Eating a salad is a great way to incorporate fresh fruit and vegetables into our diet. Nutrients vary by the type of salad leaf (which makes the base of a salad). For instance lettuce which is a popular choice can be a source of vitamin A, folate and manganese and a good source of vitamin k. Salads are not only healthy and quick to prepare, but they are super versatile and convenient. Add olive oil, avocado and nuts to salad leaves to help aid nutrient absorption. If you’re interested in incorporating salads into to your diet, why not follow my six steps for creating the perfect healthy and delicious salad?
- 1. Choose your salad base, some choices are watercress, baby leaf salad, spinach, lettuce, iceberg, or rocket.
- 2. Add protein – such as grilled chicken breast, boiled egg, tuna (canned in water), salmon or feta/mozzarella cheese. Protein contains amino acids which contribute to growth and maintenance of lean muscle mass.
- 3. Add a rainbow of vegetables – such as cherry tomatoes, cucumber, beetroot, radish, celery, peppers and red onion. We should eat a ‘rainbow’ of foods to ensure that we are taking in a wide variety of different nutrients.
- 4. Add a slow release starchy carbohydrate such as brown rice, quinoa, whole meal pitta bread, sweet potatoes, granary bread or wholemeal pasta. Carbohydrate supplies our body with energy, needed for maintenance of normal brain function and fiber.
- 5. Add a light tasty dressing – such as olive oil and lemon juice. Homemade salad dressings add a fresher touch to your salads. If your making your own at home add the oil and vinegar in a 3:1 ratio along with any other ingredients such as lemon juice, black pepper, pesto, sweet chili sauce. Be wary of bottled dressings available at the super market, look out for the sugar and fat content when purchasing.
- 6. And finally add the finish touch by topping your salad with some olives, flaked almonds, avocados, sliced apple, nuts, pomegranate or anchovies.