9 Good Reasons to Eat a Salad a Day

With the hot summer weather arriving quickly, a cool crisp salad can be the basis for a light and refreshing meal.

9 Good Reasons to Eat a Salad a Day | Foodal.com

They’re easy to make at home, and to order in a restaurant when dining out. And, with their multiple health benefits, consuming a serving of leafy greens each day can be one of the best habits to get into, summer or winter.

To get the most nutritional impact from your salads, let’s look at some of their benefits, what ingredients add extra dietary punch, and what to avoid to ensure that your dish stays nutritious and healthful.

A Salad a Day Keeps Disease and Aging at Bay

Aside from their natural good taste and great crunchy texture alongside wonderful colors and fragrances, eating a large serving of fresh, raw vegetables each day can have significant health benefits.

Foodal recommends “Salad Samurai: 100 Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Hearty, Easy-to-Make Salads You Don’t Have to Be Vegan to Love”

It makes a substantial contribution to disease prevention, healthy weight and youthful energy – and who isn’t interested in a bit more energy and vitality?

And they are easy to make, especially if you have some tools and utensils on hand that can assist with preparing the diet of a raw food aficionado.

A spiralizer can make a trendy salad out of any firm vegetable, and is a must have for any raw foodist.

A healthy salad in a nice wooden bowl | Foodal.com

When presented in wooden salad bowl or other nice serving dish, salads look great as well.

Here are nine of those benefits so easily available to us:

1. A Natural Source of Fiber

Your leafy greens and raw veggies are a superb source of natural fiber, and consuming enough fiber each day has several health advantages:

  • Fiber helps to reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol.
  • It helps to control blood sugar.
  • Adequate fiber intake helps with weight loss and healthy weight maintenance.
  • It normalizes bowel movements, and aids in the prevention of bowel disease.
  • Proper fiber intake has been shown to reduce the recurrence and prevention of a number of cancers including colorectal, breast, mouth, throat and esophagus (1).

2. Nutritional Benefits of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

The idea that fresh vegetables and fruits are essential to our good health and well-being isn’t anything we haven’t heard before, but it’s good to be reminded of it every so often. The following quote is from an article at the Harvard School of Public Health:

“A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar which can help keep appetite in check” (2).

It’s important to eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, in as many different colors as possible. Combining them in a salad is both easy and delicious! Loaded with vitamins and minerals, eating a salad a day will also increase the level of powerful antioxidants in your blood. 

The basis of any salad, leafy greens, offer a huge nutritional benefit. Among the best of the super greens group are: kale, spinach, beet greens, watercress and Romaine lettuce (3). For something a little different, try adding fresh dandelion greens and mizuna as well.

Brightly colored fruits and vegetables in the “red” family are of particular nutrition benefit. This includes produce with orange, purple, red and burgundy flesh. Some examples are tomatoes, red and orange peppers, carrots, strawberries, nectarines, peaches, plums, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, and pomegranates.

Carotenoids are a class of compounds synthesized from the yellow, orange and red pigments of plants. This includes vitamin A and all its varied compound forms: beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin. All of these have substantiated positive effects, plus antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits within the body.

3. Load up on Salads for Weight Control

Load up on Salads for Weight Control | Foodal.com

Eating a fiber-rich salad before your entree will help you to feel full faster, so you’ll consume less calories than you might when a meal is served without this appetizer. The more raw vegetables you can incorporate into your salad, the greater the potential positive effects will be.

4. A Daily Salad Will Aid Your Intake of Healthy Fats

Add a couple of tablespoons of mixed raw or roasted seeds like pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and ground flax or chia to boost your daily intake of good fats. Experimenting with different kinds of oils in your dressings will help with this, too.

Slicing a quarter of an avocado and adding it to your greens will also give you a boost. These foods also help the body to absorb all of the protective compounds, phytochemicals, and lutein.

Avocado, Sunflower Seed, and Bell Pepper Salad | Foodal.com

Adding a healthy fat to your salad via the dressing, or by adding healthy raw nuts or avocado will also make it more filling, as fats are among the most satiating.

