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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 15, 2018

                                            7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                                            7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                                            Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

                                            Video Summary

                                            Why is it important to train up our core strength?

                                            There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

                                            This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

                                            Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

                                            In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

                                            One Exercise, multiple benefits

                                            There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

                                            By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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                                            When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

                                            Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

                                            In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

                                            What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

                                            What will happen when you start doing planks every day

                                              1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

                                              Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

                                              • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
                                              • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
                                              • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
                                              • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

                                              2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                                                Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                                                Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                                                3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                                                  Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                                                  4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                                                    Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                                                    A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                                                    A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                                                    On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                                                    5. You’ll improve overall balance

                                                      Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                                                      6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                                                        Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                                                        7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                                                          Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                                                          How to hold a plank position

                                                          1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                                                          2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                                                          3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                                                          4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                                                          5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                                                          6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                                                          7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                                                          Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                                                          Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                                                            How to improve your plank time gradually

                                                            1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                                                            2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                                                            3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                                                            Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                                                            Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                                                            You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                                                            • Prolapse
                                                            • After prolapse surgery
                                                            • Pelvic pain conditions
                                                            • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                                                            • Previous childbirth
                                                            • Overweight

                                                            Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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