How to Build a Beautiful Superfood Salad

Your lunchtime staple can keep you full and beautify you from the inside out.

How to Build a Beautiful Superfood Salad

Does the thought of another bland salad that leaves you craving a second lunch sound bleak? We’re here to help you build a salad that’s satisfying, tasty and can make you more beautiful from the inside out.

Toss these nutrient-dense add-ins with your greens for an extra health and beauty boost—each ingredient is proven to enhance your skin, hair, nails or all three!

Avocado is rich and flavorful, especially when sprinkled with lemon juice and a little sea salt. It contains fiber, potassium, vitamin E, B vitamins, folic acid and omega-3 fatty acids (good fat) that can keep your skin plump and hydrated by maintaining its lipid layer.

MORE: Good Sources of omega-3s

Nuts (Almonds, Cashews, Hazelnuts, Walnuts):
Nuts may be high in (healthy!) fat, but most are also packed with copper, magnesium, zinc and vitamin E, which are all nutrients vital to the health of your skin, hair and nails. Zinc in particular may be linked with decreasing acne. Use them raw or toasted, whole or chopped, but skip nuts that are salted or honey-roasted as these are going to sabotage your salad with lots of sodium and calorie-laden sugar.

These legumes are an easy protein and fiber boost, so adding them to a salad will help keep you full for longer. Sure, you’d probably rather have them deep-fried in a falafel ball, but as is, they’re rich in zinc, copper, folic acid and vitamin B6, which make them great for your hair and skin.

Amazingly, eggs are packed with several beautifying nutrients such as selenium, iron, vitamin B12 and vitamin D, and they’re an excellent source of protein. The easiest way to incorporate eggs into your salad is to hard-boil a couple of them, slice and toss.

MORE: Will Eating Eggs Raise Your Cholesterol?

If the idea of raw broccoli is as unappealing as eating cardboard, blanch the florets in boiling, salted water for two minutes (they should look bright green and still be crisp-tender) and then plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking. This will give the powerhouse vegetable more flavor and less bite, without losing its nutrients, which include calcium, biotin, folic acid and vitamin C. Powerhouse vitamin C is proven to lower the body’s stress levels and reduce skin aging.

Juicy red tomatoes contain lycopene, which acts as an added SPF against skin-damaging UV rays. One study found that eating two and half tablespoons of tomato paste a day for 10 weeks reduced sunburn severity by 40 percent. So while cooked tomatoes found in sauce or paste are technically more beneficial (with more heart-healthy, cancer-fighting and skin-protecting properties), tossing a few raw ones into your salad will help, too.

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