5. Build Strong Bones

Low vitamin K levels have been linked with low bone mineral density in women. For healthy bone growth, a recommended full daily serving can be found in just 1 cup of watercress (100%), radicchio (120%) or spinach (170%).

6. Protect Your Peepers

The carotenoids found in the green leafies like spinach, Romaine and Red Lettuce help the eyes to adjust from bright to dark, and to filter out high intensity light levels, protecting them from the formation of damaging free radicals.

Foodal recommends “Mason Jar Salads and More: 50 Layered Lunches to Grab and Go”

7. Improve Muscle Performance

Well, it turns out Popeye knew his stuff. The nutrients found in spinach not only help to build strong bones, they also help to improve the performance of the mitochondria – little structures inside our cells that help to produce energy, as well as inform and power our muscles.

8. Protect Your Heart

Romaine lettuce contains two key nutrients in significant levels that help to protect the heart muscle: folate and fiber. High levels of folate have been shown to assist in the prevention of stroke and cardiovascular disease (4).

9. Improves Skin Tone

The high levels of water found in salad veggies improves hydration in our bodies, which is necessary for youthful skin tone and various basic bodily functions.

Get an Herbal Boost

You can give your salads an extra dose of antioxidants by making your own oil-based salad dressings and including power herbs such as basil, parsley, thyme, cilantro, dill, rosemary, oregano, garlic and lemon. Choose your favorite herb combos, mix with a healthy oil plus lemon juice or vinegar, and season to taste.

Salad with garlic and herbs | Foodal.com
This healthy salad includes arugula, basil, thyme, garlic, cherry tomatoes, and sunflower seeds.

Adding fresh herbs goes a long way toward improving your nutrition, as many are densely packed with vitamins and various phytonutrients. Because these vitamins and phytonutrients are produced so intensely, they’re especially nutritionally dense – meaning they’re thermogenic, and may help to naturally increase your metabolism.

Summer salad with edible flowers | Foodal.com
Edible flowers such as these Borage flowers (Nasturtiums) can add both color and herbal benefits to any salad.

Easy to grow at home, herbs have many positive properties that can be added to your dressings, or sprinkled over the top for extra flavor. Also, don’t be afraid to mix in a few edible flowers – they offer many of the same benefits as traditional herbs.

Super Sprouts

Adding sprouts to your salad is like turbo-charging the nutritional value of your veggies. And, if you want fresh and organic, they’re easy to grow at home, and economical as well.

Lentil and mung bean sprout salad| Foodal.com
Lentil and mung bean sprouts make a dandy salad.

Some of the popular choices for sprouting your own come from a variety of common grains, vegetables and nuts, such as:

  • Wheatgrass, which has good amounts of vitamins B, C and E.
  • Alfalfa, good for vitamins A, C, and K, with significant amounts of phytoestrogens.
  • Mung beans, with a nice protein count, fiber and viitamins A and C.
  • Pea shoots, rich in vitamins A and C, and folic acid from the B family, they offer some of the most significant protein levels in the sprout family. And, they taste like garden peas.
  • Lentils, since the sprouts contain over 25% protein.
  • Clover, high in isoflavones.
  • Broccoli, a noted source of the anti-cancer enzyme sulphoraphane.
  • Sunflower, also offering significant levels of protein along with healthy fats and fatty acids, fiber and minerals.

If you’re planning to sprout some at home, pretty much any untreated, whole seeds will germinate if given the right environment, and most offer significant nutritional benefits.

Baby Greens

In general, leafy greens are highly nutritious because of the large variety of vitamins and minerals they have to offer. And they contain naturally occurring phytochemicals from plant compounds such as carotenoids, found in the leaves due to synthesis with sunlight.

Baby Leafy Greens For Health | Foodal.com
The phytochemicals in this bowl of baby spinach offer a bunch of healthy antioxidants, and other health-promoting compounds.

Leaves that are exposed to the greatest amount of sunlight contain the highest amounts of these healthful compounds, such as beta carotene. And when plants are young, their form is loose, so all leaves receive equal amounts of light. This is opposed to mature plants, where only the outer leaves of heads of lettuce receive direct sunlight.

