Simple add-ins bring fresh tastes, new textures, and an array of nutrients to your plate.
While the quintessential pairing of ripe tomatoes and lettuce is certainly enjoyable, a good salad can be so much more. Adding fruits, nuts, and other well-chosen ingredients offers a welcome change. More importantly, incorporating a few more nutritious ingredients is an easy way to serve a more healthful dish.
All fruit provides abundant good nutrients (vitamin C and potassium, in particular) and a laundry list of disease-fighting
chemicals in a package that's naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories. Blueberries contain polyphenol (a phytochemical
linked to heart disease and cancer prevention) compounds called anthocyanins and proanthocyanins that may play a role in preserving
memory. Grapes also offer polyphenols.
View Recipe: Mesclun with Berries and Sweet Spiced Almonds (pictured)
View Recipe: Mixed Greens with Blueberry Vinaigrette
One-fourth cup of nuts or seeds adds nearly five grams of high-quality protein, as well as generous amounts of vitamin E,
fiber, minerals, and arginine, a compound that helps blood vessels to function. Nuts are high in fat, the healthful unsaturated
View Recipe: Arugula, Grape, and Sunflower Seed Salad (pictured)
With plenty of vitamin C, some blood pressure-lowering potassium, and folate, tomatoes also impart the plant chemicals flavonoids (potential cancer fighters) and phytosterols (which may help lower cholesterol). View Recipe: Summer's Best Garden Salad (pictured)
Onions are plentiful sources of disease-fighting phenols and flavonoids, both potential cancer fighters and weapons against
some chronic diseases. The richer its phenolic and flavonoid content, the better an onion's protective effect, according to
Rui Hai Liu, MD, PhD, an associate professor of food science at Cornell University.
View Recipe: Sautéed Tuna and Green Onion Stalks on Romaine (pictured)
View Recipe: Escarole-Arugula Salad with Roasted Peppers and Marinated Onions
Liquid vegetable oils are rich in vitamin E and unsaturated fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), which don't clog arteries.
Olive oil is particularly rich in phenol antioxidants.
View Recipe: Mixed Herb Salad
Fatty fish like salmon or tuna offer omega-3 fats, which help lower the risk for heart disease. The American Heart Association
suggests eating at least two three-ounce cooked servings of fish per week.
View Recipe: Sesame Shrimp Salad (pictured)
View Recipe: Southwest Salmon Caesar