They’re speedy, easy and the flavour-combo possibilities are endless. Salads are an easy way to pack more nutrients into your diet, too.
Liven up those leaves with a few simple twists and suddenly you’ve got a far tastier, colourful and more filling - not to mention vitamin-loaded - meal on your plate.
Here are some of our favourite super salad additions to get you going...
Sprinkling these juicy gems over salads will not only make your meal delightfully more colourful and flavoursome, you’ll gain a sweet, juicy tick against that all important five-a-day goal too. Being rich in polyphenols helped the pomegranate earn its ‘superfood’ tag, and as well as antibacterial and immune-supporting antioxidant properties, early studies have suggested they could offer protection against cancer - and slow down the growth of cancer cells - too.
Once the reserve of fancy restaurant garnishes, samphire, which grows abundantly around UK shorelines, can now be foraged quite easily from a number of supermarkets. “As well as being high in vitamin C, samphire also acts as a natural diuretic,” says Rob Hobson, Healthspan nutritionist and co-author of The Detox Kitchen Bible (robhobson.co.uk).
“A great addition to a salad is oily fish - a great opportunity to get some omega-3 fatty acids, and fish is high in protein,” says NHS dietitian Sioned Quirke (www.quirkynutrition.co.uk). Guidelines advise we consume at least two portions of fish a week, including one oily type (maximum four portions a week, or two for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to fall pregnant soon), but many fall short, missing out on a host of research-backed health benefits, like preventing heart disease and maintaining a healthy weight.
Although technically belonging to the fruit family - and boasting suitably high vitamin contents to prove it, particularly vitamin E, which is great for supporting healthy hair and skin, and vitamin K - avocado’s richness in ‘good fats’ sets it apart. Sugar snap peas
While not the most nutrient-packed pea variety, sugar snap peas boast high amounts of immune-supporting vitamin C and are an additional source of fibre too, to help keep those guts in good nick. Best of all though is their crisp, natural sweetness and oh-so satisfying crunch, making a handful of raw pods a welcome addition to any salad.