As these nutrition-packed phytochemicals have been shown to offer a range of potential benefits, including anti-cancer and cell protection properties, selecting baby greens provides the highest concentration of these important compounds.

Baby arugula is full of healthy compounds
A baby arugula salad is a healthy and tasty way to consume your leafy greens.

Among baby greens, the young leaves of watercress, spinach and arugula contain the highest levels of potent phytochemicals and other nutrients.

Salad Mistakes to Avoid

The many potential health benefits of adding a salad to your daily diet can be quickly counteracted with the addition of certain cooked ingredients, and commercially produced additives.

Commercial Salad Dressings | Foodal.com
Learn to avoid this aisle for a more a healthy salad and lifestyle. Photo by ValeStock / Shutterstock.com

Among the worst offenders are salad dressings, as they’re often loaded with high fructose corn syrup for flavor and processed trans fats to prolong shelf life. Low-fat dressings usually have increased sugar levels, with fructose added to compensate for the loss of flavor.

As excess fructose in your diet drives insulin and leptin resistance, major contributors to diabetes and other chronic diseases, it’s a good idea to avoid these added sugars when possible.

Make your own dressings instead, with a healthy oil, herbs and lemon or vinegar for a healthful condiment that will work with your salad, not against it. The healthy fats found in olive oil actually assist the breakdown and absorption of nutrients. Just don’t get carried away.

Foodal recommends “Salad for Dinner: Complete Meals for All Seasons”

Another common “mistake” is the addition of cooked or processed foods to a salad. Ingredients such as deli meats (which contain high levels of preservatives and nitrates) full-fat cheeses, croutons, and salted or candied nuts all add flavor and texture, but they come with a price tag of calories, unhealthy fats and extra sugar.

Use these ingredients sparingly to get the most out of your salad’s nutritional potential.

Protein for Salads

If your salad is going to be your main course, make it a balanced meal with the addition of some lean protein. Good quality protein sources for serving with your greens include tofu, eggs, tuna, salmon, prawns (or shrimp), nuts and seeds, lean chicken and turkey, as well as low-fat cheeses, cottage cheese and yogurt.

But even if you are craving some meaty steak, recipes like our breaded beef fillets can be served with a large salad to create a balanced and healthy dinner.

Foodal recommends “Salad of the Day: 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year”

So, get into the habit of having a salad a day, and you’ll benefit quickly from the nutritional boost. Here’s a recipe to get you started.

We’d love to hear about your favorite salads too, so drop us a line and share your ideas!

Kale with Peppers and Apple

Kale is one of the super greens that packs a substantial nutritional wallop, but it can have a bitter taste. To take advantage of its many positive properties, try “massaging” your kale to soften it and remove the bitterness – this actually causes the kale to wilt, as its cellulose structure breaks down. 

Recipe for Kale Greens with Peppers and Apple | Foodal.com

It will soften, change color, and take on a silky texture, minus the bitterness… well worth the few minutes required! See directions below for the massaging technique.

Kale Greens with Peppers and Apple Recipe | Foodal.com
Kale, Peppers and Apple Salad
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 people 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 10 minutes
Kale Greens with Peppers and Apple Recipe | Foodal.com
Kale, Peppers and Apple Salad
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 people 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 10 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch kale leaves massaged, then finely chopped and large stems discarded *
  • 1 sweet flavored apple like Gala or Pink Lady, cored and diced
  • 1 red pepper seeded and sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper seeded and sliced
  • 1/2 red onion sliced
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese optional
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt + another ½ teaspoon
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • dash coriander
  • dash cumin
  • dash chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. Place the massage kale into a salad bowl. Fold in the apple, peppers, onion, feta, currants and walnuts.
  2. In a jar with a tight fitting lid, add the vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, coriander, cumin and chili flakes, adjusting to suit taste. Shake vigorously until emulsified then drizzle over the salad and serve.
Recipe Notes

To massage the kale, sprinkle the de-stemmed leaves with ½ teaspoon sea salt.  Pour a couple of drops of olive oil into the palm of your hands, and rub together. Take a bunch of kale and gently rub together with both hands, repeating until all the kale has been massaged, 2 – 3 minutes. Taste, and if still bitter tasting, massage for a bit longer.

