What do you think of when the word salad comes to mind? I grew up thinking of a salad as iceberg lettuce topped by tomatoes and onions. However, iceberg is actually the least nutrient-dense green – it’s mostly water! When constructing or choosing your next salad, try changing it up. There are many other greens out there, and most pack a pretty good nutrient punch.
Here’s some of the most common greens along with ways to try using them:
Oh, sweet kale. One of my favorites, this dark leafy green is full of nutrients. With all its vitamins and minerals, it contains vitamin K, which can influence the blood clotting mechanism (if this is a concern for you, check with your doctor before introducing a lot of kale into your diet).
Try: blended in a smoothie, shredded in a salad (soak it in the dressing beforehand so it’s softer), chopped and sauteed.
Popeye was onto something with his love of spinach. This green is also a great source of nutrients. It also contains higher levels of oxalates, which can be troublesome for some people, particularly if you have kidney concerns or histamine issues; however, most people are able to enjoy spinach with no problem.
Try: blended in a smoothie, shredded in a salad, added to soup.
This crunchy guy is not quite as nutrient dense as other leafy veggies, but it’s still a great green to add into your diet. It’s also pretty well-liked by picky eaters, kids and adults alike.
Try: chopped in a salad, whole leaves used as taco shells or carriers for chicken/tuna salad
Swiss and Rainbow Chard
Beautifully colorful, I love to find this at the local farmer’s market. Full of vitamins and minerals, chard adds some variety to the dark leafies. The bright stems contain additional nutrients too!
Try: chopped and sauteed.
This amazing staple green is used in many different cuisines and in many different ways. Sturdy and versatile, it’s a great carrier but also yummy on its own.
Try: chopped and sauteed, as a wrap (think: hummus, shredded veggies), shredded into a soup
These spicy greens may not be for everyone, but they are full of goodness and help support your body’s detox pathways.
Try: in a salad with a sweet-savory dressing, chopped and sauteed.
Not the most nutritive, but still alright as a salad base for most people. I would tend to choose another leafy green for its nutrients, but this classic is widely available.
Try: in a salad with dark leafy greens too, whole or half leaves as a carrier for a heartier food.
Dark leafy greens are wonderful, as they contain many nutrients; however, for some people, consuming higher amounts of certain vitamins or minerals may be a concern. For example, some dark leafy greens contain higher amounts of vitamin K, which can affect the blood and clotting cascade. Always check with your doctor prior to making big changes in your diet.
Happy crunching 🙂
The information provided here is not intended to replace medical advice or to treat or diagnose any medical condition. Please consult your doctor with specific questions and prior to beginning any significant diet or lifestyle changes.