When it come to good food for glowing skin, salads are an easy place to start.
While a great salad can be a delicious meal, it's also an easy way to pack in nutrients. From the base, to the main ingredients, to the crunchy toppings, to the dressing, each and every salad component can be designed for maximum nutrient power.
The salads highlighted below are just a few of the many great options out there: all are easy to make, packed with flavor, and deliver a strong shot of nutrition.
Salads are an easy way to add nutritional power to any meal
1. Chopped Thai Salad: The greens in this chopped Thai salad from Pinch of Yum are especially potent skin saving foods. Kale is a great source of both beta-carotene and lutein, powerful antioxidants which protect the skin from UV radiation. Cilantro is also a powerhouse: while it's known for its great flavor, it's also a great source of apigenin, a substance that protects your collagen by blocking collagen-destroying enzymes.
Photo by Pinch of Yum
2. Roasted Cauliflower and Farro Salad: This hearty recipe by Cookie and Kate spotlights one of my favorite vegetables, cauliflower. Cauliflower is a powerful collagen protector. It's a great source of quercetin, an antioxidant phytonutrient that helps block the damaging effects of UV radiation.
Photo by Cookie and Kate
3. Spinach Blueberry Superfoods Salad: Every single one of the ingredients in this superfood salad by Averie Cooks has skin benefits. Blueberries are one of the richest food sources of polyphenols, which are powerful phytonutrient antioxidants that protect the skin from free radicals.
Photo by Averie Cooks
4. Green Herb Salad: Any salad that incorporates more herbs is a great thing for your skin, and I'm really liking this green herb salad by Green Evi. I call spices and herbs a triple threat because they block the three major process that act to damage your collagen: oxidation, inflammation, and glycation.
Photo by Green Evi
5. Crunchy Asian Cabbage Salad: We could probably all use more cabbage in today's world. An old favorite in many cultures, cabbage contains glucosinolates. These phytonutrients activate specific enzymes in the liver that then work to eliminate toxins from the body. This crunchy Asian cabbage salad recipe by Yum Universe is an easy way to add cabbage to your pack-and-go lunch.
Photo by Yum Universe
6. Squash and Kale Salad: Squash is a great source of carotenoids. These nutrients are found in many orange, yellow, and green fruits and vegetables, and they've been shown to protect the skin from the damaging effects of UV radiation. This squash and kale salad by Oh My Veggies is as beautiful and flavorful as it is good for your skin.
Photo by Oh My Veggies
7. Salmon Fritters on Greens: This entrée salad highlights salmon, a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s have gotten a lot of press, and rightfully so, because of their powerful anti-inflammatory properties. These salmon fritters power up an already nutrient-packed salad base.
Photo by Dr. Rajani Katta
Dr. Rajani Katta is the author of Glow: The Dermatologist's Guide to a Whole Foods Younger Skin Diet. To receive future updates on preventive dermatology and the role of diet, sign up here.