It’s no secret that we love our greens. Including leafy greens in your diet is vital to ensuring your food is actually healthy for you! Leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables top the list when it comes to the most nutrient-dense veggies out there.
Leafy greens should be a staple in your diet -- so much so that we recommend making salad the main dish! Whether you are trying to lose weight, reverse chronic disease, or just optimize your health, a salad a day can help you achieve your goals.
Because leafy greens are so nutrient-dense and low-calorie, you can eat as much as you want without having to worry about overeating. A large salad with other raw veggies will promote satiety due to fiber.
Make sure your salad is the first thing you eat at lunch and/or dinner. By making it the first (and main!) part of your meal, you will have less room for possibly less healthy options and you will most likely consume fewer overall calories during that meal. This is key if you are trying to lose weight through healthy eating!
A word of caution: a salad is only as healthy as you make it. If you grab kale, onions, and mushrooms, you are off to a great start. But if you add an oily dressing, croutons, and other high-calorie toppings, you won’t be doing your body as big of a favor and may not see the numbers on your scale move.
To maximize the benefits of your salads, try making a homemade dressing, preferably one that is nut or seed-based. According to Dr. Fuhrman, dressing with healthy fats will help your body absorb the phytochemicals from the leafy greens -- just pass on the oil. If you have a high-speed blender, making your own dressings is easy! Try one of our salad dressing recipes, like our healthy caesar salad dressing, thousand island dressing, or orange peanut dressing.
There are endless options when it comes to salad! You don’t have to get bored by making salad the main dish. Try one of these delicious, healthy salad ideas:
HFN Signature Salad - This amazingly well balanced, nutritious salad is filled with greens, mushrooms, onions, berries, nuts, and seeds.
Garbanzo Bean and Apple Salad - Garbanzo beans, cherry tomatoes, red bliss potatoes and Brazil nuts bedded atop a beautiful field of spring mix.
Mango and Mixed Greens Salad - A refreshing salad with sweet mango that will take you to the tropics.
Quinoa, Beet, and Arugula Salad - Change things up a bit by adding quinoa to this great salad.
Jamaican Me Crazy Salad - A delicious combo of crisp romaine, fresh corn, black beans, scallions, tomato, cilantro, and cucumber all topped with homemade mango salsa.
What are your favorite salad recipes? Let us know in the comments below!