As always, I prefer freshly ground pepper to that of pre-canned and I always use some form of sea salt rather than the processed variety.

Check out Lynne's recipe for kale chips for more kale goodness.

Kale Greens with Peppers and Apple Recipe | Foodal.com

 

Citations and Resources

(1) Mayo Clinic. “Dietary Fiber: Essential for a Healthy Diet.” http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983?pg=1

(2) Harvard School of Public Health, The Nutrition Source. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/vegetables-and-fruits/

(3) Oregon State University, Linus Pauling Institute. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/carotenoids

(4) American Heart Association. “Stroke.” http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/33/5/1183.full

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About Lorna Kring

Recently retired as a costume specialist in the TV and film industry, Lorna now enjoys blogging on contemporary lifestyle themes. A bit daft about the garden, she’s particularly obsessed with organic tomatoes and herbs, and delights in breaking bread with family and friends.

80 thoughts on “9 Good Reasons to Eat a Salad a Day

  1. Salads are good for you, however I’m not sure they can suffice as a main course and I still see them as the side dish and what you eat with other things. I’m not a huge salad eater which surprises people as I an a vegetarian, but I don’t find eating greens enough for me even with tofu or some hard boiled eggs.

    I do like salad bars because I can choose what I like, but one should be careful in restaurants as you don’t know how everything has been washed. I know in places like Nepal they advise you not to eat raw vegetables because the water used maybe contaminated. Anything raw has the potential to carry all kinds of things as it is not cooked to kill germs and parasites.

    • I do tend to load up my salads with lots of chopped raw vegetables with the greens … with all the extra fiber its much more filling and satisfying that way.

  2. It was not until I met my husband that I started eating a salad with every meal. Quiet honestly before I married him I would only eat a salad weekly, if that. I’m thankful that he turned me on to his love of raw vegetables. I don’t usually eat a salad as the meal itself because I don’t find it filling.I believe they serve best as an addition to meals and soups. During the summer we make salads fresh from our garden. Its a wonderful feeling to be able to walk out to the garden and pick what you would like knowing it is healthy and prepared fresh. Adding fresh fruit like strawberries or blueberries can have a nice refreshing twist as well!

    • Nothing beats the taste of growing your own veggies, fruit and herbs for salads and its a true joy to harvest healthy, natural food for your own plate. I agree 100% dawnolsen!

      • Something about home grown really does taste better! Lettuce from the store doesn’t really have flavour, but lettuce from our garden has such a wonderful taste!
        I have always thought it’s because you can pick it at the peek of freshness, it doesn’t have to sit on a truck or anything like that.

        But great post Lorna, I myself have been working salads into my everyday.
        Right now I am big on homemade maple dressing too!

  3. Me and my boyfriend have always tried to make it a goal to make sure we constantly have salad in the house. I find it a great side with many meals and also a great thing to snack on throughout the day when you are wanting something to eat. Thank you for this article as it reminded me so many other reasons why we should continue this!!

  4. I love salads. I literally pile it up with everything and anything that is in my fridge. Even when I try do a certain / classic salad I normally tend to add to it. I feel like with any salad combination there is no combination that wouldn’t go well together. I am sure that I could be proven wrong but I for what I buy I normally am happy to put a lot of greens into it.

    • My salads are like yours Cadala26… they’re like a Dagwood salad, piled high almost every veggie I can find.

  5. One other aspect of salads and veggies is they are generally cheap! A big bag of washed greens is only a few dollars. I like chickpeas in my salads for protein, I will freeze them in small batches and just take them out as needed,
    Really any fruit or vegtable can find a home in a salad the possibilities are endless and every style of cuisine has its own take, Lately I’ve been heavy on the Caprease salads.

  6. I agree, a salad a day is an excellent idea in the warmer months. Which haven’t come around yet where I live, so I’m still relying a lot on steamed veggies, haha. But I love experimenting with different combos and flavors. Raw veggies are just so refreshing and healthy, and being able to make my own salad dressings just adds so much to that. I’m not gonna lie, I used to love some of the commercial ones, but I started finding the ingredients unnerving. So I’m glad I converted.

