily eaten along with the other ingredients you add. You’ll also increase your intake of vitamin E by adding these, which is an antioxidant that will also help promote healthy skin, hair, and nails.
If you want to really add more sweetness to your salad in a healthy way, a tablespoon or two of dried cranberries will do just that. These are slightly higher in sugar and calories, so sprinkle them on with a lighter hand. That said, they too will offer great nutrition. Not only will you get a powerful source of antioxidants, perfect for helping to combat free radical damage, but cranberries are also well-known to assist with the prevention of urinary tract infections.
Fresh strawberries are another excellent berry to add to your salad. These can work well with blueberries or on their own entirely. Use them in a spinach salad along with some sliced red onions for a perfect combination that’s sure to please. Strawberries will bring in an excellent source of vitamin C, which will help to improve your immune system, leaving you feeling strong and healthy. These also only contain 47 calories per cup, so you can add quite a few without worrying about tallying many calories.
Cherry tomatoes work great in a romaine or spinach salad and will offer a powerful dose of lycopene, which can help reduce your risk of concern. Men will want to pay special attention to this addition as lycopene has been shown to help lower prostate cancer especially. Cherry tomatoes work perfectly in salads as they’re bite sized so you won’t have to worry about soggy lettuce, which would otherwise occur if you used sliced tomatoes instead. With their slightly sweeter taste, they also blend very well in just about any salad.
Cucumbers offer a refreshing addition to any salad they’re served with. As they’re virtually calorie free, you can add as many as you want, adding a little more crunch to the dish. Paired with fruit or used in a straight vegetables salad, they’re one you want to be using. You’ll benefit from their vitamin K, copper, potassium, biotin, and vitamin B1.
If you’re a cheese lover, you may be looking for a way to add cheese to your salad of choice. While regular cheddar cheese does tend to be quite high in fat so not the most ideal option, feta cheese is a smarter choice. Feta cheese will pack in some protein as well as calcium, so will help foster strong bone and muscle growth. Feta cheese is often used in Greek style salads, so consider pairing it together with some olives, which are another great addition to any salad.
Grilled Chicken Breast
For protein content, grilled chicken is a great way to go. If you are eating your salad as your main meal, it’s very important that you do add some protein to the dish otherwise it’ll be a very incomplete meal. Grilled chicken holds up well in just about any salad and works with so many different flavors. Choose a marinade for the chicken that matches the ingredients you plan to serve if desired.
Chicken is a lean source of protein containing only a couple grams of fat per serving and is also a good source of vitamin B3, selenium, vitamin B6, phosphorus, choline, and vitamin B12.
Hard Boiled Eggs
Another good source of protein to consider adding to your salads if desired is hard boiled eggs. Hard boiled eggs are easy to prepare and are great for keeping on hand so can be added any time you need a boost to your salad. Use them sliced along with tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce. Hard-boiled eggs will provide a small dose of saturated fat, which can be beneficial for keeping your sex hormones at optimal levels. Men especially need to consume some saturated fat in their diet for the manufacturing of testosterone. As long as you limit yourself to just one or two a day, you shouldn’t have to worry about any issues regarding cholesterol levels.
Finally, the last great addition to your salad is some kernel corn. This vegetable will bring some sweetness to the dish while also offering some added fiber and starchy carbohydrates. If you want more energy from your salad, corn is a perfect addition. Corn also offers great antioxidant benefits and can help to improve blood sugar regulation as well.
So next time you’re serving up a salad, don’t let yourself get bored. Try a few of these ten toppings and you’ll be loving the meal you’re sitting down to.
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