After analyzing data from more than 50,000 people over a 23-year period, Danish researchers found that those who ate just one cup of nitrate-rich vegetables a day had up to a 26 percent lower risk of heart disease, as reported in their study, published in April 2021 in the European Journal of Epidemiology. .

Top 20 Healthy Salad Toppings

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.Some popular raw veggie toppings include chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and broccoli.One study in 422 young adults found that eating raw vegetables — including carrots, lettuce, spinach and cucumber — was associated with good mental health and mood ( 1 ).When choosing nuts or seeds to add to your salad, look for raw or dry-roasted varieties without added salt, sugar or preservatives.Using dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad topping is an easy way to add some sweetness along with various nutrients.Even more, research links whole grain consumption to a variety of health benefits — including weight loss and lower cholesterol levels ( 2 ).To cook your own, put dried beans in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water.One study in more than 800 adults found that each piece of fruit consumed per day was associated with a 10% reduction in heart disease risk ( 3 ).Popular fresh fruits to add to your salad include berries, apples, oranges and cherries.Tortilla chips are a great addition to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado and shredded cheese.The most nutritious options are baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips that are low in sodium and added sugar.It also packs 35% of the DV for calcium — an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting and proper muscle contraction ( 5 ).Research also suggests that cooking vegetables makes them easier to digest and improves the absorption of some nutrients (6, 7 ).For example, research shows that a compound in rosemary and sage may have anticancer properties, while cilantro may help fight inflammation ( 9 , 10 ).Meats are loaded with vitamins and minerals, as well as high-quality protein that can help you feel full and satisfied ( 11 ).Pre-cooked meats are available at grocery stores for convenient, quick salad toppings, but be aware that they may contain additional and potentially unhealthy ingredients.You can also prepare your own by cooking meats in a skillet, on the grill or in your oven with olive oil and seasonings at 350°F (176°C) until they reach a safe internal temperature.Salmon, cod, halibut, shrimp, lobster and even sardines are incredibly healthy sources of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.Studies show that eating fish can boost heart health and brain function ( 12 , 13 ).To prepare fish at home, brush the fillets with olive oil and seasonings and bake in a lined dish for 15–20 minutes at 400°F (204°C).When searching for mozzarella, burrata or feta cheeses, look for those packed in brine that inhibits bacterial growth and maintains the creamy texture.Studies have found that pomegranate arils are rich in compounds called anthocyanins that can have antioxidant properties (18, 19).To get arils out of a whole pomegranate, slice off the top, use a knife to make a few evenly spaced scores on the sides of the fruit and then crack it open with your hands.What’s more, research suggests that eating tomato-based products like salsa that contain lycopene may help prevent heart disease and cancer ( 20 , 21 ).You can also make homemade salsa with diced tomatoes, peppers, onions, cilantro and seasonings.Research has linked monounsaturated fat consumption to a reduced risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol levels ( 23 , 24 ). .

The Healthiest Lettuces and Salad Greens, Ranked Kale and Spinach

But this time, we factored in how many nutrients (specifically potassium, fiber, protein, riboflavin, niacin, folate, B6, calcium, iron, zinc , and vitamins A, C, and B6) the greens pack per calorie. .

