Top 8 Healthy Salad Toppings

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Top 8 Healthy Salad Toppings: Salads usually consist of lettuce or mixed greens, toppings, and dressing.

 

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Top 8 Healthy Salad Toppings

Salads can be a balanced diet staple with many mix-ins. You can top a salad with almost anything, but some are healthier.

 

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1. Chopped Raw Vegetables

A typical salad starts with raw lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens, or arugula. Several other raw vegetables can be added.

 

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Chopped carrots, onions, cucumbers, celery, mushrooms, and broccoli are popular raw veggie toppings. These vegetables are high in fiber and healthy plant compounds.

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One study of 422 young adults found that eating raw carrots, lettuce, spinach, and cucumber improved mental health and mood.

 

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2. Nuts and Seeds

Pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts, and chia seeds make healthy salad toppings. Pumpkin seeds have 5 grams of protein and around 20% of the DV for zinc in 1 ounce (28 grams).

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Even more, 22 almonds (1 ounce or 28 grams) add over 3 grams of fiber and vitamins and minerals to a salad. Choose raw or dry-roasted nuts and seeds without salt, sugar, or preservatives for your salad.

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3. Dried Fruit

Salads with dried fruit are tasty. Adding dried cranberries, apricots, mango, or raisins to salads adds sweetness and nutrients. One ounce (28 grams) of dried apricots has 20% of the DV for vitamin A and 2 grams of fiber.

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Choose dried fruits with only the fruit as an ingredient to avoid sugars and preservatives. Also, sprinkle this tasty treat on your salad sparingly.

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Slice your favorite fruit thinly and bake on a lined baking sheet at 250°F (121°C) for two to three hours to make your own.

 

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4. Whole Grains

Brown rice, quinoa, farro, and barley are popular salad toppings. The grains add texture and flavor to your salad. Fiber and protein in whole grains help you feel full after meals.

How to Cook Whole Grains

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One cup (195 grams) of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and over 3 grams of fiber. Additional research links whole grain consumption to weight loss and lower cholesterol.

Most grocery stores sell cooked whole grains. Use 1 cup of uncooked grains and 2 cups of water in a pot over the stove to make your own. Boil then simmer until grains are tender.

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5. Beans and Legumes

Salads benefit from plant protein from beans and legumes. A 1-cup (172-gram) serving of cooked black and kidney beans contains over 15 grams of protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

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Beans can be canned or homemade. Cover dried beans with an inch of water in a large pot to cook. Let them simmer for one to three hours after boiling until tender.

 

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6. Fresh Fruit

Although salads are usually made of vegetables, fresh fruit can add flavor and health benefits. An 800-person study found that each piece of fruit consumed daily reduced heart disease risk by 10%.

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Fruits like berries, apples, oranges, and cherries are great salad ingredients. Homemade salad dressings can use blended or fresh fruit juice.

 

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7. Baked Tortilla or Pita Chips

Crushed tortilla or pita chips make salads crunchy and tasty. Tex-Mex salads with beans, salsa, avocado, and shredded cheese go well with tortilla chips. However, pita chips complement Mediterranean salads.

Baked Pita or Tortilla Chips

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Baked corn tortilla or whole-grain pita chips with low sodium and sugar are the healthiest. 11 packaged whole-wheat pita chips (28 grams) contain 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein.

 

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Slice a few tortillas or pitas into six triangles, brush with olive oil, and bake at 350°F (176°C) for 10–15 minutes to make homemade chips.

 

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8. Shredded Hard Cheeses

Shredded hard cheeses like cheddar, gouda, parmesan, and manchego add flavor and nutrition to salads. A 28-gram ounce of shredded parmesan cheese has over 10 grams of protein and 100 calories.

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It contains 35% of the DV for calcium, which is essential for bone health, blood clotting, and muscle contraction. Hand-grater-sized hard cheese blocks and packaged shredded cheeses are widely available.

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Author

  • JASMINE GOMEZ

    Jasmine Gomez is the Wishes Editor at Birthday Stock, where she cover the best wishes, quotes across family, friends and more. When she's not writing for a living, she enjoys karaoke and dining out more than she cares to admit. Who we are and how we work. We currently have seven trained editors working in our office to produce top-notch content that you can rely on. All articles are published according to the four-eyes principle: After completion of the raw version, the texts are checked by (at least) one other editor for orthographic and content accuracy.

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