With the hot summer that is coming, a cool crisp salad can be something refreshing. Salad for lunch brings a natural good taste with a crunchy texture, wonderful colors, and nice fragrances. Of course, eating salad every day can bring significant health benefits.
Salad For Lunch Benefits
Eating salad every day is a good habit. With varieties of vegetables and fruits, salad provides tons of nutrients such as vitamin C, fiber, and vitamin E. Some salad combinations can help you lower blood sugar, lose some weight, and regulate your cholesterol levels. There are many benefits of eating salad. Here are some of them:
A Great Source Of Fiber
Leafy greens are the best source of natural fiber. Consuming sufficient fiber will give you some advantages such as reducing bad cholesterol, controlling blood sugar, helping weight loss, normalizing bowel movements, and preventing cancers such as breast, colorectal, throat, mouth, and esophagus.
It is important to eat fruits and vegetables in various colors. Even eating salad a day can increase the level of antioxidants in the body. Some of the best leafy greens are beet greens, spinach, kale, Romaine lettuce, and watercress. Bright fruits and vegetables are beneficial too for the body. This includes the ones with purple, orange, burgundy, and red colors. Some fruits and vegetables that you can consume include tomatoes, carrots, strawberries, peaches, nectarines, plums, cranberries, blackberries, blueberries, and pomegranates.
Control Your Weight
If you want to lose some weight, eating a salad before the entree can make you feel full faster. Because of this, you will consume less calories.
Control Your Intake Of “Good” Fats
Add raw or roasted seeds for example sesame, chia, sunflower, or pumpkin. You can also experiments with different kind of oils for salad dressing to obtain healthy fats.
Another source of healthy fat is avocado. Slicing an avocado and mixing it in your salad can boost your daily intake of healthy fats.
Build Strong Bones
Leafy greens are rich in vitamin K. Low vitamin K is related to low bone mineral density. Add watercress, spinach, and radicchio to your diet to get sufficient vitamin K.
Improve Muscle Performance
The nutrients found in green leaves like spinach can boost your bone strength. Besides, it also improves muscle performance.
Protect Your Heart
Thanks to the fiber and folate in Romaine lettuce that protect the heart muscle. Besides, folate is also proven in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Improve Skin Tone
Salad has a high level of water that improves the hydration of the skin, so it looks youthful.
Get an extra dose of antioxidants by creating your salad dressing from powerful herbs such as thyme, basil, cilantro, parsley, dill, oregano, rosemary, garlic, and lemon. Choose your favorite combination and then mix it with healthy oil, and vinegar or lemon juice along with the seasoning.
Mistakes To Avoid When Making Salad
You might lose the potential health benefits of salad when you add the wrong mixture. One of the worst offenders is salad dressing. Many salad dressings have high fructose corn syrup and also trans fats. Meanwhile, excess fructose can increase the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes.
You can create your salad dressing by combining healthy oil, lemon/vinegar, and herbs. One of the healthy oil is olive oil.
Besides, avoid adding processed foods to your salad, such as deli meats, full-fat cheese, salted/candied nuts, and croutons. It contains nitrates, preservatives, unhealthy fats, and also extra sugar.
How To Add Protein To Your Salad?
If you are going to make a salad as your main course, such as making a salad for lunch, then you need to add protein. Opt for high-quality protein such as tofu, prawns, salmon, tuna, eggs, seeds, turkey, chicken, and nuts. You can also add low-fat cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese.
Note that you don’t have to combine salad with acidic dressing every day because it is not good for your teeth. Make your diet diverse, don’t stick to one thing. You always want to make a salad for lunch every day and get different recipes so your body will get sufficient nutrition. In this article, we provide some great salad recipes that you can try.
Best Salad For Lunch Box You Must Try
The Asian slaw by Jeanine Donofrio is the best summer salad. It is a combination of colorful ingredients resulting in a crunchy texture, juicy, sweet, herby, bitter, and spicy taste. You just need 30 minutes to make a perfect dish for your lunch box.
