Boring Salads Are For Suckers! 10 Ways to Spice Up Your Leafy Greens

Eating a salad feels like s chore for many people, but it doesn’t need to because salads can be fun.  Yes FUN!  Just like anything else, adding some variety into your salad eating routine is the best way to keep motivation high and your colon happy.  Getting 8 servings of fruits and vegetables a day requires planning, scheduling, and just a little bit of time by the payoff is indisputable.

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I was curious to see what the correlation was between fruit and vegetable intake and long-term health status and turned to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.  Started in 1971, this is a longitudinal study that is tracking the dietary habits and health status of just over 14,000 US citizens.  This study is well designed and helpful in seeing over time, what happens to the body as a result of dietary choices.

obese-kids-comparison-over-time

So, in 2002, researchers at Tulane University did a follow-up study as published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on 9,600 of the original participants and found that when someone eats 3 servings of fruits and vegetables a day compared to just 1 their risk was decreased as follows:

27% less chance of having a stroke

42% less chance of dying from a stroke

24% less chance of having a heart attack

27% less chance in having cardiovascular disease

15% less chance of dying in general

And that is  just at 3 servings a day.  Imagine what eating the recommended 8 can do for your body?

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Here are ten ways to make your salad more appealing:

1.)  Mix your greens up.  Romaine lettuce every day is boring!  Try combining different leafy greens up or rotate through a favourite list.  My favourite combination is kale and red leaf lettuce.  Here is a good list to start with.

2.)  Add fruit to your salad.  I like diced apples, berries, pears and oranges.  Dried raisins or cranberries are also nice.

3.)  Toast some nuts and throw them on top.  A couple of tablespoons is a good serving size.  I enjoy cashews, walnuts, pecans or almonds.

4.)  Toast up some seeds and throw them on top.  A couple of tbsp’s should do it.  Try pumpkin, sesame, or sunflower.

nuts-seeds

5.)  Make your own salad dressing.  It’s SO MUCH HEALTHIER than what you will find in a bottle and it tastes 1000% better.  The easiest recipe is combining 1 tbsp of olive oil with 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (I use a fig infused balsamic vinegar).  Check out this site for dressing ideas.

6.) Add bean sprouts.  Yum.

7.)  Add green onions, garlic, or shallots.  You might stink, but that’s ok.

GARLIC ONION SHALLOTS

8.)  Add fresh herbs.  I like basil but cilantro, chives, dill and parsley are nice too.

9.)  Mix it with a grain for example, 1/2 of brown rice or some cooked quinoa.

10.)  Add a vegetarian source of protein.  Chickpeas, lentils, red kidney beans, tofu, edamame, and eggs.

Feta

BONUS:  Top with cheese (if lactose isn’t a problem for you).  Some popular choices are goat cheese, feta, mozzarella, and parmesan.  Limit your serving size to 1/8th to 1/4th of a cup since cheese is high in saturated fat.

THE DAILY DL (Dalai Lama)

“If you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live?”

– Author Unknown

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