Eight Nourishing Ingredients That Jack-up Any Ordinary Salad

photo credit nancy s. mure

photo credit nancy s. mure

Pssssst. Hey you. Yeah, you. That salad you're eating -- it's boring. 

That's right, B-O-R-I-N-G. Lettuce, cucumber and tomato? That's so...side salad. Here are eight amazing ingredients to jack-up any salad nutritionally. Not only are these ingredients available all year round, they'll nourish you completely and they'll provide an impressive amount of omega 3's, vitamins, minerals and will remove heavy metals from your body when eaten regularly. To jack-up your usual side salad to a main meal salad be sure to add the following ingredients:

  1. Lettuce. Lettuce is at the base of every salad. It is the foundation on which all salads are built. That being said, which salad you use matters. Healthy choices like romaine have the highest nutrients, since romaine lettuce is the highest in Vitamin A. However, butter lettuce is no slouch either, being the highest in Vitamin K. Additionally, arugula proves to be an impressive source of protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Zinc and Copper, and a stellar source of dietary fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Manganese. My recommendation is to combine these lettuces for an ultra-nutritious base whenever you can.
  2. Sprouts, if you didn't know, are one of the most nutritious super foods on the planet and should be a mainstay in every salad. In fact, sprouts have the advantage of providing complete nutrition. Sprouts, when eaten regularly, can single-handedly turn your gut health around -- they're that powerful. Sprouting seeds is super easy to do and can be done on your countertop or you may find sprouts year 'round in a whole foods market or farm near you.
  3. Cilantro or parsley - Cilantro and parsley are natural chelators of heavy metals and should be eaten liberally for their "detoxing" affect. Cilantro is super high in Vitamin K as well as minerals like Potassium, Calcium, Manganese, Iron, and Magnesium. Cilantro is also rich in Folic-acid, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin-A, Beta carotene, Vitamin-C,  a powerful antioxidant. Not surprisingly, 100 grams of cilantro leaves provide thirty percent of the daily recommended levels of Vitamin-C. Parsley is no slouch either. In addition to removing heavy metals, parsley is an excellent source of Vitamins C, K & A and essential in inhibiting tumor growth
  4. Garbanzo beans pack a humongous nutritional punch. Garbanzo beans, or chick peas as they're known, are a powerhouse of minerals -- the highest being potassium, which is important for normal digestive and muscular function. Garbanzo beans are amazingly high in Phosphorous, Magnesium Calcium, Selenium, Copper, Manganese, Zinc, Iron, Vitamin A and Folate. Can you say loaded? Wow.
  5. Flax seed - In ground form, flax seed gives an essential nutritional boost of omega-3 fat called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). Flax seeds are super high in plant-based omega-3's and have also been shown to be protective against cancer
  6. Avocado, made either as a salad dressing or sliced atop your salad, is a nutritional must. Avocado is a neutral fruit, in terms of proper food combining, which means it goes with everything. Avocado is high in healthy fats and rich in Vitamins K, C, B5, B6, E,  Potassium and Folate containing small amounts of Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin) and B3 (Niacin). 
  7. Celery - is unquestionably one of the world's most healthy foods when eaten either raw or cooked, and perhaps most powerful of all superfoods. Celery is an excellent source of minerals like Calcium, Sodium, Copper, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, and Potassium, as well as Vitamins A, C & K. Celery is also very hydrating since, it's made up of mostly water.
  8. Cucumber is another vegetable that is quite hydrating. It is also an excellent source of pantothenic acid. Nutritionally, cucumbers hit the mark since they are quite high in Copper, Potassium, Manganese, Vitamin C, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Biotin, and Vitamin B1. Notably, celery contains the important nail health-promoting mineral silica. 

Overall, jacking-up your salads with the above ingredients skyrockets your nutritional intake, keeping you nourished while maintaining necessary alkaline reserves to maintain good health. You want to eat an abundance of the highly nourishing greens, and vegetables at least twice daily, along with ample amounts of fruits, nuts, and beans to attain lasting health.