How to Make a Healthy Salad Part 1
Salads are an absolutely fabulous way to add some very healthy foods into your diet. There are heaps of delicious foods that you can add to your salad to ensure that you feel full and satisfied. These are our tips on how to make a healthy salad.
How to Make a Healthy Salad
A salad is so much more than lettuce and spinach with a couple of tomatoes and cucumber. When made correctly, a salad can be a meal. It can be filling, delicious, and satisfying.
When building a salad, it is a great idea to think about it in sections. Each section has a key role within the salad to ensure that you are building a well-balanced, filling salad.
We have designed a salad map that has three key sections to guide you. There is a Green, Orange, and Red Section. Each section has a purpose and important to really consider how each part can support your body and your general health.
First you start with the Green Section. This is the ‘green for go’ section. This is where you need to add as many leafy greens as you like! Greens are the basis of a great healthy salad.
What greens should I use?
It can be over whelming when you start thinking of all the ‘greens’ you can add to your salads. I recommend using a range of greens and mixing them up each day.
The wider variety of greens you can use throughout a week, the greater range of nutrients you will be adding to your body.
Some greens you may like to use:
The darker the green the better, and spinach is defiantly one of those darker leafy greens. Spinach is available in both baby and fully grown.
The baby spinach has a lighter color leaf and has almost no taste. The full grown spinach plant is slightly darker and has a slightly stronger taste. Both are great for salads.
Contains: vitamins B, C, K and folic acid, iron
Lettuce comes in a range of types – cos, romaine, iceberg, and more!
Lettuce actually has a lot of water mass and less vitamins and minerals than spinach, however it still contains health promoting properties.
Due to its high water content it is very refreshing on a hot day. Lettuce is a great way to bulk out your salad and to add some crispness to it.
Contains: vitamin C, folic acid, and calcium
The secret super food that no one really talks about! Broccoli is full of amazing health benefits.
Adding it raw to a salad as a yummy bitter taste. And, if you do not like the taste of raw broccoli, you can steam and cool then add to your salad.
Contains: vitamins C and K, folic acid, antioxidants, promotes collagen
Similar to broccoli, cabbage can be added raw or cooked to a salad. Raw cabbage does have a strong taste; it also has a strong crunch!
Finely chop cabbage to add a fresh crunch to your salad. If you are following a high fat diet such as Keto, consider cooking your cabbage in butter then adding it to the salad.
Contains: vitamin C and K, supports heart health, lowers blood sugars, supports digestion
Also known as swiss chard or silver beet, this is a very dark green vegetable. As I mentioned above, darker the greens, the more nutrient rich it is. Chard does not disappoint in the nutrient category!
It does have a ‘tough’ leaf and it has an acquired taste. Similar to the cabbage, you can steam prior to adding it to the salad. Another option is to ‘massage’ it with olive oil to soften the leaf before adding it raw.
Contains: vitamin A,C and K, iron, fiber, potassium, magnesium
Kale is very similar to chard; it is a dark ‘tough’ leafy green. Kale can be steamed and cooled or chopped straight into the salad. Kale can also be ‘massaged’ with some olive oil to soften prior to cutting.
Contains: vitamin A,C and K, protein, fiber, folic acid
CHOP CHOP CHOP
When you are adding your leafy greens, it is very important that you chop them. This is important for a couple of reasons.
First of all, when you chop plants, it draws out the good properties within them. This is why the fresher the greens are, the better. This is because as soon as you chop them (or break them from the root system) it begins decreasing in its high quality health properties.
The second reason to chop your greens, is to help with the chewing process.
When we chew, we only get one chance to break down our food. Once the food moves past our mouth and into the throat and stomach, we no longer have any control over how the food is broken down.
Unfortunately, now days we are all in a hurry and want to rush down our meal as quick as we can so that we can move on to the next job. This means that we are not chewing our food as much as our body needs us to.
So help your body out and chop up your food prior to eating.
Next you will need to add an assortment of vegetables to your salad. If you are following the Keto Diet it is important to look for low carb vegetables. Here are some vegetables you may like to experiment with:
- Yellow and Red Peppers
- Onion – red and brown
Once you have added a range of Green Section vegetables, it is now time to move to the orange section. This is where you will add your next level of foods to your salads.