With a wide variety of possible combinations, salads become an essential element in a balanced diet, to which you can add any food, but you have to take into account that some foods are more nutritious than others.
Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with a variety of toppings and a dressing, but if you want to switch up that basic green veggie salad, now is the time.
Find out which are the 10 best salad toppings and give your palate a whole new touch. Surely from now on you will not want to stop trying these new flavors.
10 salad toppings
1. Chopped vegetables
A classic salad is made with raw vegetables, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens, or arugula. However, you can also add other types of raw vegetables to it.
Other vegetarian ingredients that will help you add a different touch to your salad are chopped carrots, celery, onion, cucumber, mushrooms and broccoli. These vegetables are full of fiber and plant compounds that are beneficial to your health.
A study of 442 young adults found that eating raw vegetables, such as carrots, lettuce, spinach, and cucumber, is associated with good mental health and mood. (Brookie, Best, and Conner, 2018).
2. Seeds and nuts
Seeds and nuts, such as pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts, chia seeds, pistachios, walnuts, and pistachios are some very nutritious salad ingredients .
28 grams of pumpkin seed has 5 grams of protein and about 20% of the daily value for zinc. Add just 22 almonds (28 grams) to a salad that contains more than 3 grams of fiber and various vitamins and minerals.
When adding seeds and nuts to a salad, look for raw varieties that do not contain salt, sugar, or preservatives.
3. Dried fruits
Salads that contain nuts are always a delicious combination. You can use dried cranberries, apricots, mango or raisins as a salad dressing, this way you will give your salad a touch of natural sweetness along with some nutrients.
28 grams of dried apricots have 20% of the DV for vitamin A and two grams of fiber.
4. Whole grains
Some grains that are commonly used in salads are cooked brown rice, quinoa, farro, and barley. These grains are used to add texture and flavor to a salad.
Whole grains provide fiber and protein to help you feel more satisfied after eating them. For example, 195 grams of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and more than 3 grams of protein.
Research links the consumption of whole grains to a wide variety of health benefits, including weight loss and helping to lower cholesterol levels. (Slavin, 2004). Therefore, we encourage you to include them in the next salad you prepare.
5. Beans and legumes
Beans and legumes are an excellent source of vegetable protein that can be served alongside your favorite salad.
A 172-gram serving of cooked black beans and kidney beans provides more than 15 grams of protein, plus vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
It doesn’t matter if you use canned or self-made beans, although the best option is always to make them at home.
6. Fresh fruit
Although the salad is considered only a raw vegetable dish, it does not hurt to add a little fresh fruit to it for more flavor and additional health benefits.
The fruits that you can add to the salad are apples, oranges, cherries, and berries. You can also use mixed fruit or freshly squeezed natural juice.
7. Pancakes or pita bread
The crushed baked tortillas add a unique flavor and a new crunchy texture to the salad . Tortilla chips are also a great option, especially when added to Tex-Mex salads that include beans, salsa, avocado, and shredded cheese.
One of the healthiest options is a baked corn tortilla or whole grain pita chips, both of which are low in sodium and added sugar.
A serving of packaged whole wheat pita (28 grams) contain approximately 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein.
8. Grated cheese
Shredded hard cheese, such as cheddar, gouda, Parmesan, and Manchego as a salad dressing adds flavor and nutrition.
28 grams of grated Parmesan cheese has more than 10 grams of protein for just over 100 calories. It also contains 35% of the Recommended Daily Value for calcium, an important nutrient for bone health, blood clotting, and proper muscle concentration. (Judith, 2015).
9. Roasted vegetables
Depending on the vegetables, the roast brings out different flavors and textures. Research suggests that roasted vegetables are easier to digest and improve the absorption of some nutrients. (Fabbri and Crosby, 2016; Yuan et al., 2009).
In order to make roasted vegetables, you must start by cutting your chosen vegetables, adding olive oil and some seasonings of your personal taste, and baking them on a tray for 30-40 minutes at 180 ° C.
Eggs are a very nutritious option, which together with a rich salad make a very complete meal. One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and more than 15 vitamins and minerals, all for just 77 calories.
The protein content of eggs helps you feel more satiated. A study of 30 overweight or obese women found that people who ate eggs for a meal consumed significantly fewer calories over the next 36 hours compared to those who ate muffins. (Wal et al., 2005).
To make hard-boiled eggs, place them in a saucepan and cover them with enough water. Let them boil for at least 10 minutes, then remove them from the hot water and put them in a container with cold water. Then proceed to remove the peel carefully.
The salad by itself is a very healthy dish, since it does not contain carbohydrates or calories, but to make your salad much richer and more complete, it is best to add a topping that best suits your personal tastes.
With the help of this list of 10 toppings, you will make your salad a feast of nutritious flavors. In addition, you will have a variety of textures and they will provide you with a wide variety of health benefits.
- Brookie, K., Best, G. and Conner, T. (2018). Intake of Raw Fruits and Vegetables Is Associated With Better Mental Health Than Intake of Processed Fruits and Vegetables. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. doi: 10.3389 / fpsyg.2018.00487
- Fabbri, A. and Crosby, A. A review of the impact of preparation and cooking on the nutritional quality of vegetables and legumes. Science Direct . doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijgfs.2015.11.001
- Judith, A. (2015). The Role of Calcium in Human Aging. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. doi: 10.7762 / cnr.2015.4.1.1
- Slavin, J. (2004). Whole grains and human health. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. doi: 10.1079 / NRR200374
- Wal, V., Marth, J., Khosla, P., Jen, K. and Dhurandhar, V. Short-term effect of eggs on satiety in overweight and obese subjects. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. doi: 1016373948
- Yuan, G., Sun, B., Yuan, J. and Wang, Q. (2009). Effects of different cooking methods on health-promoting compounds of broccoli. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. doi:
10.1631 / jzus.B0920051