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Spring Salads

Spring is around the corner and with it comes fresh, local salad greens. Buying local produce offers fresher vegetables, which means a crisper salad with more flavor and nutrition. There's a wide array of lettuce to add texture, taste, and interest along with increased nutritional value to your salads. Here are some of the most commonly available varieties of lettuce that will really add a punch to your spring salads! Arugula comes from the mustard family and has peppery flavor. Young, fresh leaves are lightly pungent and will add spice to your salads. Arugula is low in calories and contains fiber, vitamins A and C, and calcium. It is a good source of vitamin K, which helps blood clot properly. Baby bok choy has a crunchy, celery-like texture and a refreshing taste. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K and a good source of B complex vitamins Dandelion greens add a bitter, tangy taste to salad. One cup has 100% of the daily recommendation of the antioxidant, vitamin A. It is also a good way to get the calcium your bones need. Endive is another low-calorie, high-fiber green that is rich in potassium. It comes in many varieties from the peppery frisee to the mild escarole. Add some red radiccio to brighten up your salad with some extra color! Spinach is nutritious and flavorful, alone or mixed with other salad greens. It is rich in antioxidants, is a good source of vitamins A, B2, C and K, and also contains magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, calcium and potassium. Watercress is also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium. It is an excellent source of the antioxidants beta-carotene and lutein along with glucosinolate, a compound which has been shown to have anti-cancer properties. Not a big salad-eater? You should be, they're great for losing or maintaining weight, while offering important nutritional benefits.
  • Add fiber to your diet which can help lower cholesterol levels and prevent constipation.
  • Increase blood levels of many powerful antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, folic acid, lycopene, and alpha- and beta-carotene ... especially if your salad includes raw vegetables.
  • Enhance satiety with fewer calories! Studies show that eating a low-calorie first course of 150 calories or less reduces the total number of calories eaten during a meal.
Salads ... refreshing, tasty and healthy. What a great way to greet the new season!

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