How to super-charge your salad with super greens.
Salads and health are synonymous in today’s world. Millions of people turn to a bowl of green when looking to shed a few pounds or when searching for something light, but what many don’t know is that lettuce is mediocre from a nutrient standpoint. Super greens such as kale and arugula can supercharge your salad, providing you with a high level of nutrients in very few calories.
The typical salad includes lettuce, maybe some tomatoes, a few croutons and some cheese. And while these parts of the salad may not be bad for you (some more than others; I’m looking at you, cheese.), chances are you’re missing out on the elements that can take your salad from mundane to magnificent.
Super Greens: Your Salad Savior.
Enter cruciferous vegetables, the super greens that are here to save your salad day. Named for their cross-like look, these power vegetables are a massive step up from the very popular but nutrient-deficient iceberg and romaine lettuces.
Amongst the ranks of cruciferous vegetables are kale, broccoli, arugula, kale, Brussels sprouts, radish, watercress, collard greens and bok choy. Previously overlooked in most health communities, these vegetables have recently seen a rise to prominence in many nutrition circles as the preeminent leafy green.
What’s in These Super Greens, Anyway?
Recent studies of these vegetables have shown cruciferous vegetables to be a much better alternative to the traditional salad mixings, due to their high nutrient content and low caloric and fat makeup.
Cruciferous vegetables are lauded for their anti-cancerous properties. They contain high levels of vitamin K, the main vitamin responsible for regulating our inflammatory response mechanism, a common trigger for certain cancers.
They also contain large amounts of vitamins A and C and manganese, three antioxidants that are renowned for their ability to lower your risk of cancer. In addition, they are packed full of glucosinolates, another phytonutrient with cancer-halting abilities.
Further, they pack a sizable punch of protein per serving. For instance, a 200-gram serving of Brussels sprouts yields 20 grams of protein. It isn’t the 30 grams of protein you get from a 300-gram serving of chicken, but it’s much better than the 0 grams of protein you get from iceberg lettuce.
All of these benefits come with an incredibly low calorie content, with most servings of 100 calories delivering 6 to 8 grams of protein and fiber, up to 1000% of your daily vitamin K, up to 130% of your daily vitamin C, up to 60% of your daily Vitamin A, and up to 18% of your daily Manganese.
Not only are these items better for you, but there’s more flavor to them as well. Say goodbye to the taste of crunchy water. Next time you’re thinking about grabbing a salad, skip the romaine and grab a cross. Your body will thank you.