Advertising
Advertising

10 Astonishingly Healthy Salad Ingredients You’re Probably Missing Out On

10 Astonishingly Healthy Salad Ingredients You’re Probably Missing Out On

Everyone knows that a healthy salad is a great way to pack in those all-important servings of vegetables. However, just sticking to the simple lettuce, tomato and carrot routine really isn’t doing you any favors. There’s a whole world of salad opportunity out there, and some additions to your healthy salad ingredients can actually give you a huge nutritional boost. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to big up your salad bowl, try investigating these surprisingly simple yet astoundingly healthy additions.

1. Edamame

edamame

    If you’re a lover of Japanese cuisine, chances are you’ve already been munching on these little babies at your favorite sushi palace. However, did you know they’re also a nutritional powerhouse? One cup means you’ve just gotten 20–40% of your daily intake of protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, thiamin, folate and vitamin K. These are regularly sold in the frozen section of many supermarkets now, meaning you can just steam them up, slide them out of their pods (the pods aren’t edible) and start chowing down. Delicious and nutritious? We’re definitely down with that.

    2. Coconut Oil

    Advertising

    coconut

      If you’re one of those clever health nuts that makes their own salad dressings, you’ve probably come to rely on your old pal, olive oil. However, did you know that coconut oil actually has some excellent healthy benefits you might be missing out on? This little wonder can boost your thyroid function, help to rev up your metabolism, energy and endurance. It’s also great for those with digestive problems. If you’re worried about your cholesterol, coconut oil is also excellent for boosting the good HDL’s in your bloodstream, bringing your cholesterol ratio levels into check. Just because you’re using coconut oil doesn’t mean that you’re salad is going to always taste like a suntan, either. There are new liquid versions on the market that are flavorless and odorless, giving you all of the benefits without all the tropical breezes.

      3. Seeds

      sunflower seeds

        Sunflower, chia, sesame, pumpkin, flax and pomegranate seeds all make an excellent, crunchy topper to your salad. But did you know you’re also getting a mega-dose of nutrients right along with that flavor? Eating more seeds has been bubbling up with those in the nutritional know for the past several years as a great way to get a big dose of fiber, omega-3’s and protein for very little caloric intake. According to some weight loss experts, getting more fiber in your diet is a big key to boosting your metabolism. While we’re not recommending you go out and start eating your Chia Pet for the nutritional benefits; instead, try looking in your local health food shop for a wide assortment.

        4. Beans

        Advertising

        beans

          One of the world’s cheapest sources of protein and fiber, beans can keep you full until dinnertime and steer you away from that afternoon cookie craving. While occasionally buying beans dry and soaking them overnight is more economical, having a selection of canned beans on hand means you’re never without a buddy for your salad. Try marinating them as a salad on their own, or even create you’re very own vegan bean burger to crumble on top for a super-filling lunch or dinner. Don’t be afraid to try mixing it up, either. Chickpeas, black beans and kidney beans are all very much at home in a salad, and a cheap and healthy alternative to meat.

          5. Nuts

          nuts2

            If you’re one of the millions of people who are allergic to nuts, then you may just want to go ahead and skip this section. However, if you’re just fine with a handful of nuts, then jump on board and get sprinkling. Nuts are full of vitamin E and other essential nutrients that are great for your skin. They’re also terrific for filling you up and giving you an important boost of protein in your salad. A hot tip: look for nuts that are unsalted and as close to their raw state as possible for the maximum nutritional benefit (i.e. unroasted). Some particularly great salad pals include walnuts, almonds and even chopped peanuts to get an Asian-salad thing working.

            6. Spinach

            Advertising

            spinach

              Do you really think Popeye would lie to you? Swapping out your regular, nutritionally sparse iceberg lettuce for something more interesting like spinach can really turn your salad around. Loaded with iron, another surprisingly benefit from this leafy green is that’s it’s also outstanding for those who have skin problems, as it’s loaded with nutrients for healthy skin. Not sure you’re ready for the change? Try a mix of spinach with your favorite lettuces to get yourself into the nutritional groove.

              7. Cabbage

              cabbage

                While we’re on the topic of mixing up your leaves, then now’s as good a time as any to turn an eye to the much-maligned but incredibly delicious cabbage. Cabbage comes in all sorts of colors, including purple, white and green, meaning you can pretty up your salad into an eye catching lunch or dinner you can’t wait to dive into. Eating cabbage is also somewhat like taking a multivitamin, as it’s loaded with goodies like calcium, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, iron and magnesium. It’s also so low in calories, it almost shouldn’t count. Try marinating thinly sliced cabbage with the juice of 1/2 a lemon, a spoonful or two of tahini, some fresh garlic and a little olive oil for a truly Middle Eastern delight.

                8. Avocado

                Advertising

                avocado

                  We’ve already been over how mind-blowingly delicious and super-nutritious these little fruits are in previous articles, but are you remembering that all that goodness can also fit into your salad bowl? Loaded with heart-boosting mono-unsaturated fat, a great source of fiber and teeming with over 20 essential vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, just simply throwing a chopped avocado in with your usual salad can really give you a huge boost. Additionally, you can make excellent dressings by using avocado, thus cutting out most of the fat and calories in your bowl.

                  9. Kale

                  Kale

                    Kale’s been the frontrunner in the superfood stakes of late, and deservedly so. As a dark, leafy green, it’s one of the foods you should be eating regularly, and working it into your salad routine isn’t hard at all once you’ve got the knack. Eating a cup of kale is like getting a direct shot of important antioxidants, iron, vitamin K and other important nutritional benefits. It’s also low in calories and high in important fiber. Try adding it chopped and raw to your salad mix, or you can even try crumbling kale chips on top of your salad for added crunch. Finally, you can even make a dressing out of it that’s somewhat in line with pesto. Just try loosening it with a little extra oil or even some added lemon juice.

