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9 Delicious Salad Toppings
for a Healthy Heart

A salad is a salad is a salad, right? Wrong. Just in time for summer, we got the insider scoop on how to get the most out of your healthy dinners. We talked to our friends over at Harboring Hearts to find out what their favorite heart-healthy salad toppings were. Michelle Javian & Yuki Kotani are the co-founders of HH, a non-profit organization centered around providing heart patients and their families a safe haven. They are both dedicated to following a heart-healthy diet and frequent exercise.

Michelle & Yuki shared with us their top 9 favorite heart-healthy salad toppings. Read on and join the conversation below to tell us what you enjoy adding to your salads!

Dried Cranberries_sm

1. Dried Cranberries / Craisins

Cranberries are rich with antioxidants, which help prevent heart disease, Yuki says. Add a handful for a sweet and slightly tart flavor to your salad!

Berries Blackberry Strawberry Blueberry_sm

2. Berries 

“I love some sliced strawberries or raspberries on top of a salad. So yummy! Strawberries are full of antioxidants and other nutrients that reduce your risk of cancer, inflammatory defects, and yes, heart disease,” Michelle says.

Avocado Half Cut

3. Avocados

Who doesn’t love avocados? Michelle says that they are an amazing source of Vitamin E, mono-saturated fats and glutathione — all of which are great for your heart!

Red Quinoa

4. Quinoa

Quinoa is a great base for a salad as well as a mix-in. Yuki says that “it is an excellent source of iron/protein to give you energy, fiber to lower cholesterol — and its gluten-free!”


5. Almonds

“Just a handful of these little guys on top of a salad helps you maintain healthy cholesterol levels, which in turns helps prevent cardiovascular disease,” Michelle says.

Cook Salmon_sm

6. Salmon

“I always try to add some protein to my salads, and my go to is salmon.  It’s a great source of omega-3,” Yuki says. Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for our bodies to work normally, so it is important for us to include it in our diet. They have been shown to boost heart health and lower triglycerides.

Green Apples_sm

 7. Green Apples

“They are packed with all sorts of minerals: calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium…the list goes on!” Michelle says. Additionally, they offer no bad cholesterol — which translates to low risk of heart disease.

Olive Oil Board Lemon

8. Lemon and olive oil

“For dressing, I just use some olive oil and juice from a lemon,” Yuki says. “Lemons are rich in vitamin C and lower inflammation associated with heart disease.”

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9. Chickpeas 

“Like quinoa, chickpeas are high in fiber and protein,” Yuki says. “It helps lower cholesterol and is gluten-free.”

Which hearty and healthy ingredients do you enjoy adding to your salads? Tell us in the comments!

- Pareesha Narang


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