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Are you having your salad right?

Just because there are fresh fruits and vegetables on your plate doesn’t mean you’re eating healthy. We all know its health and well-being tossed in a bowl. But how to get that right balance, proportion, color and flavor out of your crunchy meal is a question that still daunts most of us. Here are some salad basics, reports The Times of India.

Think outside the bowl: Give up on predictable staples like chickpeas and sprouts and spruce up your salad with new entrants every week. Go for fresh herbs, beet slices, avocado, low fat goat cheese or power-packed pumpkin seeds. This will not only keep you interested in the salad regime but also pack in different nutrients and flavors.

Darker the better: Not all salad greens are equally healthy. Iceberg lettuce is crunchy and attractive on a salad plate but not very high on the nutrition meter. Go for darker leaves instead, like baby spinach, rocket leaves, red and green leaf and Romaine lettuce or kale as they pack in more vitamins and minerals. These plant-based wonders may help protect you from heart disease, diabetes, and perhaps even cancer.

Don’t fall for crunch: Adding those crispy noodles or croutons to your Thai or Asian salad might up the yummy quotient but it doesn’t favor your waistline. Croutons are made from processed white bread, which equates to empty carbohydrates and high calories. Walnuts or water chestnuts are a much healthier way to get the crunch you want.

Eat salad for dessert:There’s an ongoing debate about when to have your salad…before or after the meal? Well, in Italy and France, they have it after aperitifs and the main course. Not bad, say health experts since salad improves digestion after a long and heavy meal. If your after-dinner snack is high in fat, it can lead to indigestion that makes it difficult to sleep soundly. Salad, however, is lighter and less likely to affect the quality of your sleep.

Don’t pile on mindlessly: Keeping the ratio right in a salad is the key thing. Try to take up about three-fourths of your plate with greens, so you’ll have less room for high-calorie stuff.