Salad greens guide: Tips for picking, prepping and store them

The world of salad greens can be surprisingly complex and confusing, so here’s a breakdown of some of the more common types you’re likely to encounter along with how to best pick and store them.“Head” in lettuce-speak refers to when the leaves overlap to a form a dense rosette or spherical structure.In this instance, the name says it all when it comes to describing the silky smooth texture of these leaves, which make it a salad favorite.(Copy editor Jim Webster called it “crunchy water” in passing the other day, which I find to be a spot-on description.).Iceberg is the standard base for chopped and wedge salads, two classics in the pantheon of the category.Its sturdiness means that it can also stand up to cooking, such as getting tossed on the grill or run under the broiler for a quick char.“Named as such because they do not have hearts and do not form tight heads, loose-leaf lettuces are clusters of individual leaves,” according to “The Book of Greens” by Jenn Louis with Kathleen Squires.This group of leafy vegetables is named for their genus, Cichorium, and is known for a bitterness that can range from mild to assertive.For example: “What we in the U.S. (and France) refer to as frisee is in turn called endive in the U.K.,” Danilo Alfaro wrote in the Spruce Eats.“Complicating matters even further is the fact that restaurant owners are always on the lookout for new ways to describe familiar ingredients to make them sound exotic because doing so means they can charge more.The most common radicchio in the United States is Chioggia, and it is a pleasing mix of bitter and sweet.Another type you might encounter is Castelfranco, an heirloom variety with pale green leaves speckled with red.“When curly endive is about three-fourths grown — about 30 days from seeding — the plant is covered and pressed and hidden from the sunlight: sometimes with boards, sometimes with cups,” Steve Albert wrote on the website Harvest to Table.Covering it keeps the majority of the leaves a creamy color at the base and in the center that transitions to pale green.When grown out in the open to full maturity, curly endive takes the flavor of frisee and cranks it up a notch or two, making it more bitter while still maintaining a gentle sweetness.The leaves turn a darker shade of green and become a bit heartier, meaning that they can also withstand cooking.Remove the sturdy rib and give mature leaves a nice massage to tenderize them.“This ubiquitous salad green may seem ordinary and common today, but in ancient Rome, where it was first cultivated, arugula was known as an aphrodisiac,” according to “The Book of Greens.” “Indeed, it was believed so potent that it was often mixed with less powerful greens in order to temper longing, and it was forbidden to be grown in monasteries.”.“One of the oldest documented greens, watercress dates back to ancient Greece, Rome, and Persia, where it was typically fed to soldiers to build their strength,” according to “The Book of Greens.” These leaves pack a peppery punch, but can have a fibrous stem, so consider removing part of it before adding to salads (or sandwiches).This term is “traditionally used for a spring mix of early greens harvested in the area around Nice, in southern France.Some others to consider include beet and dandelion greens, various cabbages and other brassicas, Swiss and rainbow chard, more niche restaurant favorites such as Little Gem, mâche and purslane, and that’s before we even get to all the different herbs!(Even for those plastic containers of prewashed greens, it’s a good idea to throw in a towel to help them keep longer.).It’s generally recommended that you wait to wash your greens until you plan to use them, as moisture is the enemy when it comes to storage.However, if you dry them really well and store them as recommended above, they should last at least a few days, making it easier to throw a salad together whenever the mood strikes.


Best Greens for Bearded Dragons: Daily and Weekly Staples

We’ve highlighted some perks and pitfalls for each green, and included each calcium to phosphorus ratio for your reference.The following factors play an important role in determining what greens bearded dragons can eat and how often:.If a leafy green vegetable is nutrient dense, high in calcium, and low in phosphorus, oxalates, and goitrogens, it’s a winner.These greens offer a variety of textures and flavors, allowing you to make each salad an exciting treat for your dragon.This desert delicacy is high in calcium and rich in antioxidants, fiber, and Vitamin C. To serve it, carefully slice away the outer thorned coating and cut the inner flesh into small pieces.Rich in calcium and Vitamin A, these common yard weeds are actually an excellent addition to your bearded dragon’s salad, as long as they are pesticide-free.Whether you serve up the crunchy, bitter heart or the dark, curly leaves, endive and escarole both add texture and nutrients to your bearded dragon’s salad, particularly calcium.Even more irresistible is the fact that they are rich in calcium along with Vitamins A, C, and K.

Serve them with collard greens to offset the moderate amount of oxalates and goitrogens.Filled with Vitamins A and C, bok choy is a flavorful mixer for your bearded dragon’s salad.Although green cabbage is goitrogenic, this crunchy salad mixer contains Vitamin C, fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium, all of which are great for your dragon’s health.A good source of calcium, Vitamins A and C, and fiber, napa cabbage will give your dragon’s salad a refreshing crunch.Celery and its bushy leaves are a great way to get antioxidants, Vitamin C, and hydration into your bearded dragon’s salad.Make sure you chop this veggie extra small to eliminate any possibility of your dragon choking on the stringy stalk.Aside from being flavorful, cilantro contains antioxidants, calcium, potassium, manganese, and Vitamins A, C, and K. In addition, it has antimicrobial properties.High in protein, Vitamin A, and that all-important mineral calcium, grape leaves can really amplify the health benefits of your dragon’s salad.One of the best greens bearded dragons can eat, kale is dense with Vitamins A, C, and K, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and calcium.High in fiber and antioxidants with a delicious citrus flavor, lemongrass has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that will help your dragon fight illness.This fragrant herb is high in calcium and fiber, making it an excellent way to spice up your dragon’s meal.Now, if your bearded dragon is refusing to eat at all, that is also common but could be the sign of stress or a more serious health problem.A popular solution is to mix in favorite fruits or insects with the greens so your dragon accidentally eats the leaves along with the stuff he likes.Some owners leave greens in their dragon’s tank all day, replacing them every 24 hours or when they show signs of wilting.This is especially helpful for baby dragons who primarily eat insects and don't realize that greens are edible.For tougher veggies like collard greens, it can be very helpful to massage the leaves and remove the stems first. .

