This colorful and nutritious immunity boosting salad is high in antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin A and zinc. These are the vitamins and minerals you need to strengthen your immune system. Besides looking beautiful on your plate, this salad bursts with flavor.
Massage the garlic into the kale for 2 minutes. This injects the flavor directly into the greens. You can also add other healthy ingredients to make it even more nutritious. And, this immunity boosting salad is even better the next day!
- 2 bunches of curly kale, chopped (Vitamin A & C)
- 2 heirloom carrots, shredded (Antioxidant)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (Vitamin C & Antioxidant)
- 1 LG lemon, juiced (Vitamin C)
- 3 fresh garlic cloves, minced (Vitamin C & Antioxidant)
- 1/2 cup, grated Parmigiano Reggiano (Vitamin A & Zinc)
- 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil (Vitamin A & powerful Antioxidant
- 1/4 t cayenne pepper (Vitamin A & C)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
In a large bowl, add the kale, lemon juice, oil and half the garlic.
With clean hands, gently massage for 2 minutes. (Massaging the kale
injects flavor directly into the greens.)
Finally, add the remainder of the ingredients mixing thoroughly.
GREAT ADD INS:
- Sliced Almonds (Antioxidant, Vitamin E)
- Hemp Hearts (Zinc)
- Pine Nuts (Antioxidant)
- Chia Seeds (Antioxidant)
- Sunflower Seeds (Antioxidant, Vitamin E)
About the Ingredients
Kale is known as the king of healthy greens. The most common type of kale is curly kale. Its low calorie content makes kale one of the most nutrient-dense foods in existence. Eating more kale is a great way to increase the nutrient content of your diet and boost your immune system.
The carrot is a root vegetable and gets its orange color from beta carotene – an antioxidant that converts into vitamin A. Eating carrots supports your immune system and may reduce risk of cancer and heart disease. The beta carotene in carrots is also known to support eye health.
Cherry tomatoes are a fruit related to the Korean persimmon. The vitamin A and C in cherry tomatoes offers protection against free radicals and can lower your risk of heart disease and cancer. The vitamin A in carrots helps white blood cell production. White blood cell production supports the proper functioning of your heart, kidneys, and lungs.
The lemon in this immunity boosting salad contains a high amount of vitamin C which is needed to keep your immune system in top shape. Research shows that eating fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C may also reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. More benefits of lemon in your diet include plant compounds that help weight loss, prevent anemia, kidney stones, digestive issues, and cancer.
Garlic is a small but mighty superfood containing manganese, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and other antioxidants, including allicin and S-allyl cysteine. S-allyl cysteine battles free radicals. It also shows promise in keeping your brain functioning better as you age.
Besides being a strong antioxidant, Garlic also has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Garlic also helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure by relaxing hardened blood vessels. It also prevents platelets from binding to proteins, which reduces blood clots.
Parmesan-Reggiano is an Italian hard aged cheese known for its two year aging process. We know it by its English name – Parmesan. This cheese is rich in calcium, phosphorus, selenium, sodium and zinc. Zinc is an antioxidant that keeps your immune system healthy. Parmesan is also higher in protein-density than most other types of cheese.
It is important to buy the right kind of olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil retains some of the antioxidants and bioactive compounds from olives. For this reason, it’s considered healthier than the more refined variety of olive oil. It also contains oleic acid and oleocanthal – antioxidants that may reduce inflammation.
A word of caution: As many as 95% of olive oil brands are rancid, adulterated, or low quality – it’s unfortunately a known issue in the industry. Look for award winning brands like California Olive Ranch.
Chia seeds are tiny black seeds from the chia plant that is found in Mexico and Guatemala. These seeds were part of a regular diet for the ancient Aztecs and Mayans. They are full of powerful antioxidants and may reduce your risk of chronic illnesses, like heart disease and cancer.
Immunity boosting Hemp hearts come from the Cannabis sativa L found in Central Asia. Humans have consumed these seeds for thousands of years. The seeds contain less than 0.3% of the psychoactive compound THC and are considered non medicinal. Hemp seeds have a nutty flavor, and are full of vitamins A, B1, B2, D, and E, as well as the minerals magnesium, zinc, calcium, and iron.
Pine nuts are edible seeds that come from different types of pine cones. The antioxidant power of vitamin E in them may help keep your skin healthy. High in protein, iron, and magnesium they also improve your energy. Other benefits of pine nuts come from the Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 may prevent heart arrhythmias and help reduce blood clotting.
Sunflower seeds are the fruits of the sunflower plant. A single sunflower may contain up to 2,000 seeds. The seeds are high in vitamin E, selenium, phenolic acids and flavonoids which function as antioxidants. Antioxidants protect your body’s cells against free radical damage which plays a role in several chronic diseases.
What is your favorite immunity boosting salad? Do you have an immunity boosting recipe you would like to share? . If you have questions, concerns, or other comments, we’d love to hear from you as well. Click here to leave a comment.
Related article: The Benefits of Immunity Boosting Foods
Recipe by Joanna Gold, owner Goldplatedfood.com
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