Salads are the go-to meal for anyone who wants to improve their health for two reasons. The first is it lets them exercise their creativity — with so many fruits, vegetables, herbs and dressings available, the possibilities are absolutely endless. The second is that there are a multitude of health benefits from these eating fresh, raw and organic ingredients.
With all the harvest that is bound to be ready by fall, here’s a delectable salad recipe that uses the freshest fruits and vegetables.
This refreshing Fall Mediterranean Chopped Salad Recipe from Dr. LJ’s Natural Wellness is unique, delicious and nutritious. If you’re searching for a new yet impressive salad recipe that you can prepare for family or friends, this is the dish that you are looking for.
- 1 organic zucchini (do not peel)
- 1 medium organic carrot
- 1 organic red bell pepper
- 1 organic Fuji apple or ½ cup chopped jicama
- ½ bunch organic parsley or cilantro
- 2 to 3 organic scallions
- ½ cup of sunflower seeds, soaked for four to six hours
- ½ cup pomegranate kernels or 1 chopped starfruit
- Chop the vegetables into bite-sized pieces and place into a bowl.
- Add the sunflower seeds and pomegranate kernels or chopped starfruit, and combine.
- 1 Tbsp. tamari (organic, gluten-free soy sauce)
- 1 tsp. paprika
- ½ tsp. cayenne paper
- Sea salt, to taste
Serving Size: 2-3
- Blend all dressing ingredients together until smooth.
- Toss together with salad ingredients and serve immediately.
This Mediterranean Chopped Salad Is Fantastic for Your Taste Buds and Your Health
Although, this Fall Mediterranean Chopped Salad recipe does not use the typical leafy green vegetables like most salads, the combination of fresh vegetables and fruits results in a healthy and filling meal.
This salad mix that incorporates fruits, vegetables and sunflower seeds and pomegranate kernels is both crunchy and refreshing. Plus, the dressing is unlike any unhealthy products in stores today — it’s a blend of salty, sour and spicy, and perfectly complements the sweetness of the fruits and vegetables.
See How Sumptuous Zucchinis Can Work for You
While this member of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae) resembles cucumber, a known relative, zucchini is unique not just because of its versatility — you can actually use it to make healthy fries or pasta noodles — but its health benefits too.
Although this recipe calls for one whole organic medium-sized zucchini (which is technically a fruit), you’d be surprised to know that it’s very low in calories (17 calories per 100 grams), high in fiber and has no cholesterol or unhealthy facts. Zucchini is also abundant in flavonoid antioxidants like zeaxanthin, lutein and carotenes that can help slow down aging, eliminate free radicals and prevent diseases.
Zucchini is also a good source of potassium. In fact, zucchini has more potassium than a banana. This nutrient assists in moderating blood pressure levels and counteracting the potentially harmful effects of excess sodium in your body. The B vitamins and other nutrients like folate, choline, zinc and magnesium in zucchini also work together to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
When buying zucchini, make sure to select either small- or medium-sized ones with dark skin, because larger fruits tend to become harder, seedier and less flavorful. Avoid peeling them, as the skin contains most of the antioxidants and fiber.
Why You Cannot Go Wrong With Carrots
The crunchy carrot does not only provide a pop of color that’s reminiscent of fall to this salad, but offers important health benefits too, especially if eaten raw.
Carrots have been praised for their capabilities in boosting eye health because of carotenoids like beta-carotene and lutein. The former is known to help in restoring vision.1 Another study proved that women who took more than two servings of carrots in one week lowered their risk for glaucoma by 64 percent.2 On the other hand, increased consumption of lutein was shown to lower the incidence of cataracts.3
Along with carotenoids, carrots are abundant in antioxidants such as anthocyanins and hydroxycinnamic acids, which aid in combatting free radical-induced cellular damage and help slow down cellular aging.
Raise the Bar for Health With Red Bell Peppers
Bell peppers, which come in different bright colors, are not just pleasing to the eyes, but they will do your body good too. Case in point: their vitamin C is actually twice as that of oranges. This vitamin enhances your immune system and helps protect against scurvy, reduce inflammation in the arteries and remove harmful free radicals in your body.
Bell peppers also contain vitamin K, B vitamins and minerals like magnesium and copper. The phenolic compounds, ascorbic acid and carotenoids in bell pepper also contribute to scavenging free radicals.
Choose Cashews for Extra Flavor and Nutrition
The tasty dressing that accompanies this salad uses these crescent-shaped, mildly sweet nuts. Just like many other types of nuts, cashews are actually an important component of a well-balanced diet. Cashews contain no cholesterol, but are loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats that are actually good for your heart.4 These nuts also contain a good amount of minerals such as manganese, magnesium, copper and phosphorus.
In particular, magnesium has shown to be effective in reducing the frequency of migraines, boosting cognitive ability and lowering blood pressure, while the antioxidants found in copper effectively combat free radicals and help shield against heart disease and cancer.
Plus, proanthocyanidins in cashews contain flavanols that prevent cancer cells from dividing and multiplying, which assist in reducing incidence of colon cancer.
About the Author
Dr. LindaJoy Rose, Ph.D., or simply Dr. LJ, has over 25 years of experience as a therapist, author, professional speaker, international trainer and healthy living expert. After she overcame an autoimmune disorder through healthy lifestyle changes and self-care, she adopted a practical and delicious eating philosophy that she now shares in her blog, Dr. LJ’s Natural Wellness and Raw Fusion Living.
Her blog aims to help people navigate through modern-day food and lifestyle choices, so they can make informed decisions that will fuel and inspire their family’s vitality and let them achieve harmony and wellness.
In 2013, Dr. LJ launched the Natural Wellness Academy, an online and onsite program that provides certifications in Holistic Health and Life Coaching and Clinical Hypnotherapy, in 2013. She also conducts Wellness Workshops for both children and adults in the Tampa, Florida area.
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