    • Oh, there’s lots of tasty, commercially produced dressings, but… as you say, the unnerving ingredients. And really, homemade does taste better…

      • Hello, Lorna, I’m new to the site and have read several of your articles. I especially enjoyed this one, because it has inspired me to get back in the habit of eating at least one raw salad daily. You mentioned homemade, as opposed to commercially produced, dressings. I remember Dr. Joel Fuhrman mentioning a dressing recipe that consisted of sesame seeds, oranges, cashews, and blood orange vinegar. It sounded amazing, but I never got around to trying it. Maybe now is the time!

  7. As a kid I loved drenching my salad in dressing. Still, to this day I love to do the same. I’ll eat one everyday, but along with the dressing I guess it makes it not as healthy as I thought. Also, since I have severe allergies to fresh vegetables and all tree nuts, it’s hard for me to find added protein and other ingredients to add to my meal. My favorite is Spinach with vinegar and olive oil mixed. The idea of putting salad in a mason jar is strange, but such a cute idea for the summer.

    • Drenching is perhaps not the best technique for retaining a salad’s health benefits… bummer about the allergies. Do they persist after a light steaming?

  8. I can eat a salad every single day. No lie. I cannot stand those creamy or fattening dressings either. Just straight vinegar for me. I like most of my flavour in the salad to come from the salad itself & the ingredients I toss into it. I’ll tell you something though: I cannot stand iceberg lettuce. I just hate it! That’s the kind of salad I like to avoid.

  9. You forgot to mention the health benefits of taco salads! JK. Through diet and exercise, I’ve lost nearly 30 lbs in the last 6 months. Romaine lettuce has become a big part of my diet. I eat about 5 lbs of romaine a week. I pour light salad dressing in it, but I try to avoid creamy dressings and ones with too much sugar. I don’t feel too bad about the dressing because I count it in my daily calorie count.

    • That’s awesome latitudes41… and you did it without taco salads!?! JK. Sounds like you’re all over the salad dressing issue, avoiding the unhealthy ones and getting some pretty sweet benefits as a result.

  10. What a delightful article Lorna! I only eat salad twice a week at present. These ideas help me envision eating more salad and not getting bored with it. Reading about the nutrients salads have to offer is also very inspiring. I do agree that a salad can be so refreshing and delicious. I find it interesting that eating a salad at the beginning of the meal will help curb overeating. I also am attracted to the books you have listed and will put them in my favorites.

    • Thanks aphil, the nutritional info definately adds to the motivation factor in eating our daily greens… and a salad recipe book is a great addition to the kitchen for entertaining or just to shake up your own salad routine a bit. And very inspiring!

  11. I have to agree with you on feeling fuller at meals by eating more leafy greens. I recently starting adding a simple green salad to my breakfast and have become much more satisfied. One one hand, I feel fuller from the intake of fresh vegetables, but I have also noticed that my breakfasts aren’t feeling so heavy anymore which is quite refreshing considering it is the first meal of the day.

    • A salad with breakfast sounds interesting Dame, maybe the fiber is helping to make you feel satisfied. And that ‘feeling fuller but lighter’ is one of the great perks of a salad that I enjoy too.

  12. I do enjoy a good bowl of greens and try to eat it a salad at least twice a week, but I do think I’d get sick of it if I were to eat it every single day. I’ve never been the type of person to make a side dish; what I make is the main course, simple as that. So that being said, when I make this, it is the entire meal. I do try my best to incorporate a good amount of vegetables to my cooking in general, however. But I agree with what this post says; there are certainly a lot of benefits to consuming a raw veggie dish. Perhaps I’ll try adding in a nice side every now and then.

    I really like the variety of types and ideas that you mentioned here. It really makes salad look less like a boring food meant for rabbits, and more like a truly delicious and customizable food.

    • I think that’s the key to getting over resistance to doing a lot of things that are good for us… to make them more appealing and interesting so we’ll at least give them a try. Glad you enjoyed the post!

