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Keeping Your Salad Ingredients Healthy

By Donna Stark

Salads are an easy, inexpensive, and healthy meal,   perfect choice for people who are trying to eat nutritiously and watch their weight. But oftentimes, the toppings that we add can be counterproductive to the goals we wish to achieve. It is important to make sure that you are adding the right ingredients in order to create a balanced, filling meal that will keep you out of your pantry’s snacks later in the evening.

Keeping Your Salad Healthy

A hearty salad can make the perfect meal as long as you choose the right ingredients. Creamy dressings and toppings, such as those favorite, crunchy croutons, can turn what would have been a healthy meal into an unhealthy splurge. Here are some better options for salad add-ons that will replace those less desirable ones.

  • Chickpeas - Chickpeas are a quick and easy way to add extra nutrition to your meal. Just toss a spoonful over your salad for improved bone, heart, and digestive health.
  • Seeds/nuts - Adding seeds and nuts to your salad gives it some more substance and a serious boost in nutrition. They are wonderful for lowering cholesterol, decreasing anxiety, and providing added protein, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and antioxidants.
  • Tofu - Tofu isn't just for vegetarians, so give it a try if you haven’t already done so! It can help lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. It can also help strengthen your bones.
  • Chicken - Topping your salad with chicken can turn it into a very savory and satisfying meal while providing many nutritional benefits at the same time. It is high in protein and low in calories so it makes a perfect choice to fill your salad with.
  • Avocados - If you crave that creamy texture that some salad dressings provide, look no further than an avocado. Avocados contain heart-healthy fats and have been shown to reduce the risks of heart disease. They can also help lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels.
  • Salmon – Tired of chicken? Consider tossing some grilled salmon on your salad then! Salmon offers just as much protein as chicken but contains less saturated fat. It is also packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which helps to protect against heart disease.
  • Berries – Spinach salads with berries are a delicious alternative to other leafy green salads and are loaded with nutrients. Berries are a delicious salad topper and they have been linked to preventing cancer, heart disease, and even Alzheimer's.
  • Quinoa – Adding quinoa to your salad not only adds a punch of protein, but it also makes it more filling and leaves you feeling satisfied for a longer amount of time.

Eating nutritiously is a goal for so many people, but sometimes, the meals that we count on being good for us can easily be knocked off that healthy trail. As long as you stay focused on choosing the right ingredients though, you can achieve any goal that you may have for optimal wellness.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Pooler, Ga.

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