Leave behind ingredients that detract from the benefits of fruit and vegetables. Using them in moderation is key to getting the most nutritional value.
Although salads can be a highly nutritious dish and are socially viewed as one of the healthiest choices, the truth is that not all salads are. If you overdo it with fatty ingredients, your salad may exceed the number of daily calories you need and contribute to weight gain.
Ideally, your salad should be filled with colorful vegetables. Seasonings or other elements high in saturated fat or sodium should only be used in small amounts. The website Mejor Con Salud, from the newspaper AS, shows some foods that can be the base of a nutritious salad such as mango, carrots, lettuce, corn, or green apples.
All of these, in addition to tasting good, provide vitamins such as C, E, or the B complex. They are also a good source of fiber and minerals such as zinc, magnesium, iron, manganese, and carotenoids, which help lower cholesterol levels and offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a diet rich in fruit and vegetables can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, protect against certain types of cancer, and lower cholesterol. To achieve this, they offer some tips that can help you make your salad more consciously:
- Choose a green base. This could be lettuce, arugula, baby spinach, chard, watercress, basil, among others.
- Add any fruit or vegetable of your choice, preferably in season and local.
- Add either plant-based protein (legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, beans, soy protein) or low-fat animal protein (chicken, fish, eggs, lean cheeses such as ricotta, among others).
- Include a carbohydrate such as seeds, nuts, whole wheat croutons, corn or whole wheat tortillas, rice, quinoa, or whole wheat pasta.
- Choose low fat and low sodium dressings such as vinaigrettes, extra virgin olive oil, lime, or spices.
Can be interesting for you: Make salads easily and quickly