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Insider’s Viewpoint: The Power of Salad

Most people don’t eat enough vegetables and fruits, but a great way to increase your intake is by eating a variety of salads. A salad can be a powerhouse of many nutrients that are vital for good health.

Most vegetables and fruits are low in fat and calories and are major contributors of many nutrients including potassium, folate, magnesium, dietary fiber and vitamins A, C and K – nutrients that are often underconsumed in the United States. The consumption of vegetables and fruits is associated with reduced risk of many chronic diseases. Moderate evidence indicates that an intake of at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits daily is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease including heart attack and stroke. Some vegetables and fruits may be protective against certain types of cancer.*

Add A Powerhouse Of Nutrients To Your Day: 2 Quick & Easy Salads
Both of the recipes below are simple and quick to prepare, and they lightly dress the wonderful flavor of vegetables and fruits. The Spring Mix Salad Green with Raspberry Honey Vinaigrette can be served as a side salad or as the base of a main dish salad. If creating a main dish salad, try this …

How To Create A Healthy Main Dish Salad Using All The MyPlate Food Groups

Vegetables
Start with a few colorful vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, grated carrots, sliced cucumber, purple onion rings, broccoli or cauliflower florets, julienne jicama and diced summer squash.

Fruit
Add some fruit like mandarin orange segments, sliced strawberries, seedless purple or red grapes, blueberries and kiwi slices.

Protein
Good choices for protein are sliced chicken breast, grilled salmon, boiled shrimp, hard-boiled egg slices, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, nuts or seeds.

Dairy
Grated low-fat cheese adds some dairy.

Grain
Serve with a whole grain bread stick.

Tip: When making a main dish salad consider this spring mix recipe makes enough greens and salad dressing for the base of two main dish salads.

Recipes

Spring Mix Salad Green with Raspberry Honey Vinaigrette
Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ½ tablespoons raspberry vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons honey
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • 6 cups spring mix salad greens or salad greens of choice

Directions
Combine oil, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper in a small jar with a tight fitting lid. Secure lid and shake. Pour over salad greens and serve immediately.

Each serving contains approximately 64 calories and 5 grams fat.
Fresh Fruit Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
This salad can be served with breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, but can also be served as a snack or dessert.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 cups diced cantaloupe
  • 2 cups quartered strawberries
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Directions
Combine cantaloupe, strawberries and blueberries in a medium glass bowl. Combine yogurt, honey, lemon juice and poppy seeds in a small glass bowl and whisk to mix thoroughly. Add to fruit and lightly toss.

Each serving contains approximately 83 calories and .5 grams fat.

* Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010

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