If you’re looking for a way to jazz up a dark leafy green salad, try this Antioxidant Summer Salad.
Salads are without a doubt in my top three favorite meals, and what’s not to love? The possibilities are endless, depending on protein preference, season, texture, and then of course how you choose to dress it.
Being that we are in the full effects of spring, we couldn’t think of a more fitting salad that provides you with an extra antioxidant boost, just for good measure.
First and foremost, most salads made with whole food ingredients are “antioxidant salads” because dark leafy greens, vegetables, and common salad items are great sources of antioxidants!
What earns this salad the special title is due to a few key ingredients that are richer in antioxidants than others. This includes blueberries, strawberries, beets, sprouts, watercress (or you can use whatever dark leafy green you enjoy), lemon, olive oil, sea salt, pumpkin seeds, and dried mulberries.
In 1 cup of fresh blueberries, there’s vitamin C, K, and manganese, a good source of fiber and copper, and also a variety of antioxidants.
Blueberries antioxidants have been studied for their effects on cardiovascular health, ability to inhibit cancer cell growth, stabilize blood sugars due to the fiber and low GI nature of the fruit, improve skin health, may help combat obesity, and overall antioxidant support in the body.
Beets are great to incorporate into our diets for anti-inflammatory and detoxification benefits. Beets support detoxification mainly in Phase 2 detoxification (there are two phases), which involves the enzyme glutathione-s-transferase a.k.a. GST.
GST’s basically work to “catch” and “hook up” unwanted toxic substances in our bodies with nutrients- this allows the toxins to become water soluble and neutralized from the nutrients, therefore safe for the body to excrete through your urine or other processes.
A note about detoxification: detoxification is a daily practice and a lifelong habit, which I strongly practice and recommend to my clients as well. Detoxification can’t occur simply by doing a “cleanse” for one week- our bodies actually do a tremendous job at detoxifying our bodies through multiple channels if we give them space, nutrients, proper practices to enhance, and time to do so. Beets are great to provide the body with ample amounts of antioxidants needed.
Strawberries (also raspberries blackberries, blueberries, cherries, etc.) offer the best dietary source of bioactive compounds (BAC), which provide potent antioxidant properties.
Berries‘ BAC contains phenolic compounds (phenolic acids, flavonoids, such as anthocyanins and flavonols, and tannins) and ascorbic acid. These compounds can prevent inflammation disorders, heart-related diseases, and protective effects to lower the risk of certain types of cancer.
One study suggests that raspberries have the potential to decrease the risk of heart disease, diabetes mellitus, obesity and Alzheimer’s. All of these diseases share critical metabolic, oxidative, and inflammatory links.