Top 10 foods to add to your summer salad and why

There are many foods you can throw into a salad, but here are our 10 of the top foods to put into the mix and why.

1. Pumpkin Seeds

These absolute powerhouses are an all-round winner. Their nutrition is similar to that of a nut, so laden with fibre, protein and rich in mon-unsaturated fats. Pumpkin seeds contain magnesium, essential fatty acids and a little dose of daily iron, calcium and manganese.  They are a solid 10/10 for texture and they pack a nutrition punch, these seeds are a great little addition to any salad.

2. Edamame beans

Also known as soy beans, these little beans are the king of vegan protein which makes them a strong contender for top addition to any salad. Edamame beans are one of the few vegan sources of complete protein (meaning it contains all nine of the essential amino acids). They are also rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, manganese and vitamin K. Perfect with pinch of salt and a squeeze of lime.

3. Sprouted grains

If you thought grains were healthy, sprouted grains are a whole different kettle of fish. When exposed to warmth and moisture grains will naturally germinate or sprout. As the grain germinates, naturally occurring phytates (which are known to stop vitamin and mineral absorption) are broken down, meaning the nutrients are much more bio-available! This includes magnesium, iron, zinc and folate.

4. Citrus (lemon, lime, grapefruit)

If balancing your blood sugars be the goal, vitamin C found in citrus fruit has been shown to have beneficial effects on blood sugar levels by reducing something called HbA1c (long term blood sugar readings).  Not only is citrus beneficial for blood sugars, but the adding lemon, lime or grapefruit (in the form of juice or rind) is a sure fire way to kick your taste buds off. Oh, and don’t forget vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant too!

5. Toasted wholegrain pitta

A simple twist to the classic croton, though less than half the fat. These crunchy pitta crisps help you to get that one step further towards your daily target of 30g fibre a day. They add such glorious crispy texture, golden flavour and if you’re lucky the last ones left will soak up that gorgeous dressing of yours.  Simply cut a wholegrain pitta into small triangles and toast under the grill until golden.

6. Pomegranate seeds

Not just a fantastic pop of colour and texture, these little seeds are rich in fibre and polyphenols. Polyphenols are powerful anti-oxidants with strong links to anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties.

7. Balsamic vinegar

A crowd pleaser for most great salads. Balsamic vinegar has been shown to benefit digestion and benefit glycemic control. It had also been shown to be anti-microbial, anti-oxidative and even beneficial for blood pressure. Simply combine with a good quality extra virgin olive oil.

8. Olive oil

The basis of any good dressing, the olive is one of the best sources of mono-unsaturated fats. Mono-unsaturated fats are fantastic for heart health, brain health, memory and skin. Do not underestimate the need to including rich sources of healthy fats in your diet. Your memory and skin will thank you later.

9. Purple salad leaves

It may sound simple, but their purple colour is more than just a pretty colour. This rich purple is the tell tale depth of the pigment and powerful polyphenol called quercetin. Quercetin has strong anti-oxidant properties and is certainly a simple swap for a super health boost.

10. Toasted sweetcorn

These golden wonders are a speedy number to make, but a truly spectacular chewy and sweet to addition to any salad. The benefit of these little gems are they add a some all important fibre to your salad, whilst stealing the show with their texture. Simply dry fry sweetcorn in a non-stick pan until hot and golden.




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