The DASH diet, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, has been recognized as one of the best diets for overall health for several years now. That’s one thing that makes this non-diet dietitian a happy camper.
Unlike many of the other popular fad diets out there that promise unlikely results, the DASH diet is a fairly unrestrictive dietary pattern that is flexible, achievable, and healthy for almost anyone. While it’s great for people who are looking to control their blood pressure with dietary changes, it’s also just a generally sound eating pattern that emphasizes fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, lean protein, and low-fat dairy – also known as healthy eating.
While the DASH plan discourages excessive salt, sugar, and alcohol, it doesn’t completely cut out any food groups, which is why it’s one of my favorite therapeutic diets. And if you cook at home, it’s very easy to follow the guidelines and customize the plan to fit your own tastes, so you can enjoy tasty food that will make you feel great!
In this apple butternut squash quinoa salad, I combined many components in the typical DASH diet. It has whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and nuts, all with a heart-healthy olive oil dressing made with no salt. This salad is loaded with nutrition – filling fiber, plant protein, tons of vitamins (A, C and B vitamins) and minerals (potassium and magnesium). But the best part is that it tastes delicious! It’s a sweet and savory combination that goes so well with any lean protein or makes an easy prep-ahead lunch on its own.
I like to cook my quinoa with homemade (no salt added) broth for more flavor. If you use store-bought broth or bouillon, be sure to look for low-sodium varieties to keep the sodium down in this recipe. Otherwise, this apple butternut squash quinoa salad is both DASH-friendly and delicious!
Check out the recipe below and let us know what you think in the comments!