As summer approaches, my cravings drift toward light, refreshing meals. A salad is often at the top of the list. The right salad is delicious and packed with nutritional values. It can be a side dish or the entire meal.
Just Because It’s a Salad Doesn’t Mean It’s Healthy
Some salads have more calories than a McDonald’s Big Mac Meal. But if you take advantage of the right fruits and veggies, the health benefits will leave you feeling active and light on your feet.
Janna Melkonian is a Fresno chef and the owner of Rappit Up. She has a salad recipe that is as delicious as it is nutritious, and she shared it with GV Wire.
Here is her Power Salad recipe, along with the ingredients and their nutritional benefits:
All the ingredients in Melkonian’s Power Salad will contribute to a healthy lifestyle, according to the popular natural health website Dr. Axe.
The first ingredient and base of the Power salad is the “Queen of all Greens.” You know it as Kale. It has an anti-inflammatory ability since its Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio (1:1) is ideal for the average person. Kale is rich in Vitamin C and beta-carotene that counteract the damage caused by free-radicals. Free-radicals cause “oxidative stress” linked to cardiovascular disease and neurocognitive disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Do you want super-human healing powers? The humble carrot can get you one step closer to that dream. It is widely known that carrots are good for your eyes, but they also have many other healing powers. Carrots are packed with beta-carotene, which boost skin health and wound healing. Carotenoids, an antioxidant found in carrots, boost your immune system. Carrots also can lower cholesterol and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.
I always struggled to lose that last 5 pounds until I discovered Bell Peppers. They are low in calories, always satisfy my crunchy snack needs and work wonders with my brain. That’s because the vitamin B6 in bell peppers increase serotonin and norepinephrine levels, thus preventing depression. Similar to carrots, bell peppers support healthy eyes due to Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These two antioxidants are a natural treatment for macular degeneration.
This is the perfect garnish to fish tacos — and a delicious addition to any salad. This purplish-red goddess is considered one of the top vitamin C foods on the planet. Due to its phytonutrients and sulforaphane content, red cabbage naturally treats inflammations commonly associated with arthritis. Cabbage promotes good bone health because of its vitamin-K rich content.
Many spa products include cucumbers because they are naturally hydrating and great for the skin. The refreshingly crisp green cucumber has many other great advantages. In my opinion, it should be in every salad. Researchers from Spain’s University of Valencia have found that cucurbitacins antioxidants can kill cancer cells. Cucumbers help cleanse the liver and reduce bloating and uncomfortable water retention while balancing your body’s ph level.
Need to hit your daily protein goals? Chickpeas (AKA “garbanzo beans” are a great source of plant-based protein and deliver a nutritional boost of iron, zinc, folate, phosphorus, and B vitamins. Similar to other vegetables, these beans balance unhealthy cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease in multiple ways. Chickpeas have 6-to-7 grams of fiber per half-cup serving, which helps decrease symptoms of irritable bowl syndrome and constipation.