                    10. Quinoa

                    quinoa

                      One of the best things you can do for your salad (and to keep yourself interested in eating healthy) is to look for textural contrasts, great colors and different flavors. Quinoa can help you check all of these boxes, giving a slightly nutty taste while diversifying your salad plate. Though it’s often referred to as a healthy whole grain, it’s actually a sprouted seed. It’s also the most perfect food for those looking to pack in the protein, particularly vegetarians and vegans, as it has the full range of the 9 amino acids to make it a complete protein. If you’ve never made quinoa before, try watching this tutorial video for getting it right every single time, then start playing with your flavors. It can go sweet or savory, making it not only the perfect healthy salad addition, but also a great anytime snack.

                      More by this author

                      Party Perfection: 9 Easy Mezze Dishes Quick And Easy Green Bean Casserole Recipe 5 Easy Homemade Pickles Anyone Can Make The 10 Best Global Meatball Recipes… EVER 10 Global Healthy Grilled Recipes To Light Your Summer Fire

                      Trending in Lifestyle

                      1 60 Workout Motivation Quotes for Tough Workouts 2 Coffee Vs Energy Drinks: Why Coffee Gives You A Better Boost 3 The 20 Most Creative Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You 4 20 Unusual Uses for Coca-Cola That You’ve Never Considered 5 8 of the Best Places to Buy Used Goods Online

                      Read Next

                      Advertising
                      Advertising
                      Advertising

                      Last Updated on February 11, 2021

                      The 20 Most Creative Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You

                      The 20 Most Creative Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You

                      Instagram allows you to see exactly what inspires people and how creativity is drawn from their everyday life. We use Instagram to capture what makes us smile, what brings joy to our life, and what we are passionate about, and the accounts listed below are sure to inspire you in turn.

                      Here are our 20 top creative Instagram accounts that you should be following today.

                      1. Humans Of New York

                      Brandon Stanton walks the streets of New York City taking street photography, and he gets his subjects to open up about life details that even many family members may not know about them. It makes you smile and connect with the images at a new level.

                       2.  Paris in Four Months

                      Carin Olsson moved to Paris and is documenting every part of her experience, from the macaroons to the Eiffel Tower with all of its shimmering lights. If you want to go to Paris but can’t get there today, Carin will take you.

                      3. Civilized Caveman Cooking

                      George Bryant offers up more than his love for cooking Paleo cuisine as he shares more about life, joy, and happiness. His coined hashtag is #hugsandbacon.

                      4. Andrew Knapp

                      Andrew has taken the world by storm with his adorable version of Where’s Waldo? His version is Find Momo, and stars his border collie.

                      Advertising

                      5. Idafrosk

                      Ida Skivenes has developed a knack for food art. From the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Strawberry Fields Forever, she has recreated it all with food.

                      6. GrandmaBetty33

                      Grandma Betty is fighting cancer and is inspiring others to smile and be happy in life. She brings a smile to your face instantly and is like having your grandma right beside you.

                      7. Maya_on_the_Move

                      Tania Ahsan captures the world of her cute bulldog, Maya, on her adventures in New York. Maya makes appearances that will make you smile, laugh, and inspire you to go out and create something special.

                      Advertising

                      8. Leoleoparis

                      Leo captures the life on the streets of Paris. Most of his work is done in black and white, offering that iconic Parisian look.

                      9. Jacob Santiago

                      Jacob Santiago creates stunning, vibrant images around New York City, showcasing the architecture and streets. I’m sure you haven’t seen the streets of NYC like this before.

                      10. Julie’s Kitchen

                      Julie Lee showcases how everyday produce can create colorful art designs. At first glance, you think it is just a design; then, a second take illustrates that it is really fruits and vegetables.

                      11. iloveplaymo

                      iloveplaymo brings together photography and Playmobil toys in action. The images are up to date with current world events and everyday life.

                      12. “Red” Hong Yi

                      Red Hong Yi loves to paint without a paintbrush. Her style uses daily items to create lovely images.

                      Advertising

                      13. Alexis Diaz

                      A breathtaking artist from Puerto Rico who loves to paint murals. Alexis’s work is featured all over the world.

                      14. Murad Osmann

                      Murad Osmann is a music video producer, but his claim to fame on Instagram has been his photographs with his girlfriend leading him by her hand.

                      15. Simone Bramate

                      Simone Bramate is a storyteller who just so happens to take delightful photos as well.

                      16. Willie Kessel

                      Willie Kessel brings beach life right to your smartphone. Amazing surf and lifestyle images that take your mind off of all of the work and stress in your life.

                      Advertising

                      17. Nick Ulivieri

                      Nick Ulivieri is a talented photographer who loves to capture the windy city of Chicago and skies, especially during storms. His images are gorgeous and make you realize how wonderful life really is.

                      18. Jo Jerry

                      Jo Jerry’s landscape photos around Santorini, Greece, make you want to book a flight immediately. The bright colors and simplicity in the images make his photos stand out from the rest.

                      19. GoPro

                      GoPro uses fan-sourced images on their account that are all captured with a GoPro. Creativity to the max is used in these images and range from the grocery store to incredible surf.

                      20. Vin Farrell

                      Vin Farrell is a creative who works on the agency side for large clients and has a knack for photography. His iPhone captures amazing aerial images around NYC and the world.

                      Featured photo credit: Andy via flickr.com

                      Read Next