What do you think of when you picture a salad? A light, vegetable-only complement to your meal, or a protein-heavy meal in itself? While the former is much more common in restaurants, the majority of people who eat salads at home tend to add other ingredients to make their salad more filling. But what about adding salad ingredients to burn fat and lose weight? Here are a few of the best fat-burning ingredients:
This one goes without saying! Chicken breast is one of the best things to add to a salad to make it a near-complete meal. All that’s missing is a bit of carbohydrates, and you have everything your body needs. Chicken breast is one of the best sources of protein. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys a bit, hearty salad, you’ll definitely want to consider chicken breast.
Nuts are packed with healthy fats, protein, and dietary fiber, along with a wide range of vitamins and minerals. They are a bit higher in fat, but it’s healthy unsaturated fat that is excellent for your cardiovascular system. The fat in the nuts will actually promote fat burning, as it will signal to your body that you are getting enough fatty acids in your diet and thus can afford to use up body fat. Just go easy on the nuts: they’re fairly high in calories!
Quinoa is one of the few grains that are also a complete protein source. It contains all nine amino acids needed to build muscle, making it almost an entire meal in itself. Adding quinoa to the salad not only increases the protein content of the salad, but it provides you with complex carbs, dietary fiber, and a wide range of nutrients. You’ll find that it’s one of the best fat-burning foods you can add to a salad.
This may sound like an odd ingredient to add to a salad, but a surprisingly number of recipes call for berries (especially with a beet-heavy salad). Berries are packed with antioxidants that can help to boost your metabolism and improve your overall health. Plus, they’re a good source of dietary fiber, protein, and vitamins. Definitely one of the foods to consider adding to a salad.
Goat cheese is also fairly high in fat, but it’s a good source of calcium. Your body needs calcium in order to activate stored fat, so getting more calcium in your diet is definitely one of the best ways to go. A bit of goat cheese can help to boost your metabolism, as the high fat content encourages your body to burn more fat.
Pretty much any type of bean will do! Lentils, chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans, soy beans, and all legumes are packed with fiber, minerals, and protein–basically, they’re little nutrient powerhouses! Adding more beans to your salad will increase the calorie content, but it will give you a lot of low-fat protein. For those who are trying to bulk up, adding proteins like legumes to your salads can be a great way to fuel your muscles and burn fat.
A bit of fish goes a long way. Fish is loaded with healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, which are heart-smart, vital for brain function, and can help to reduce inflammation and joint pain. The fat also encourages more efficient fat-burning in your body, helping to activate stored fat for energy production. Fish is one of the best sources of protein on the planet, so it’s definitely one of those foods you should consider adding to your diet. Where better than in a salad?