  13. Great info! We eat salads all the time in this house, but mostly just because we like them! I would really like to try a spiralizer. It might encourage me to eat some of the veggies I typically avoid.

    I agree people should stay away from store bought dressings. There are some great homemade dressing recipes out there. We are trying a new one today – spicy garlic!

  14. It’s good to know that I’m doing some things right to bring down my LDL. I do sometimes add processed deli meats to my salads, and I can see I need to stop doing that. I enjoy adding nuts and seeds, and will have to check into some additional items, such as the clover and mung beans. I have switched from bottled dressing to homemade vinaigrette, which is much lighter and doesn’t weight my salads down. I love the look and sound of the Kale, Pepper and Apple Salad, so I’ll have to try making it.

  15. Leafy greens are great for helping with cholesterol levels Diane, and such an easy choice to aid our health naturally. If you enjoy adding deli meats, look for ones that are nitrate free… they won’t last in the fridge as long, but are much better for us. Enjoy creating your version!

  16. In our home we eat a salad almost every day. It is a great way to get your veggies and my grand daughter just loves them. She is 7 years old and she loves a good Veggie Warp and if you ask her what she wants to eat she will usually ask for something with broccoli in it. She loves greens of any kind especially kale. It is so nice to see a child enjoy her vegetables. I am not a big fan of iceberg lettuce either. There are just too many other leafy greens that are more flavourful. This is a great article and has so much wonderful information.

    • A 7 year old who likes broccoli and kale… you’re family’s doing something right Sue! Thanks for your comments and glad you enjoyed the info.

  17. When I see this type of encouragement it makes me want to give up on everything else and eat only salads for a while. Vegetable and fruit salads. There are just so many delicious combinations that you can come up with and as you say in your article, the health benefits are many!

    • Glad you found the post encouraging, and with all the health benefits it just makes sense to have them as a regular in our meal plans…

  18. I always have known lettuce is good for you, as well as all vegetables and fruits. But, I never knew the many benefits salad gives to you. Whenever I think about dieting I think about vegetables and being hungry. But, I didn’t know that its very rich in fiber, which keeps you full. I had no idea also how much it benefited your overall health including your bones, eye sight, and skin tone. Something that I am guilty of is “salad mistakes”. I do enjoy rich creamy dressings that spice things up. Instead of this I will try your healthy oil and vinegar at home recipe suggestion.

  19. These look adorable. I also agree that using a dressing full of preservatives is just counterintuitive. One analogy that I heard was that putting store bought dressing on a salad was like eating an apple dipped in caramel.

  20. I love how informative this article is. I myself recently lost a lot of weight (15 pounds, to be exact!) and I owe it all to working out and incorporating salads into my daily diet. It is amazing how much a serving of healthy greens can fill me up and fuel me for the rest of the day. I used to despise anything made with a vegetable when I was a kid, and I must admit that I was a late bloomer when it came to eating my veggies. I love how you can basically customize your salad and dressing to your liking, and even add some of your favorite fruits to add an extra oomph. Usually I use kale in my salads, so I’m really excited to try out your kale greens with peppers and apple!

    • Fantastic! That’s a super testimonial to the power of salads! Late bloomer or not, you’re making those veggies work for you now. Thanks for sharing, and I hope you enjoy the kale!

  21. Growing up, my guardians always made sure we had some sort of veggie during dinner. More often than not, during the summer that source of veggie would be salads! Though I have to say, my guardians were not very…adventurous with their crispy greens so all we would end up is your typical garden variety (lettuce, carrots, maybe some mushroom and corn). Of course, this grew old after awhile so for the longest time I hated eating salad.

    It wasn’t until I went off to college and set off on my own did I realize how many different variety you can make! While I do make a lot of the greens for dinner myself now, I still have a long way to go with learning what ingredients pairs best with what. I usually stick with my typical items (a base, maybe meat, and some cheese) but I would love eventually learn more techniques and combinations to make dinner more interesting.

    Now, if only I can convince my husband that a variety in this case is a good thing 😛 Thanks for all the information!

    • Well, as they say tangela, variety is the spice of life… hope you find your salad explorations to be fun and rewarding!

