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You Won’t Believe These Pasta Dishes Are All Under 500 Calories!

You Won’t Believe These Pasta Dishes Are All Under 500 Calories!

Pasta is one of the most versatile foods in the world. On its own, it is bland and quite tasteless, but these characteristics also make it the perfect ingredient for adding virtually anything to. It can suit vegetarian, vegan and even gluten free diets.

Despite pasta being branded as unhealthy in the past due to its level of carbohydrates, it is actually relatively healthy, with only about 131 calories per 100 grams. Also, depending on what you eat with your pasta, you can increase the health benefits, for example, a pasta salad that is full of green vegetables can be a healthy and filling meal. A healthy pasta salad will also leave you feeling less bloated than some other pasta dishes.

So, here are 20+ under 500 calorie healthy pasta salad recipes you can try at home:

1. Broccoli And Ham Pasta Salad

    Broccoli is said to have many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties on top of all its other nutritional benefits. This salad is only 343 calories per serving and quick and easy to prepare.

    2. Greek Pasta Salad

      This vegetarian salad is only 480 calories per serving. The chick peas provide a great way to incorporate some protein.

      3. Antipasto Pasta Salad

        At only 451 calories per serving, this pasta salad is perfect for those who love meat but want some healthier ways to include it in your diet.

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        4. Mexican Pasta Salad With Creamy Avocado Dressing

          For those who love the taste of guacamole, this creamy salad ticks all the boxes while only being 290 calories per serving. Avocado is also rich in nutrients, healthy fats and fiber.

          5. Tuna And Vegetable Pasta Salad

            Tuna fish has very high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which help to reduce cholesterol in our blood vessels and arteries. This salad is quick and easy to make and only 275 calories.

            6. Pesto Pasta Salad With Sun Dried Tomatoes And Asparagus

              Asparagus is a great source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, E and K and many other nutrients, including iron and fiber. This salad is also only 474 calories per serving.

              7. Kale Caesar Pasta Salad

                Kale is a well known superfood. It is low in calories and fat and high in fiber and iron, as well as a lot of other nutrients. This super healthy pasta salad is also only 390 calories per serving.

                8. Pasta Salad With Parsley Pesto And Two Squashes

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                  This colorful pasta salad is only 159 calories per serving. It is also suitable for vegans and full of healthy vegetables.

                  9. Creamy Pasta Salad With Shrimp And Tomatoes

                    It can be tricky to find a shrimp pasta salad that is low in calories, especially a creamy one. However, this pasta salad is only 259 calories per serving.

                    10. BLT Pasta Salad

                      This salad is a lovely twist on the classic BLT sandwich, and at an astonishing 72 calories per serving, it’s probably healthier too.

                      11. Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

                        If you’re a fan of the classic chicken caesar salad, then here it with a slight addition. The pasta also makes the salad more filling while only being 375 calories per serving.

                        12. Spinach Pasta Salad

                          Spinach is well known for its health benefits. It is high in iron and low in fat and cholesterol amongst many other benefits. This pasta salad is also only 230 calories per serving.

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                          13. Sweet And Tangy Pasta Salad

                            This vegetarian pasta salad is light yet packed with protein, perfect for a light lunch. It is also only 90 calories per serving.

                            14. Quorn Sausage, Rocket And Roasted Pepper Pasta Salad

                              Quorn sausage is a great alternative if you are vegetarian, or even if you just want a healthier alternative to meat sausage. This pasta salad is only 379 calories per serving.

                              15. Lemony Salmon And Dill Pasta Salad

                                Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, high in vitamins and is a great source of protein amongst many other health benefits. This pasta salad is also only 414 calories per serving.

                                16. Mandarin Pasta Spinach Salad With Teriyaki Dressing

                                  An Asian inspired pasta salad that is only 377 calories per serving. The cashew nuts in this salad are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

                                  17. Penne With Brussels Sprouts And Bok Choy

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                                    Brussels sprouts are a great source of nutrients and vitamins, including vitamin C and potassium. This healthy pasta salad is only 127 calories per serving.

                                    18. Beefy Pasta Salad

                                      This filling pasta salad is a great way to use up some leftover beef. Plus, it is only 322 calories per serving.

                                      19. Pasta Salad With Walnuts And Peppers

                                        This colorful salad is only 268 calories per serving. Walnuts are also a great source of omega-3 essential fatty acids and antioxidants.

                                        20. Ginger Shrimp And Vermicelli Salad

                                          An Asian inspired pasta salad that is a slight alternative to the traditional pastas usually found in pasta salads. It is only 356 calories per serving.

                                          21. Caribbean Couscous Salad

                                            At only 156 calories per serving, this colorful couscous salad is perfect for a summer day. The mango in the salad is full of vitamin C and fiber, while the black beans are rich in potassium and other nutrients.

                                            With the versatility of pasta salads and how quick and easy they are to make, why don’t you use some of these recipe ideas to invent your own? You will be the go-to person at summer picnics!

                                            Featured photo credit: Jamie Oliver via jamieoliver.com

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                                            Sheena Vincent

                                            Freelance Writer

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                                            Last Updated on August 12, 2019

                                            12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

                                            12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

                                            Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

                                            But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

                                            I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

                                            Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

                                            1. Nuts

                                            The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

                                            Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

                                            Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

                                            Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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                                            2. Blueberries

                                            Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

                                            When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

                                            3. Tomatoes

                                            Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

                                            4. Broccoli

                                            While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

                                            Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

                                            Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

                                            5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

                                            Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

                                            The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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                                            Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

                                            6. Soy

                                            Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

                                            Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

                                            Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

                                            7. Dark Chocolate

                                            When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

                                            Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

                                            8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

                                            Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

                                            B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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                                            Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

                                            Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

                                            To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

                                            9. Foods Rich in Zinc

                                            Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

                                            Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

                                            Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

                                            10. Gingko Biloba

                                            This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

                                            It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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                                            However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

                                            11. Green and Black Tea

                                            Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

                                            Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

                                            Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

                                            12. Sage and Rosemary

                                            Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

                                            Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

                                            When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

                                            More About Boosting Brain Power

                                            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                                            Reference

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