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Top 8 Ways to Add Nutrition to Salads

Putting just any old salad on your plate doesn’t mean you are eating healthy. What is in your salad does make a difference. When you order salads at a restaurant, for example, you may get an entrée that is filled with fat and calories, and lacking in nutrients.

Learn what you should add and what you should avoid to make your salads as healthy as possible.

1. Eggs

Eggs are a very healthy choice, because they not only add a lot of protein for few calories, but they contain high levels of carotenoids—up to 500% more than many vegetables. These antioxidants can help prevent certain cancers and improve eye health.

2. Mixed greens

Green lettuce contains antioxidants and have a more significant effect on neutralizing free radicals, as compared to red lettuces. Using a variety of greens can have the best effect.

3. Homemade dressings

Making your own dressing is extremely simple and helps you avoid many of the ingredients in prepared dressings that you do not want to be eating. Use simple ingredients, like balsamic vinegar, fresh herbs, and olive oil, and you will have less sugar and chemicals in your salad.

4. Use nuts instead of croutons

Most people like a little crunch in their salad, but choosing nuts packs a nutritional punch. Croutons don’t add much in the way of nutrients, but nuts give proteins and fatty acids that boost the nutritional value of the salad. Nuts will also keep you feeling satisfied for longer.

5. Add kale

Kale seems to be taking over as the latest health food craze, but there are other greens that are just as healthy, if not more. Opt for Chinese cabbage, chard, beet greens, spinach, watercress, or even romaine lettuce for just about the same (or more nutritional benefit). If you love kale, go ahead and indulge, there are certainly plenty of benefits—just don’t avoid other greens thinking you are making a much healthier choice.

6. Skip the raw sprouts

Even though raw sprouts are good for you, there have been a lot of recalls every year and they may pose a safety risk because of contamination. If you like the crisp freshness, pick snap peas instead.

7. Add full-fat dairy

If you love cheese, don’t fear the full-fat varieties. A recent study showed that full fat dairy products may help to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, as compared with non-fat and low fat dairy products. Remember, the full fat versions usually are more flavourful, and you need to add less to get the same tasty effect.

8. Think about fruit

Adding raisins and dried cranberries is popular, but this adds quite a bit of sugar—up to 40 grams in a half cup. Instead, consider adding sliced grapes or pomegranate arils, which have only about 12 grams of sugar in the same amount.

Boost the nutritional value of your salad with these tasty and healthy tips!