  22. Thanks so much for this post. It’s the exact inspiration I need to keep me on my salads for lunch kick and turn it in to a long term routine. As a stay at home mom with 2 under 3 we almost always eat lunch at home, it’s just easier 🙂 and cheaper! I’ve been really trying to eat healthier and salads seem like the perfect option. The reasons you mention just solidify these thoughts for me! Thanks again, I love reading you gals & guys articles.

  23. Thanks for your kind comments cbrain, a little inspiration can go a long way towards to making a new routine stick. And think of what a great example you’re setting for those two under three with a salad a day… that’s inspirational!

  24. #1 Natural Source of Fiber? I like this one! What some awesome benefits in regards to item #1, but there are many other benefits noted that I had no idea about.. Make my side a salad, please! That’s what I’ll be saying next time I’m eating out. However, what about at home? The thing I hate most about salads is preparing them. That “Mason Jar Salad” idea is phenomenal. I’m heading to the store this week to get me some jars. I love this idea!!

    Great tips, great information, and great ideas! I can’t wait to implement them in my life.

  25. Whenever I make a salad, I’ve found that if the salad’s vegetables are cut into larger chunks, then it gives the illusions that you’re eating more. My kids would always complain about our salads being too small. I just cut the vegetables less finely, and now they never complain. It probably has something to do with all of the additional chewing that is involved.

  26. These are one of the healthiest things you can make and they can also replace a meal or two. I usually eat one in the morning with a couple of eggs, a breakfast at its finest. Green onions are the best along with fresh greens as well.

  27. This article has inspired me to actually eat salad! I am really a meat lover, but my body is not always so happy about that.Now, this is probably an incredibly silly question but it’s worth a shot: is it possible to freeze romaine lettuce, spinach etc.? I am wondering this in case lettuce etc. comes on sale! I would hate to buy a bunch and then have it go bad before I can use it all.

    • Eating more salad will certainly make your body happier linea!

      Sadly, lettuce doesn’t freeze well at all – it just goes soggy and limp. Look for bulk bins of loose leaf or mixed greens in the produce section in larger grocery stores so you can buy smaller amounts.

  28. Eating salad also cools down your body on a hot day. It’s very hot in my country and a bowl of salad never fails me.

    When I was a little girl, we had salad everyday. It balanced out nicely with the heavier meals we had in the afternoons. I think lettuce with a little bit of salt, tastes absolutely wonderful.

  29. Lovely stuff! I wish I could eat salads every day, but I am so far away from fresh vegetable stores and the supermarkets are real expensive and don’t always provide the best quality. However, I do try to eat them as often as I can and I do agree that salads are wonderful in so many ways. The flavors and crispness are enough to get your appetite going.

  30. I love it. I don’t need an excuse to have one every day, because I enjoy it so much.

    My husband frequently teases me about “eating all that rabbit food.” He might have one as a side dish occasionally, but never for a meal. I’d have it all the time.

    I like this recipe as well. Another one to add to my list.

      • Ha ha, yes it does rock. I tried making something similar to this, but I substituted Romaine lettuce.

        I have to say (once again) that the images on this site are gorgeous and mouth watering. Making me want to go create a big plate of rabbit food right now.

        I forgot to mention the Mason jar thing as well. Love that idea, and they look so pretty. The perfectly packaged picnic meal for me.

  31. I can honestly say that I don’t eat nearly enough salads. The most I can say that I probably eat is about 8 times a month. It’s not that I don’t like my fresh veggies, I actually do like them a lot. It’s just that I get lazy when it comes to eating them. This counts for fruits too. After reading all the health benefits found in salads that you provides us with, it kind of motivates a girl to try to eat healthier. Thanks a bunch.

    • Glad to provide a bit of motivation Michelle – I always need extra inspiration for eating fresh fruit and veggies in the winter as I’m inclined to lean into comfort foods when the weather gets bad. But health needs to trump comfort!

