Contrary to popular belief, not every ingredient at the salad bar is healthy for you. In fact, some (like heavily seasoned chicken breast) could actually contain more calories.
Choose A Strong Base
When it comes to choosing the right greens for your salad, always go for the darker coloured ones. Baby spinach, romaine lettuce and kale are great sources of vitamins, folic avid and antioxidants. Darker coloured vegetables and fruits contain flavanoids that give them their brilliant colours and act as an antioxidant.
Lighter coloured leaves contain more water and have little nutrients.
Find out how flavanoids can also prevent you from losing your memory.
Pick Proteins Over Carbs
If you’re worried that your greens aren’t going to fuel you up enough for lunch, try adding in some proteins instead of carbs.
Proteins (lean cuts of meat like chicken breast, soya-based products) keep you full for longer (with lower calories too!) and slowly releases energy throughout the day so you don’t get that sluggish feeling right after lunch.
Just remember to balance the meal with fibre and lots of water because too much protein can actually cause constipation to occur.
Pile On Complex Carbs Instead Of Simple Carbs
Ok, so carbs are actually good for you — if you choose the right ones.
There are two common carb groups, simple and complex. Simple carbs (or sugars, as they are sometimes referred to) contain shorter molecular chains of sugar, meaning that your body processes them faster giving you that spike of energy. Once they’ve been used up though, your body hits a slum and that’s how you potentially suffer from a “food coma” afterwards.
Good carbs like corn, sweet potato and green peas have longer chains of sugar that gets processed slower by your body and gives you a gradual release of energy.
Get The Right Vegetables
Choose a variety of colours when making your salad. It could be capsicums, cucumbers or beetroots! The more colours, the more nutrients you’ll be getting.
Lightly Dress It
Salad dressings bring the whole salad together so make sure you’re choosing healthy ones. Choose between vinaigrette and balsamic vinegar with olive oil instead of cream based dressings.
Remember, a little really does go a long way.