4 steps to building a better salad

March is National Nutrition Month and according to the CDC, most adults aren't getting enough fruits and veggies. Meghan Sedivy, a registered dietitian with Freshy Thyme Market, joins FOX6 WakeUp with four steps to building a better salad  

1.    Start with Dark Leafy Greens
●    Dark leafy greens are a good source of iron, calcium, fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A and folate
●    Try a combination of different leafy greens to enhance flavor
o    Spinach
o    Romaine
o    Arugula
o    Kale
●    If making a side salad shoot for 2 cups of greens on your plate
●    If salad is your main meal shoot for 4 cups of greens on your plate

2.    Add colorful fruits and veggies
●    Packed with nutrients
●    The Key is 3! Choose at least 3 different colored fruits and veggies. This will ensure getting at least 3 different nutrients in your salad
●    In our salad we have the 4 different colored fruits and veggies
○    Green Onion- filled with vitamin A for vision health 1 cup = 95% daily intake and vitamin K helps to utilize calcium in the body and clots blood
○    Dried Apricots- potassium and fiber. Helps regulate electrolyte balance and keep a healthy digestive tract
○    Kiwi- Vitamin C strong antioxidant properties, 1 cup= 250% daily intake
○    Red Grapes- Vitamin C, potassium and vitamin K, anti-inflammatory properties
●    Add texture and flavor to your salad
●    Experiment with fruits and vegetables that are in season during the spring and summer months

3.    Don’t forget about lean protein
●    Adding protein can turn your side salad into a hearty meal. No more than ¼ your salad should be from the protein group
●    Our recipe here doesn’t have a traditional protein component, but it does contain wild rice which has more protein than other rice. It is naturally gluten-free, a whole grain and packed with fiber to fill you up and keep you full longer
●    To cook wild grain rice, you will need 3 cups of water per every 1 cup rice. Allow water to boil and then add rice and simmer for 45 minutes
●    Choose at least 1 source of lean protein such as chicken, tuna, low fat cottage cheese or eggs
●    Choose from a variety of plant-based protein such as black beans, edamame, garbanzo beans, tofu 
●    For an extra crunch sprinkle seeds or nuts on top of your salad

4.    Top it all off with a dollop of dressing
●    Less is more! Try to keep your dressing portion to ~2 tablespoons 
●    Put your dressing on the side or when eating out ask to have your dressing on the side. This will prevent over portioning your dressing
●    When dressing is on the side dip a small fork full of salad into the dressing instead of pouring the dressing directly on top of the salad
●    Choose vinaigrette or oil-based salad dressings to help lower the calorie and fat content of your salad
●    Today we are making a tangy vinaigrette that includes olive oil, white balsamic, Dijon mustard, honey and green onion
1. Olive oil- monounsaturated, increase good cholesterol and decrease bad cholesterol, always cold pressed
2. Balsamic- antioxidants called polyphenols, stabilizes blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels 
3. Honey- natural sweetener but it is so much more anti-inflammatory properties, folate to regenerate new cells, B vitamin and vit C, calcium, iron, 
4. Dijon Mustard- lower in calories and sodium then other condiments 

Check out Freshthyme.com for this Spring Greens and Wild Rice Salad recipe and more fresh and healthy recipes.