The Best Lettuces & Greens to Add to Your Salad Bowl

Loose round rosettes of tender butterhead leaves take well to light dressings, such as a simple shallot-mustard vinaigrette.Mildly flavored loose-leaf lettuces grow in open layers in very loosely formed heads and often have ruffly leaves.The crisp, elongated leaves of this lettuce are the main ingredient in classic Caesar salad.Created in the 1940s for its ability to travel long distances, this crunchy lettuce is the base for two salads-the chopped salad and the wedge salad-that are now considered cornerstones of American comfort food.These tiny leaves-also called lamb's lettuce or corn salad-have a nutty flavor and delicate texture.In the wild, watercress, a vivid green plant with delicate round leaves, grows along running waterways and has fresh, pungent flavor with peppery heat.This mix of tender young greens can include leafy lettuces, arugula, frisée, spinach, chard, dandelion, mustard, radicchio and mâche, and soft-stemmed herbs such as parsley, dill and chervil.Colors range from white to pale yellow to all shades of green to wine red.Their common characteristics are a structural sturdiness and a distinct bitterness that balances the sweeter, more delicate lettuces with which they are often combined.Very similar in flavor to broader-leaved curly endive, the fine, frizzy leaves of this chicory add interesting texture to salads.'Chioggia', the most common variety of this intensely flavored chicory, grows in heads of wine-red leaves with bright white veins.The large outer leaves of these leafy, lettuce-like heads have a hearty flavor and subtle bitterness, while the pale yellow heart is tender, juicy, and faintly bittersweet.Sometimes simply called "chicory," this jagged-leafed green adds a structural sturdiness and distinct bitterness that balances the sweeter, more delicate lettuces.Choose dense, heavy head lettuces with bright color and no browning on the outer leaves.Salad greens should have good color with no yellowing, wilting or brown spots.Store loose salad greens in a plastic bag wrapped in a paper towel in the crisper in the refrigerator up to 3 days.Sow other types of lettuces and salad greens directly in the soil in early spring or fall.Choose a site with loose, well-drained soil, enriched with compost, in sun to part shade. .

The Best Salad Ingredients

And worse, the weight loss salad they create isn't big enough or satisfying enough to keep them full.Replacing a high-calorie, heavy meal with a healthy salad is a great way to slim down.Those are salad toppings that are packed with nutrients, full of flavor, naturally lower in fat, and properly portioned.Beans can make a great salad base as well and they are packed with protein and fiber.But most dieters will choose different types of lettuce as a salad base because they are so low in calories.You can also save time and throw a handful of pre-mixed cabbage into your salad bowl to add crunch without calories.To get a variety of flavors and healthy nutrients, add roasted or raw vegetables from each color category.: Diced purple potatoes, shredded purple cabbage, slivered purple peppers, eggplant Green: Thinly sliced green onion, chopped green tomato, quartered artichoke hearts, chilled peas, broccoli, seeded and sliced cucumber (skin removed), Brussels sprouts, diced celery.Healthy Salad Hint #2 Venture outside of your comfort zone when you choose vegetables.If you are concerned about the sugar or starch content of some veggies (like beets or potatoes) simply add them in moderation.Listed below are reasonable serving sizes of popular healthy fat sources for salads:.If salad is the main course of your meal, you should add a lean source of protein to get the important muscle-building benefits that it provides.You'll also find that salads with protein keep you satisfied for a longer period of time after you eat.But be advised that some deli meats are healthier than others as they can be high in sodium and saturated fat.Stick to turkey, lean roast beef, or chicken when you visit the deli counter.Meat : Leftover lean steak, grilled chicken (such as in Asian chopped salad with garlic-ginger chicken) or turkey, shredded roast pork, seasoned extra lean ground turkey, sliced deli roast beef.: Leftover lean steak, grilled chicken (such as in Asian chopped salad with garlic-ginger chicken) or turkey, shredded roast pork, seasoned extra lean ground turkey, sliced deli roast beef Seafood : Salmon, tuna (fresh or canned), shrimp, sardines, anchovies,.If you've filled your bowl with delicious and healthy ingredients, the last step is to add salad dressing.You may find that you don't even need salad dressing when you fill your bowl with flavorful and savory ingredients.In fact, I generally just sprinkle a little bit of salt and pepper and measure just a tablespoon of olive oil then toss my salad without any other topping. .

