4 healthy dishes to redefine your summer salad

201007-xl-summer-chopped-salad

 

4 healthy dishes to redefine your summer salad

When you say you’re going on a diet, what’s the first food that pops into your mind? Salad! Traditionally seen as a boring healthy food, salads are usually the last choice for many people. But salads offer a number of health benefits that you can’t get in other foods and no one said they have to be boring! Perk up your menu with fun summer salad recipes.

Salads are usually made up of vegetables, cut up into small pieces and tossed in a dressing. They can be as basic as lettuce, tomato and vinaigrette, or as complex as a chef’s salad with several meats, cheeses and egg. There are as many salad recipes as there are ingredients in the world.

Salads are Healthful

We all know eating salads is a healthy option, but why? Well, not all salads are created equally. Those full of heavy dressings tend to be less healthy than those with a lighter dressing and more vegetables. Leafy greens and other vegetables traditionally found in salads are full of nutrients that are not present in other types of processed foods. They may even have cancer-preventative properties. Plus, vegetables are the easiest way to add fiber to your diet. Fiber is an important nutrient that helps your body absorb all the other vitamins and minerals.

Part of the reasons salads are forever associated with dieting is because fruits and vegetables tend to have fewer calories than meats, grains and dairy foods. You can typically eat a larger portion of salad than you would other food and still cut calories because the ingredients contain fewer. Another way to get the most out of your salad-eating experience is to pair it with some good fats like olive oil, avocado, nuts, etc.

Here are four of our favorite summer salad recipes

Chicken and Watermelon Salad

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/thai-chicken-and-watermelon-salad

Barbecued Spiced Shrimp with Tomato Salad

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/barbecued-spiced-shrimp-with-tomato-salad

Green Mango Salad

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/green-mango-salad

Chopped Salad with Pickled Vegetables

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/summer-chopped-salad-with-quick-pickled-vegetables

 

Sources: WebMD, Food and Wine

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