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Experiencing Salad Burnout?

Updated: Aug 9, 2021

Salads are an undeniably great way to get a plethora of vitamins and minerals all in one meal. They should be a staple in your diet. But after a while, the same salad can get repetitive and boring.

We’ve compiled our favorite tips and tricks to keep your salads tasting fresh and exciting!

salad, nutrients, lettuce, vegetables

Switch up your base!

Using romaine as the base of your salad every day can easily lead to salad burnout. But luckily, there are many other types of lettuce and greens that are even more packed with nutrients. Using bitter greens, like arugula, kale, broccoli rabe, and dandelion greens, are a great way to keep your salads interesting.

Bitter greens will add new textures and flavors to your salads. As an added bonus, bitter greens are some of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. They are rich in antioxidants, probiotics, fiber, and vitamins proven to rid symptoms of anxiety.

Add fresh herbs to your salad!

Your summer garden should now be overflowing with herbs! Put those fresh herbs to good use by adding them to your salads! Herbs like parsley, basil, cilantro, mint, tarragon, and rosemary all make great additions to a salad.

Herbs will give every bite a pop of freshness and new flavors that make your salads more interesting to eat. Further, herbs have a variety of health benefits:

Use seasonal ingredients!

Rotating your salad ingredients through the seasons is guaranteed to keep your salads interesting. Further, there are many benefits of being a seasonal eater. Freshly picked ingredients contain more nutrients- one study found that spinach picked in season contained 3 times more vitamin C than non-seasonal spinach.

This summer, add seasonal ingredients like avocado, berries, cucumber, tomatoes, eggplant, and zucchini to your salad. In fall and winter, you can add apples, beets, broccoli, cabbage, and oranges to your salads!

Play with texture!

Using a variety of textures in your salads will keep them surprising and engaging to your taste buds. A blend of crunchy, chewy, crispy, and soft make for a more balanced and satisfying meal.

Further, having a lot of variety in your salad will only add more micronutrients to your diet.

Here are some examples of textured foods and the great benefits they contain!

  • Crunchy - Nuts and seeds are a great salad addition that will add some crunch. Dr. Johnson loves pumpkin seeds in her salad because they are packed in protein, antioxidants, magnesium, and have been linked to a reduced risk of some kinds of cancers.

  • Soft Adding avocado or a hardboiled egg will add some softness to your salad. Eggs and avocados are packed with omega-3s. A diet high in omega-3s has been linked to a decreased risk of depression, anxiety, heart disease, chronic inflammation, fatty liver, and age-related mental decline.

  • Crispy- Bell peppers and fennel will add a crisp bite to your salads. Both ingredients are packed with nutrients, but fennel is especially beneficial. Fennel has been linked to improved bone health, blood pressure, heart health, and immunity. The superfood has demonstrated further benefits to metabolism, digestion, inflammation, iron absorption, and can even balance some hormones like estrogen.

  • Chewy- Adding dried fruit to your salad will add a chewy aspect to your salad. Dried fruits have had almost all the water content removed through drying methods. The end result is a small, energy-sense morsel. By weight, fruit that has been dried contains up to 3.5 times the vitamins, minerals, ad fiber of fresh fruit. However, dried fruit can be very high in sugar, so choose fruits with lower sugar content like apricot, cranberries, raspberries, and rhubarb to add to your salad.

Add in some sprouts!

Sprouts are seeds that have been soaked and allowed to grow for several days. There are dozens of sprouts available on the market. Some of Dr. Johnson’s favorites include radish, broccoli, mustard green, clover, radish, alfalfa seed, and sunflower seed sprouts!

Sprouts are typically very low in calories and very rich in nutrients and beneficial plant compounds. While exact nutrient content varies on the variety, in general, the sprouting process increases nutrient levels. This leaves your spouts richer in protein, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins C and K than un-sprouted plants. Spouts have also been demonstrated to help control blood sugar levels, improve digestion, and improve heart health!

Finish off your salad with a squeeze of lemon!

Topping off your salad with a squeeze of lemon will boost the flavors of your salad’s ingredients and make the salad more fresh AND delicious! Lemon juice packs such a punch you might not even have to add salad dressing, which will cut back on calories!

Even a splash of lemon juice will add some serious nutritional benefits to your salad. Lemons are one of the best sources of Vitamin C, which has been linked to a reduced risk of chronic disease, decreased high blood pressure, lower risk of heart disease, and can boost your immunity! Lemons are also rich in polyphenols, which can come with their own plethora of health benefits.

While everyone should be eating their daily salad, it may be more important for some people due to their unique genetic differences. For people with genomic variances that prevent proper nutrient absorption or appropriate detoxification, certain ingredients should be added or omitted. The only way to truly know what diet is best for you is through genomic testing.

Through DNA testing, we can precisely identify the patterns and imbalances of your unique metabolism and use nutrients to suppress the expression of disease, illness, and other unhealthy patterns. If you're interested in genomic testing, click here to learn more! Or contact our office at

The Johnson Center for Health services patients in-person in our Blacksburg and Virginia Beach / Norfolk locations. We also offer telemedicine for residents of Virginia and North Carolina!