Turn Your Salads from Flab to Fab

When you think of healthy foods, you probably think of salads. The demand of salads has grown over the years; fast food restaurants now have several salads on the menu. I used to hate salads when I was younger. Now, that I am older and wiser, I have discovered how delicious salads are. Next time you find yourself in a bind on how to spruce up your salad follow these tips.

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Essential Greens

All salads need to have leafy greens; they are the foundation of a salad. I use at least 3 different leafy greens to add more flavors. The USDA recommends consuming 3 cups of leafy greens a week, and salads are a great way to meet this recommendation. Leafy greens are also healthy and can help prevent chronic illness like Type II Diabetes. Salads are easy because there is no cooking required, just need to wash your greens and you are good to go.

Here is a list of greens you can add you salads:

  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Red Cabbage
  • Arugula
  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • Collard Greens

Vegetables and Fruits

Any fab salad would have an array of colors in it. Vegetables and fruits are a great way to add color. Vegetables are a great source to add more fiber and nutrients to your salads. I love adding fruit to my salads because they add a sweet factor to them. There are plenty of veggies and fruits and I the sky is the limit and choose several to add. I love strawberries and cucumbers in my salads.

Bean-uitful

A flab salad consists of little ingredients that will not fill your appetite. Adding beans to your salad will add protein and make you feel satisfied I throw in chickpeas and it instantly turns into a fab salad. Once I started to add beans into my salads I noticed I wasn’t hungry as fast. This is another way to get more protein instead of basic chicken. It’s easy, just open a can of beans and rinse them and you are good to go.

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Add some protein in your salad with some beans. Photo:Milada Vigerova

Go Nuts

Add some crunch to your salads with nuts. They add a different texture; it is nice to have something crunchy in salads. I pick one type of nut depending on the type of salad I am making. Walnuts are easy to chew whole, but whole Almonds were not made for salads. However, you can buy slice Almonds that would be easier to eat with a salad. Nuts are also a good source of healthy protein and good fats. I mean can you ask for anything else?

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Add some crunch to your salad with nuts. Photo:Juan José Valencia Antía

Nuts to try:

  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pecans
  • Pistachios

Dress It Up

One girl who I ate lunch with in high school never put dressing on her salads. I think there is something wrong with her because that’s the best part! I do not like cream-based dressings because they tend to be high in calories and fat. The whole point of eating a salad is to be healthier, so I opt for vinaigrettes. There are varieties of dressings out there from a classic like Italian or exotic like Honey Sriracha. Either one will add some flavor to your salad. I am all about making healthy easy and I don’t see why you can buy salad dressings. Don’t be afraid to try a dressing that might not think you like. It may surprise you and take a salad from blah to fab.

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Vinaigrettes are healthier than cream-based dressings. Photorawpixel.com

Following these tips will turn any flab salad into a fabulous nutrient dense meal. Salads can be anything you want it to be; do not be afraid to experiment with a new dressing or vegetable. I eat salads at least twice a week and never get bored with them. Their taste change, because you have the freedom to add different flavor foods. Next time you are at the grocery store, pick up some of the foods I mentioned and make a fabulous salad.

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