Feed Yourself Smarter | Salad is always healthy. Right? Wrong.
Salads are always “healthy” aren’t they? Yes. And no! Let me explain... For a meal to be healthy it needs to give your body and brain what it needs: the fuel, the resources, the information for your body and brain to get to work. Follow my three easy tips to boost the benefits of your salad.
Nutrition tips to boost benefits of salad | Healthy food recipes for your body and brain



14 Apr 2021, Posted by Angela in FYS News
Bowl of healthy avocado, protein and vegetable salad

When is a salad un-healthy?
This week in my “pimping” series I thought I would cover salads.  But salads are always “healthy” aren’t they? Yes. And no! Let me explain…

For a meal to be healthy it needs to give your body and brain what it needs: the fuel, the resources, the information for your body and brain to get to work.

Often when I work with people during my Food for Thought programme we quickly realise that the salad they are eating for lunch is not giving them the right kind of fuel, resources or information to meet their needs. As a result they don’t have the energy, the focus or the concentration they deserve.

So here are some simple ways to ensure your salad is giving you what you need:

  1. Build your salad on my build a plate idea
    The goal is to make:
    50% of your plate as vegetables or whole fruits (erring more towards the veggies),
    25% of it as protein (fish, tofu, halloumi or chicken) and
    the remaining 25% is the starchy carbohydrate bit (root type vegetables like roasted sweet potato or beetroot, cooked rice, quinoa or bread etc).
    This makes a complete meal.
  2. Pimp your dressings
    Dressings are a brilliant way to add in some diversity and colour with herbs and spices (as well as providing the good fats). See below for 3 delicious and simple dressing ideas.
  3. Add nuts and seeds
    These provide (more) good fats, a little protein, plus an array of bioactives (vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients).
    I like to dry roast them first by placing them in a dry frying pan (no oil) and heating them slowly until they crisp up but raw is also fine.

The beauty of these tips is that they add texture, mouth-feel and flavour to your salad as well, which is always a winner!

Three salad dressing ideas:
You can either blend them in a machine blender or just put all the ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously. If the latter, make sure the garlic and ginger are well diced to avoid large chunks!

  • Turmeric Dressing: 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1-tablespoon apple cider vinegar, half a clove of diced garlic, 1 cm chunk of ginger diced or grated, ½ teaspoon of turmeric, freshly ground black pepper (this helps increase the bioavailability of turmeric). Blend.
  • Pomegranate Dressing: Seeds from half a large pomegranate, pinch of sea salt, half to one clove of garlic (depending on your taste), olive oil (approx 6 tablespoons). Blend. It goes a lovely pink colour and tastes delicious.
  • Rocket Pesto: A bunch of rocket leaves, a handful of coriander or basil, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, juice of half a lemon, clove of garlic & pinch of salt. Blend.

How do you pack more punch into your salads?  Let me know in comments, I would love to hear.

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