The Healthiest Types of Lettuce and Leafy Greens — Eat This Not That

To determine the most nutritious greens, we looked at a Centers for Disease Control report that ranked 47 "powerhouse fruits and vegetables" according to nutrient density.These powerhouse lettuce types had to meet two qualifications: they're the foods most strongly associated with reduced chronic disease risk and one 100-calorie serving had to contain 10% or more daily value of 17 qualifying nutrients.While great on burgers, this lettuce is mostly made up of water and should be reserved to add a signature crunch to dishes—never the star of the show.Cabbage is considered a type of lettuce, but it's also part of the cruciferous family, which contains potent compounds that have been linked to reducing the risk of cancer.While not necessarily the most nutritious, it's the perfect base for quinoa and cranberry salads, paired with shaved parmesan and champagne vinegar dressing, and layered with fresh citrus.They're a natural diuretic, have a higher calcium content than kale, and are loaded with iron and vitamin K. With their bitter taste profile, balance them out with neutral greens like spinach or romaine.A study published in the journal Nutrition Research compared the effectiveness of the prescription drug Cholestyramine to steamed collards.It's so packed with nutrients that even that one sprig can go a long way toward meeting your daily requirement for vitamin K.

Moreover, research suggests the summer-y aroma and flavor of chopped parsley may help control your appetite.A study in the journal Flavour found participants ate significantly less of a dish that smelled strongly of spice than a mildly scented version of the same food.The nutritional Clark Kent of the salad bar, this common and unsuspecting leafy green is ready to take its place among the superfoods for weight loss.Two generous cups of lettuce provide 100 percent of your daily vitamin K requirement for strong, healthy bones.Even more so than its cousin kale, the humble Romaine lettuce packs high levels of folic acid, a water-soluble form of Vitamin B that's proven to boost male fertility.A study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility found supplemental folic acid to significantly increase sperm counts.Chicory is a family of bitter greens, but its most well-known member is radicchio, the small red or purple leaf that comes in a head about the size of a softball.According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a 180-gram serving of boiled spinach provides 6.43 milligrams of iron, the muscle mineral—that's more than a 6-ounce hamburger patty!Recent research also suggests compounds in the leaf membranes called thylakoids may serve as a powerful appetite suppressant.A long-term study at Lund University in Sweden found that having a drink containing thylakoids before breakfast could significantly reduce hunger (by 95 percent!).Yes, the stuff they cut off and throw in the garbage before charging you an arm and a leg for "beet salad" is actually one of the best leafy greens.Researchers at the University of Leeds found that risk of cardiovascular disease was significantly lower for every 7 grams of fiber consumed.Recent research has shown that these leafy greens contain at least 13 different polyphenol antioxidants, including anthocyanins—anti-inflammatory compounds that could offer protection from type 2 diabetes.Rich sources of highly available calcium and iron, cruciferous vegetables like the cabbage have the powerful ability to "turn off" inflammation markers thought to promote heart disease.The healthy green is also the richest dietary source of PEITC (phenylethyl isothiocyanate), which research suggests can fight cancer.Results from an eight-week trial published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggest daily supplementation of 85 grams of raw watercress (that's about two cups) could reduce DNA damage linked to cancer by 17 percent. .


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