Salads can be so much more than iceberg lettuce and shredded carrots. Salads should be delicious and nutritious – not boring and limp.
Today I want to share 8 greens that will boost both the taste and nutrition of your salads.
Salad Booster #1: Arugula
I’d describe arugula as “mustardy,” which helps to add flavor when you’re cutting down on salad dressing.
Arugula will also give you a good dose of calcium and magnesium.
Salad Booster #2: Watercress
Last night I had plum and chicken kabobs over a watercress salad. Delicious!
Watercress is a little peppery, and contains awesome phytochemicals that fight airborne pollutants like tobacco smoke and exhaust fumes.
Think of a watercress salad as a HEPA filter for your lungs.
(Update: One of my clients told me her grandmother used to crush watercress and feed it to her whenever she had a cold lodged in her chest. Grandmas rule!)
Salad Booster #3: Spinach
Spinach and I get along so well I have to remind myself to branch out and eat lots of other vegggies. I cook down as many as 8 cups of spinach into my morning eggs.
Spinach is a great source of both lutein and zeaxanthin – antioxidants that protect your eyes from aging.
A study from Tufts University found that eating spinach frequently lowers your risk of age-related macular degeneration by 43 percent.
Salad Booster #4: Romaine
Romaine tastes a little bit like celery, without the bother of strings getting caught in your teeth.
It is a good source of beta carotene (more than 700 micrograms per cup).
The University of Illinois showed that high levels of beta-carotene inhibits the growth of certain cancers by 50 percent.
Salad Booster #5: Kohlrabi
I didn’t like kohlrabi the first time I had it, but now I can’t get enough! It tastes like a cross between a cabbage and a turnip (seriously).
Kohlrabi has potassium (an essential element) to help lower your blood pressure.
You also get a dose of glucosinolate, a phytochemical that has been shown to help prevent some cancers. Cool!
Salad Booster #6: Endive
Crisp, slightly bitter, and full of fiber – endive is a great addition to any salad.
A cerving of endive also has plenty of folate: an essential B vitamin. People who don’t get enough folate have a 50% greater risk of developing heart disease.
Salad Booster #7: Bok Choy
Bok choy tastes a little like cabbage… but it has A LOT more vitamins!
You can get even more cancer-fighting, age-reducing phytochemicals from eating bok choy: flavonoids, isothiocyanates, and dithiolthione.
Salad Booster #8: Mustard Greens
This is advanced salading right here. Mustard greens are spicy, crunchy, and delicious. The only caaveat I have about them is to start off with small servings if you aren’t used to eating vegetables. Otherwise your digestive system might rebel!
Mustard greens are a good source of tyrosine, an amino acid that can help with both your memory and your concentration.
There you have it! 8 delicious ways to add more flavor and nutrition to your salads. Now for a bonus tip:
BONUS SALAD TIP
Most salad dressings are packed full of sugars, vegetable oils, and gummy coloring agents. Gross.
If you want to add some moisture and some flavor to your salads, add in some fruits and nuts.
I add a few raisins, a bit of chopped apple, and some chopped walnuts to my broccoli-watercress salads. Mmmmmm…
Other good moisture/flavor additions to a salad are: cucumbers, berries, bell peppers, chopped dried fruits, and meat.
Have fun and eat some delicious salads!