How to Make a Healthy Salad
If your New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight or eat healthier then listen up to this blog post.. here are my top tips on how you can create the perfect healthy and tasty salad!
I have a few salad recipes already on my blog and youtube channel and will be posting another this Sunday (check out the picture below!) when I show you three of my healthy lunch ideas for work. For more salad inspiration though check out the Salad Days “Make More of Salad” website – they have so many to choose from and all have the “Nic’s Nutrition approval” !!
Eating salad is a great way to incorporate fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet (we are advised to eat at least five 80g portions of fruit, vegetables or salad a day). Nutrients vary by the type of salad leaf, but lettuce can be a source of vitamin A, folate and manganese, and a good source of vitamin K. There is also evidence to suggest that people who eat salads with a meal actually eat fewer calories overall, whilst still feeling satisfied. What better excuse to tuck into a salad!
Salads are not only healthy and quick to prepare, but they are super versatile (a lunch or dinner will never get boring!) and convenient. Add olive oil, avocado and nuts to salad leaves to help aid nutrient absorption.
So, here are my 6 Steps for creating the perfect Healthy and Delicious Salad:
- Choose your salad base, for example watercress, baby leaf salad, spinach, lambs lettuce, iceberg, herb salad, rocket or pea shoots.
- Add protein – such as grilled chicken breast, boiled egg, tuna (canned in water), salmon or feta cheese. Protein contains amino acids, which contribute to the growth and maintenance of lean muscle mass.
- Add a rainbow of vegetables – such as cherry tomatoes, cucumber, beetroot, radishes, celery, pepper or red onion. We should eat a ‘rainbow’ of foods to ensure that we eat a wide variety of different nutrients.
- Add a slow release starchy carbohydrate – such as brown basmati rice, quinoa, wholemeal pitta bread, sweet potato, granary bread or wholemeal pasta. Carbohydrate supplies our body with energy, needed for the maintenance of normal brain function.
- Add a light, tasty dressing – such as olive oil & lemon juice, pesto, balsamic vinegar, sweet chilli sauce (check the first ingredient isn’t sugar!), light mayonnaise & black pepper or a light French dressing.
- And finally, jazz it up with toppings – such as olives, avocado, flaked almonds, apple pieces, raisins, cashews, pine nuts, toasted walnuts, anchovies or pomegranate seeds.
I really hope you find this blog post useful.. what are your top tips for the perfect salad?!
*The Salad Days Make More of Salad campaign aims to highlight the benefits of eating leafy salads and encourage more frequent consumption. This campaign is financed with aid from the European Union.