When you go a little too crazy with the chocolate or the alcohol, you really feel like you need to detox your body even though your liver and intestines do a pretty good job for you. So, when you feel the need to make a salad that will help your body out, look no further than these steps or simply make the salad included below! Not only are detox salads good for you, they are also super healthy. Make one today by following these simple five steps:
1. Have a Cruciferous Vegetable Base
Broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, watercress, and mustard greens are all detoxifying cruciferous vegetables. These types of vegetables provide support for the immune system, inflammatory system, hormonal system, detoxification system, and antioxidant system, containing a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. One such group of these phytonutrients are called glucosinolates, which have anti-cancer properties. Don’t think your salad has to be lettuce-based! Think outside the box and make a broccoli or cabbage salad instead of just a romaine lettuce salad — if you do so, you’ll amp up the detoxifying benefits of your salad and wow your taste buds!
2. Add in an Easily Digested Starchy Vegetable
We’re talking carrots and beets here — both are incredibly detoxing and jam packed with nutrients. Steam your beets and chop them up into your salad for a bright burst of flavor and betalains. Betanin and vulgaxanthin are the two best-studied betalain phytonutrients in beets, and both provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.
3. Include Fruits, Either Dried or Fresh
Lemons, black currants, raisins, apples, oranges, they are all good fruits to include in your detox salad — they each have their own detoxing benefits. Lemons contain vitamin C and unique flavonoid compounds that have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties, specifically the flavonoids called flavonol glycosides and the kaempferol-related molecules. Black currants contain protein, fiber, copper, manganese, and potassium. Raisins contain boron, fiber, and iron. Apples contain phytonutrients that help regulate blood sugar, flavonoids like quercetin, some fiber, and taken in its whole state could help lower many blood fats. Finally, oranges contain vitamin C, free radicals, and phytochemicals.
4. Don’t Be Shy With the Sea Vegetables
Adding kelp granules, wakamare, kelp seasoning or gomaiso to your salad will amp up the flavor of your detox salad and raise the nutritional bar sky high. Sea vegetables contain iron, vitamin C, mineral iodine and vanadium, enzymes, polyphenol antioxidants, and fucodians (containing sulfur). