ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Salad a Day Keeps the Doctor Away: The Health Benefits of Green Salads

Updated on July 4, 2011

Eating a green salad every day is one of the healthiest habits you can get into.

Green salads are bursting with vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables. Eating two cups of Romaine lettuce alone will give you a nice boost of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, iron, calcium, folic acid, and many more important nutrients. Add in some carrots, tomatoes, and olive oil-based dressing and you can forget about your multivitamin pills! Raw vegetables and fruits are also bursting with antioxidants, which protect against many types of cancer and other diseases.

Green salads are also high in dietary fiber. Those same two cups of romaine lettuce will give you about 10% of your daily allotment of fiber. Fiber not only improves digestive health, it also helps protect the body against heart disease and many types of cancer. Not only that, eating a diet high in fiber will help you lose weight. Many foods high in fiber are "bulky" but relatively low calorie, so you will fill up faster, eat less food, and consume fewer calories in the food you do eat.

If your goal is weight loss, eating a large green salad before your meal is an especially good way to fill up on healthy but low calorie vegetables and fruits, so you eat less of your higher calorie entrée. Just leave off the high fat dressings and bacon bits, or replace them with heart healthier vinaigrettes and walnuts, which are rich in essential Omega-3 fatty acids.

Photo by foodistablog
Photo by foodistablog

The Perfect Salad

As you've probably guessed, a wimpy little salad with iceberg lettuce and a single anemic tomato slice is not going to cut it. If iceberg lettuce is what you're used to, I'm not asking you to immediately start cracking out the arugula. I'm not a big fan of arugula myself. But do start mixing basic iceberg lettuce with more nutritious leaf lettuces, especially Romaine.

Even if you're an experienced salad eater, consider experimenting with alternative toppings. Carrots and tomatoes make a great start, but have you considered the following (not all in the same salad!):

spinach, arugula, watercress, sprouts, parsley, cilantro, red cabbage, radish, beet, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, zucchini, green peppers, red peppers, red onion, shallot, baby corn, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, artichoke hearts, green beans, peas, chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, button mushrooms, baby bella mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, black olives, kalamata olives, avocados, walnuts, cashews, almonds, apples, pears, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, mandarin oranges, blood oranges, pineapples, currants, raisins, dried cranberries, pine nuts

In addition to bacon bits (real bacon, not fake!), other healthy(ish) toppings for carnivores include grilled chicken or fish (tuna and salmon are especially good) and grilled sirloin strips. Hardboiled eggs are excellent choices, and one of the tastiest salads I've ever eaten starred thinly sliced grilled duck with walnuts and raspberry vinaigrette. Greeks do fabulous things with a light crumbling of feta cheese.

The healthiest salad dressings are the vinaigrettes, which are mixes of oil (preferably olive or canola oil), vinegar, and spices or other flavorings. Vinaigrette dressings are actually quite easy to mix yourself, but you can buy good ones in stores as well. My favorite brand is Newman's Own.

Do you have a great salad recipe?

Hubpages is a great place to share your favorite recipes. Join now!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This week i have started eating a bowl of salad, and it sounds weird, but i feel good, like really good! eating a bowl of salad before dinner fills me up a little, so i do not eat as much fatty foods! So eat a bowl of salad a day, and you will feel good!

    • ChristinCordle12 profile image


      7 years ago

      So true. Green salads or leafy salads are naturally healthy.

    • eatingright profile image


      8 years ago

      Great hub on salads. I love an apple tuna salad topped with raisins, sunflower seeds, low-fat yogurt.

    • lindaadams37 profile image


      8 years ago

      No doubt salad has to be the part of your daily intake and I believe it is the most convenient and natural way to keep up with minerals and vitamins that your body requires.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      A salad a all I want.

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      OK Kerryg,now you messed around and made me want a salad with hard boiled eggs in it. I love salad, but hate to make them. I will tonight though. Good hub on the health benefits of salad.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      8 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Very well written. I love Newman's Own dressing - all of his stuff is first class. My favorite is a golden apple and cheddar/colby cheese.

    • Abundance Of Love profile image

      Abundance Of Love 

      8 years ago

      You also feel better after a salad. More energy, clearer head. I was going to head out to get some vegetables and now my stomach is begging me to go!

    • Gomet profile image


      8 years ago

      I completely agree with this topic...

      Salads can not only reduce the habit of over eating but also they are full of nutrition.

      Plus they are colorful ..

    • profile image

      Jeffrey Shore 

      8 years ago

      I love the cool, crunchy, colorful symphony of flavors that a good salad affords. I love creamy garlic and avocado dressing. I highly recommend salads for almost everyone.

    • nikki1 profile image


      8 years ago

      great hub/ very informative. I love salads. Except for the whole eggs they are filled with cholestrol.

      Happy New Year to all

    • casey kaldal profile image

      casey kaldal 

      8 years ago

      Salads are so delicious when you get creative with them. One of my favorite ways to eat salad is to cook some quinoa, then top that with spinach or lettuce, chopped up purple cabbage, and sprouts. I make my own dressings with either flax or hemp oil to add more Omega 3s to my diet.

    • Putz Ballard profile image

      Putz Ballard 

      9 years ago

      Now theres a salad, yum yum, thanks

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 

      9 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      another great lens with informative content, thanks

    • AzMomTech profile image


      9 years ago from Arizona

      Great hub! Lately I've been topping salad with thin sliced steak (I use leftovers), corn, peppers and basil balsamic vinaigrette's a whole meal!

    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 

      9 years ago from West Coast

      Great ideas. I was raised in a family that had a salad at every dinner it was and still is my dad's speciality. He makes an elaborate salad each and every day.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      9 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Thanks for all the salad additions. I am a salad nut, must have salad every dinner. And dispite this practice, salad always makes a meal feel special.

    • GA-PEACHES profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks for the tips on different toppings to go on my lunch. I have been needing to try something better for me and this sounds great.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)