How salads are healthy

Salads, with the healthy ingredients and tasty, homemeade, low calory dressings, can help to boost your long-term health. Neglected by many, fresh salads offer overwhelming health benefits and should be an integral part of your daily diet. Most ingredients contain a variety of minerals, vitamins, trace elements, as well as protein and fiber that will boost your health and metabolism.

Here you will find an overview of many great ingredients that you can use to create your own healthy salad. You’ll also find suggestions for low-calorie salad dressings and a list of key seeds that can add extra nutrients to any meal.

Healthy Salad Ingredients

  • Spinach: Spinach is not only great for cooking, but it’s also a fantastic salad ingredient. It is rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium, as well as vitamins C, B and A.
  • Kale: The most common green leafy vegetable used in salads is iceberg lettuce. However, it does not contain as many nutrients. Cabbage, such as feathered kale, is a better alternative because it’s packed with important nutrients, including vitamins C and K. Plus, it has a slightly bitter taste that adds another flavor dimension to your salads. Also keep it in mind as one of the best ingredients for your power smoothies and stir-fry dishes. Cabbage is very versatile.
  • Onions: The ingredients in onions are very valuable. Onions contain many vitamins, such as B and A, minerals, such as potassium and calcium, and antioxidants, lower your blood sugar levels, improve your digestion, and add a unique flavor to many dishes.
  • Bell peppers: Bell peppers are versatile. Green, yellow or red, it’s up to your taste how you use this healthy fruit. Eat it raw, boil it, steam it. It’s always a great ingredient. The vegetable is high in vitamins A, B and C, as well as some minerals like potassium and magnesium. Among other things, peppers stimulate the metabolism and have an anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Garlic: Garlic adds another natural flavor to your dishes. In addition, garlic has unique ingredients that you should not do without. Garlic is rich in various vitamins, such as several B vitamins and vitamin C, and contains minerals such as potassium, magnesium and calcium. This means that garlic supports your overall health, metabolism, nervous system, and promotes anti-inflammatory processes.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are juicy and delicious. They are the all-around champion in your diet. Tomatoes and tomato products are rich in folic acid, vitamin C and potassium.
  • Cucumber: Cucumber is a low carb ingredient. Eat it anytime as a snack to enjoy a water-rich vegetable that is very filling. It is a valuable source of vitamins B, C and K, as well as the minerals potassium and iron.
  • Fresh fruits: Adding fruits to your salad will make the dish sweeter and tastier. You can use fresh fruits either as part of the salad dressing or as one of the ingredients for the salad base. By doing so, you make your salad more versatile in taste and add many more vitamins and minerals to it. The fruit salad, in which you simply mix some fresh fruits chopped up, is of course also a great salad, especially as a dessert or snack, for example with natural yogurt. However, some fruits, such as apple, are relatively neutral and can be added to a variety of salads. Citrus fruits, such as lemon and orange, often serve as a vitamin-rich and fresh addition to salad dressings.
  • Beans and other legumes: Beans contain lots of fiber, which improves your digestion and gut health. Beans are also a good source of protein, so you can use them as a protein source for your salad. The problem with beans, however, is that you need to pre-cook them before adding them to your salad. You can use canned beans as an alternative. A variety of canned vegetables are better than their reputation and still contain many nutrients. Sure, fresh vegetables are generally better, but at least with legumes, you must ask yourself if it’s worth the effort. A tasty and at the same time filling ingredient for salads are for example lentils, white or green beans or kidney beans, which you can find in every supermarket as canned vegetable. When buying canned vegetables, be sure to check the salt content, as salt is one of the ingredients used for preservation.
  • Lettuce: Lettuce is a very filling ingredient that can be added to any type of salad. Depending on the type of lettuce, it contains many vitamins such as vitamins C, E, A and K, as well as the minerals potassium, calcium and phosphorus.
  • Fresh herbs: Herbs such as parsley and chives not only add a wonderful and aromatic flavor to any salad, but also contain many important nutrients. For example, parsley and chives contain a lot of vitamins C, B and E, as well as calcium, magnesium and iron.
  • Olives: If you like them, olives add a unique Mediterranean flavor to any salad. Have you ever tried a fresh traditional Greek salad that consists of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, feta cheese and olives? Without olives, an important flavor note would be missing. In addition to this individual flavor, olives provide your body with sodium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, as well as vitamin A and folic acid.
  • Shredded hard cheese and feta: You can use any hard cheese or a blend of several varieties like Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano. These cheeses add salt, spice and a little more flavor to your salad. However, if you add cheese to your salad, be sure to skimp on the salt in the dressing. Many cheeses already contain salt, and as we all know, too much salt is not good for your body. Various cheeses are also part of many traditional salads, for example, feta cheese is an important ingredient in a traditional Greek salad.
  • Tofu: If you want to make a vegan salad, you can use tofu as a protein ingredient. But even as is, tofu is a delicious salad ingredient and contains lots of fiber. Tofu is very versatile. While natural tofu is tasteless, there are now many varieties of tofu, such as tofu with olives or smoked tofu. You’ll have to experiment a bit to see how tofu tastes best to you. Sautéed, smoked tofu can make a flavor difference in your next salad.


You can add any ingredient you want to your salad, if it tastes good to you. Just make sure you don’t unintentionally add too many calories, such as by adding too much cheese.

