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Build a Better, Healthier Salad

Here's how to build a healthier salad, with advice and a recipe from the American Institute for Cancer Research.

  • Lay a foundation of dark, leafy greens. These have cancer-fighting vitamins and phytochemicals. Mix pre-washed and packed greens, such as baby spinach leaves, Romaine or red leaf lettuce, with peppery watercress. Dark greens like these contain iron, the B vitamin folate and lutein.
  • Add brightly colored veggies such as shredded carrots, slices of red and green pepper, and shredded purple cabbage. These bring beta-carotene, vitamin C and other plant-based cancer fighters to your meal. Add small sections of broccoli or cauliflower.
  • For sweetness, add chopped fresh fruit.
  • For fiber, add beans. They contain protein, folate and minerals. Choose from a variety of beans such as kidney, pinto and garbanzo. If you use canned beans, drain and rinse them to lower the salt content.
  • Check your refrigerator for leftovers. Add grains such as whole-wheat pasta or rice. Try bulgur or quinoa - grains that provide protein. These also give you fiber, vitamins and minerals and replace high-fat croutons.
  • Top your salad with a small amount of healthy fat, such as olive or canola oil. Mix first with a flavored vinegar or lemon juice.
  • Other topping options: canned, drained white tuna; a half cup of shredded low-fat cheese; or slices of turkey.

Used with permission from www.health-eheadlines.com, © 2006, Write On, Inc.

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