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Not all leafy concoctions are created equal. Read up on how to make the healthiest salad ever.

December 24, 2014

Hey, not all leafy concoctions are created equal. So we asked Lisa McDowell, RD, director of clinical nutrition at St. Joseph Mercy Health Systems in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for tips on how to get your crunch on.

Kick things off... with 1 cup each of spinach and arugula. Both are nutrient-dense, McDowell says. “Spinach contains almost twice the amount of iron of most other greens and provides an essential source of nitric oxide to help dilate the arteries and deliver oxygen. Arugula, which is rich in cancer- fighting phytochemicals, helps prevent breast and ovarian cancers.”

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Add in... your choice of the following: chopped tomatoes (they’re packed with lycopenes—great for your skin and bones); chickpeas, black beans or a hard-boiled egg (all of which are good sources of lean protein); artichokes (to help with digestion and boost liver function); or carrots (a great source of beta-carotene and vitamin C).

Dress it up... with 1 tablespoon of organic Greek yogurt (the probiotics boost your immune system) mixed with half an avocado—full of monounsaturated fats, it helps absorb all those fat-soluble vitamins!

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