  32. This just pushes me more towards starting to eat more salads. I really like the cookbook recommendations. I’m wanting to start doing salads for lunches more often, to bulk up any leftovers. It would be great to do a salad for lunch every day, but I seem to have great trouble keeping greens fresh. I’ll take my greens out of any plastic and put them in a mesh bag, perhaps even with a paper towel or two to soak up excess moisture, but within a few days I have to throw out half of them because they are mushy. It gets frustrating and quite tedious to have to pick through every leaf to find the decent ones. I might want to invest in some of those produce freshening products. Apparently they absorb the excess gasses that the produce creates, which makes them wilt faster. Anyone have any suggestions of a good brand? I’m not sure what else I could change to make my leafy greens last longer.

  33. Avocado salad has always been my best . I do not like dry salad. When i say dry i mean salad that only has green leafy vegetables.

  34. I used to bring a sandwich for lunch every day. I switched to brining salads and noticed several immediate effects. Cutting out the bread helped prevent the 2pm slump. Likewise I noticed my skin clearing up within a week. I definitely think I’m dropped a few pounds since switching and overall just feel lighter.

  35. As I read this blog post, all I could think about was going into my kitchen and making a HUGE salad. I love eating salads; my husband never ate salads until he met me and he eats a salad daily now. Sometimes we might eat a small side salad with our dinner and other times we ‘ll have a salad as the main course. Years ago, my husband would never consider only having a salad for dinner, but now he sees how filling salads can be.

  36. Salads are a healthy and quite inexpensive way to stretch your food dollar. One of my favorite salads is to make a traditional garden salad then place toppings with which one would make fajitas, when making the meat or veggie mix as a topping be sure and use some aspect of fajita or taco splice for more flavor- Cheers!!!!

  37. I sure hope the free lunch folks have salad today – you guys have made me crave a big salad like the one Elaine likes on Seinfeld – Oh well, if not, I have some makings at home for a rather big green salad with red and green peppers, herbs and dressing – Cheers!!!!

  38. I’ve been trying to add more green into my eating habits and I must say that it has helped me so much. I was never a fan of veggies growing up but all it took was combining the few veggies I actually did like and finding the right salad.

    Not to exaggerate but when I have a good salad with Honey Mustard on top, it’s as if I’ve just been rejuvenated. I see the many health benefits salads have as a plus because I’d eat a salad every day if I could (but it’s quite expensive, as I buy my own veggies and fruits).

    • Salads do make us feel rejuvenated Canary! And have you tried growing your own green veggies to help with costs? Many will do well in pots, even on small apartment balconies… lettuce, green onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots and so on are all quite doable. Delicious and economical too!

  39. It’s funny how these are all things that you do know on some level but it’s still so hard to make a commitment to the daily salad routine. While I love a good salad, it’s the prep that takes me forever. I like to load my salads with variety, so there’s usually a lot of chopping involved. Usually, I like to make sure I have a nice fresh bunch of organic veggies before I decide to make a salad… And I also always, always make the dressing myself!

  40. Ah yes, the old commitment issue, it can be a challenge… how about the next time you make a salad, you chop up double or triple amount of the veggies you enjoy, and store the extras in ziplocks? That way you just have to prep the greens and any soft veggies like tomatoes or avocado. Do that twice a week, and a daily salad would be much easier to achieve.

  41. I really love salads, and I actually started to eating them about three or two years ago because I did had a bad concept of them since I’m clearly not the healthiest man on earth. But I think that with the time they have gained popularity, or at least on my city they have, so I started to eat them more. It’s kind of sad that you mentioned how unhealthy dressings are… sometimes that’s the best part of the salad for me, lol. I’ll take a look to the homemade dressings, it’s still a dressing and I won’t felt guilty to adding it to my salad.

    Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

  42. Glad to hear you’ve taken up the salad habit anorexorcist. And the homemade dressings are great for a little guilt-free flavor!

  43. I am actually one of those people who literally eats a salad a day, sometimes two, in place of lunch and dinners. They are much better for you than most other things, lighter and less harsh on your diet, and better tasting too. I am currently trying to lose weight, and since eating salads as often as I do, I have lost nearly 10 pounds in a month. I also change what condiments I use in the salad so its not the “same boring salad” every day.

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