8 Tasty Yet Healthy Salad Ingredients

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Healthy can be delicious too. Especially if you add some of your favorite ingredients from the list below to your salads.

While there are some personal preferences and differences when it comes to tasty and healthy, you will likely find at least a few foods that fit these categories for you.

1. Cheese

Cheese can be used to add taste and nutrients to many dishes. Salads are definitely on this list.

You can use grate some of the harder cheese on top of the other ingredients or put slices of softer cheeses like mozzarella in the mix.

When it comes to nutrients, cheeses typically contain nice amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals.

While protein sometimes gets a bad name, this nutrient is still important for goals like building muscle, preserving muscle, and just health in general.

One thing to note is that cheese can be relatively high in calories. For goals like losing weight, some options will be better than others.

Grated cheese

2. Salmon

There are some individuals that will disagree but many people will definitely enjoy a fresh piece of oven-baked salmon in their salads.

Additionally, salmon is generally considered healthy thanks to its healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals. These details will also make salmon great for people who want to feel less hungry throughout their days.

One potential downside of this salad ingredient is that it can be somewhat pricier. Additionally, some people don’t like the preparation time effort and time that is required to make salmon salad-ready.

3. Olives

Some people forget they exist but olives are a classic salad ingredient and for good reasons.

First of all, many people really enjoy their taste. Especially in combination with other ingredients like feta cheese and tomatoes.

Additionally, olives contain nice amounts of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and fats that are considered to be healthy. Besides generally being good for health, olives can also help make your salads more filling.

One small thing to note is that olives contain a decent number of calories. While some individuals do need to keep this in mind, most people should not be afraid of a few olives.

Olives on salad

4. Sesame seeds

Sesame seeds are often sprinkled on top of salads as a finishing touch. Partly for the visuals but also because of the taste and nutrients.

Something that positively stands out in sesame seeds is the amount of fiber they contain. 100 grams of dried sesame seeds contain around 11.8 grams of fiber (1).

People who struggle with hunger throughout the day likely want to give a few salad recipes with sesame seeds a try.

Additionally, sesame seeds contain nice amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals. This especially applies to the calcium, magnesium, and iron contents.

One thing to keep in mind is that sesame seeds contain a relatively high number of calories. The same 100 grams of dried sesame seeds from above also contain 573 calories (1).

5. Nuts

Nuts are not only easy and healthy snacks. They also can be used as ingredients in a variety of dishes. In salads, they can add a specific “bite” texture that not many other foods offer.

Besides that, they also contain nice amounts of protein, fats that are typically considered healthy, vitamins, and minerals.

While they are definitely not the only option on this list that does this, nuts are great for making your salads more filling.

Most people will also easily find at least one type of nut that they enjoy eating.

One thing to note is that nuts contain a lot of calories. 100 grams of peanuts contains around 567 calories (2).

It looks like humans don’t absorb all of these calories but people who want to control or lose their weight may want to keep the portions of nuts in their salads small (3).

Different types of nuts

6. Kidney beans

Legumes and more specifically beans may not be low-carb friendly but they can be healthy and tasty additions to salads anyway.

For example, 100 grams of kidney beans contain 6.4 grams of fiber, 8.7 grams of protein, only 127 calories, and nice amounts of iron, potassium, magnesium, other minerals, and vitamins (4).

One potential downside is that kidney beans require a bit more time and effort to prepare compared to something like peanuts.

That being said, if you enjoy the taste of kidney beans or other legumes, you can give them a try to see whether they are worth the effort.

7. Boiled eggs

In making a good salad for weight loss or any other health goals, some sources of protein are a must. One of the ingredient options that can help you with this is a boiled egg or two.

Besides protein, boiled eggs also offer helpful vitamins and minerals.

On top of these things, many people also like the taste and texture that boiled eggs add to a salad.

One thing to note is that some people are wary about consuming eggs because of their above-average cholesterol levels.

However, recent studies suggest that eating cholesterol does not necessarily influence the amount in your blood (5).

That being said, people with (family with) a history of high cholesterol may want to play it safe anyway and choose one of the other ingredients.

Boiled eggs in salad

8. Onions

Onions could be a bit controversial when it comes to taste. Some people can’t stand them. Others can imagine a good salad without them.

If you are leaning more towards this second group, you likely enjoy the crisp bite and the typically somewhat sour taste.

You can also caramelize onions by cooking them in a pan and then adding them to the salad.

Onions are also generally considered healthy due to their low calorie count, nice amount of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients like prebiotics, flavonoids, and antioxidants.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.