Salads are very versatile, light and easy to prepare and therefore real all-rounders for your healthy diet. Let your imagination run wild and try out different ingredients. By experimenting on your own and trying out classic recipes, you’re sure to find your new favorite salad.

The best low-calorie salad dressings

Salads are recommended and healthy dishes, but they can lose many of their health benefits if you use the wrong dressing. Get in the habit of making dressings yourself, and rarely if ever use ready-made dressings from the supermarket. These products usually contain sugar, mayonnaise and many other ingredients that you should avoid if you are eating healthy. Here are some low-calorie salad dressings you should try.

Healthy Honey Mustard

This is one of the most popular salad dressings you can use on your salads. Just mix the following ingredients and add it to your salad:

  • 1/4 cup each of Greek yogurt, olive oil and Dijon mustard.
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Greek Salad Dressing

Although this dressing is great with green vegetables, it also goes well with pasta. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this healthy, low-calorie dressing for salads:

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 teaspoons dried oregano
  • Salt to taste

Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette

Chipotles are smoked jalapeño chilies that can be used in salad dressings or to flavor Mexican dishes. Of course, like other chilies, chipotles have some heat. However, they are among the milder chilies. Test their shepherds before using chipotles for seasoning so you can gauge the level of spiciness for yourself. Here are the ingredients to make this exciting vinaigrette for your salad:

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 chipotle chilies
  • 1 lime, freshly squeezed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon each cumin and fresh oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

If you have leftover cilantro from homemade salsa, don’t let it wilt in the fridge. Use it, stems and all, to make a refreshing vinaigrette. You can then mix the vinaigrette into your salad. Here are the ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • Juice of two limes
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of ground cilantro and salt

Ginger Sesame Vinaigrette

Add an interesting flavor twist to your salads with this Asian-inspired dressing. If you’re not a fan of spicy foods, you can omit the Sriracha. Prepare this vinaigrette with the following ingredients and make it a part of your healthy and delicious salads:

  • 2 tablespoons each of sesame oil, rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar, light soy sauce and olive oil.
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha (optional)

Healthy Italian Vinaigrette

Most Italian dressings, especially from the supermarket, contain a lot of sugar. This homemade version tastes much fresher and has far fewer calories. Here are the ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon each of Italian seasoning and Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Healthy Ranch Dressing

Avoid ranch dressing from the supermarket, because it usually contains a lot of mayonnaise, thus has a high content of unhealthy fats and calories. With such a ready-made dressing, you ruin the health benefits of a salad. Instead, prepare a similar dressing yourself, swap out a few ingredients, and you have a healthy ranch dressing. Here are the ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt.
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Enough water to dilute the emulsion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of chives and dill
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation of the salad dressings

To make the salad dressings mentioned in this article, simply mix the ingredients thoroughly and then distribute them evenly throughout the salad. Start with the oils, then the acids (lemon, vinegar) and then add the rest of the ingredients.


With these salad dressings you can prepare tasty and healthy salads at the same time, without having to resort to ready-made sauces for salads. The right dressings make salads more interesting and tastier. Get in the habit of making salad dressings yourself to minimize calories and maximize the health benefits of your salads.

The best health promoting seeds for salads

Mixing seeds into your meal will give you more flavor and, most importantly, more nutrients from your salad meal. That’s why you should consider adding them regularly to your selection of healthy salad ingredients. Here are some of the seeds you should mix into your salads.

  • Flaxseed: Flax seeds contain lots of fiber, which is good for gut health, as well as calcium, potassium and magnesium. This makes them ideal as an ingredient in salads, mushrooms, yogurt and smoothies.
  • Chia seeds: If you’re vegan, you can use chia seeds as a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which you normally get from fatty fish. Plus, just like flax seeds, chia seeds are high in fiber. Because they can absorb many times their volume in water, chia seeds can help you feel fuller longer and provide you with calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron and more.
  • Sesame Seeds: Sesame seeds can be a tasty and healthy salad ingredient. They are rich in the minerals iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and the trace mineral selenium, and contain many B vitamins.
  • Sunflower seeds: Sunflower seeds contain anti-inflammatory substances and are therefore ideal for middle-aged and older people. When eaten regularly, these seeds can also reduce the risk of heart disease and help control cholesterol levels. Sunflower seeds are high in vitamins E and B, as well as the minerals potassium, phosphorus and magnesium.
  • Hemp seeds: Benefits of hemp seeds include improved skin health, increased supply of antioxidants and better muscle growth. Hemp seeds are also flavorless, so you can mix them into any meal without changing the taste too much. Hemp seeds are highly nutritious and contain many B and E vitamins, minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium, as well as fatty acids and fiber.
  • Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds contain many healthy fats and proteins. In addition, these delicious seeds are rich in iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, as well as fiber and protein. These very tasty seeds can also be eaten as a snack.
  • Poppy seeds: If you like to bake your own bread and pastries, you should try to use poppy seeds more often. Poppy seeds are high in manganese and calcium, which can help promote bone health and strength.


These are just a few of the seeds and kernels you should include in your daily diet. Not only do they add variety to your food, but they are also a valuable nutritional supplement. It doesn’t matter if you add them to your salad or cereal or cook with them. Seeds and seeds contain fiber, minerals, vitamins and trace minerals. Stock up on a good selection of seeds the next time you go shopping and add them to your meals regularly.


Geo Wissen

AOK Wie gesund ist Essen aus der Konservendose?