This winter has certainly been a long one - and while it’s not quite over just yet, I highly encourage you to start embracing spring

By: Kiki Athanas, Calii Love’s In-House Wellness Expert & Founder of Me by Kiki™

Why? Leafy greens can help you beat those last remaining winter blues once and for all, as well as increase your cognitive stamina and mental performance on the whole! That’s what I call a smart lunch.

Here are my top 3 tips for fueling up on a salad that makes you feel great.

Go dark or go home.

The darker leafy greens, like kale and arugula for example, are high in folic acid – deficiencies of which are linked with higher rates of depression, fatigue and insomnia. They also contain high levels of fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium. While iceberg lettuce has its uses (to be boring) – try to instead opt for those rich hearty greens like collards and spinach to pack the ultimate nutrition punch and mental boost.

Top it with omega 3 fatty acids.

Salads don’t fill you up? Maybe you’re just not adding the right protein and fat sources to keep you full and satisfied for long enough. To stick with the happiness theme, there’s no greater suggestion than prioritizing your good omega 3 fats, which you can find in fatty fish like salmon – or for a vegetarian alternative, walnuts and chia seeds work great too! Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce symptoms of schizophrenia, depression, ADHD and other mental disorders.

Stay warm.

It’s still cold out, I get it – so putting cold food into your body can be unappealing to say the least. That’s why I’m a lover of warm salads – an easy fix to get your greens in with all the comfort that a hearty warming meal provides. Sometimes just adding a few hot topping ingredients (like roasted mushrooms and turmeric cauliflower for instance) on a bed of greens works wonders for bringing a bit of heat back into the equation. Warming spices like black pepper and ginger can also work to combat the coolingness that a salad may have on your body – especially helpful on those brisk Spring days.

So whether you enjoy a salad as a quick on-the-go snack, a physical- and mental-optimizing powermeal, or a comforting bowl of warming nourishment – get your greens in, and you’ll be happy that you did.

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