Salads are one of the most enduring foods of all time, with records showing that ancient Greeks and Romans mixed the first greens and topped them with a vinegar-based dressing, according to Since then, nearly every culture of the world has enjoyed some form of this versatile plant-based food — salad has even been eaten in space, thanks to lettuce grown on the International Space Station, Newsweek reported.

Even after all those centuries of innovation, however, it can still come as a surprise that salad can be a satisfying meal on its own — maybe that’s why there was so much fuss when Jennifer Aniston claimed she ate the same salad every day while working on the set of Friends, according to People.

While iceberg wedge appetizers and side salads have their place, most of us would be more apt to dig into a bowl of leafy greens daily if we knew we weren’t going to be hungry again an hour or two later. While salads garner a reputation for being low-calorie health food, many also lack the balance of protein, high-quality carbohydrates, and healthy fats that gives a meal staying power and provide a variety of nutrients your body needs.

The Ingredients Every Salad Needs

Protein can take many forms, including a can of tuna, leftover chicken breast, or air-fried salmon — or plant-based sources of protein like lentils, edamame, or tofu. Getting adequate protein can be particularly important when you’re cutting calories for weight loss, and eating even slightly more led dieters to make healthier food choices overall, according to the results of one study published in May 2022 in the journal Obesity.

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