For the slaw:
- 6-7 cups cabbage (green or red cabbage)
- A mix of peppers (Mix it as you like. You can use 3 Anaheim and also 3 banana peppers. Or you can use 1 poblano and 1 red bell pepper)
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 2 scallions (chopped)
- 1/2 cup basil (You can use Thai basil or mint)
- 1 serrano pepper or 2 Thai chiles (diced)
- 1/4 cup toasted peanuts, sesame seeds, and pepitas
- Sea salt
- 1 peach (sliced)
- 1/4 cup cashew or you can use peanut butter
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp white miso paste
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2-5 tbsp water (as needed)
- Prepare a small bowl for dressing. Whisk miso paste, cashew butter, sesame oil, ginger, and lime juice. Add the water you need and then whisk it until it reaches the desired consistency. Set aside.
- Prepare a cast iron and then turn on the heat to medium heat. Char the peppers for around 2 minutes for each side. Once it is cold, remove the stem and seeds, then slice horizontally.
- In a large bowl, combine scallions, cilantro, peppers, cabbage, chiles, basil, and 3/4 of the salad dressing. Toss the ingredients, Next, add the remaining dressing (if you like) and a few pinch of sea salt to taste. Serve it with seeds, nuts, and peaches on the top.
Broccoli salad is a classic dish. But we provide you with some modifications with fresher and a healthier version. It contains less sugar, cheese, ample mayo, and bacon. The result is refreshing and tangy.
- 1 pound broccoli
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp mayo
- 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp mustard
- 1 tsp maple syrup (you can use honey)
- 1 garlic clove (minced)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup red onions (diced)
- 1/2 cup pepitas
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 1/2 tsp maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- Set and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place the baking sheet
- Chop the broccoli and the stems. Make sure you peel the woody part.
- In a large bowl, mix olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mayo, mustard, maple syrup, salt, and garlic. Then, add broccoli, cranberries, and onions. Toss the ingredients.
- Place pepitas and almonds on the baking sheet. Toss them with tamari, smoked paprika, and maple syrup. Spread the mixture into a thin layer. After that, bake it for around 14 minutes or until you see the mixture turn golden brown. Remove it from the oven and then let it cool.
- Next, toss the pepitas and almonds with the salad. Separate some for topping. The last, season is to taste and then you can serve it.
Is It Healthy To Eat Salad For Lunch?
Yes, it is healthy! Salad can be a healthy substitute for your midday meal. Typically, salads are low in calories but contain high vitamins, fiber, and minerals. If you want to control your weight, this is a great choice.
Besides, salads are easier to customize. You can add a variety of vegetables, fruits, seeds, proteins, and nuts. Suit your taste and nutritional needs. But one thing to remember is always to include a healthy source of fats and proteins so you will feel satisfied and full until your next meal. Besides, try to eat in diverse if you want to eat a salad every day to give sufficient nutrition for your body.
What To Pair With Salads?
There are many options to pair salads. Here are some ideas you can try:
- Protein – You can add protein to keep satisfied and full until your next meal. Some healthy proteins you can try are grilled chicken, hard-boiled eggs, tofu, canned tuna or salmon, shrimp, and beans.
- Healthy fats – healthy fats are important to fuel your body. You can add seeds, nuts, avocado, and healthy dressing such as olive oil or avocado oil.
- Whole grains – Combine your salad ingredients with whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, or whole-grain bread. It will give you extra fiber and nutrients.
- fruits and vegetables – Combine your salads with fruits and vegetables such as apples, grapes, zucchini, roasted sweet potato, and berries.
- Soup or sandwich – If you want a more fulfilling combination, soup or sandwich is the best choice. Pick a soup or a sandwich that is made of lean protein and a lot of vegetables.
How To Eat Salad Without Feeling Hungry?
If you don’t make a balanced mix, you will feel hungry before the meal. To help you feel full and satisfied, you can include proteins and healthy fats in your salad. Make sure to choose high-fiber ingredients such as leafy greens, whole grains, and beans. Drinking water before, during, and after meals will keep you feeling full.
Another way to help is not to skimp calories too much. Also, eat slowly and let yourself chew and enjoy the food.
That’s all our quick guide on eating salad for lunch. Do you want more healthy recipes? Check our salad recipe here.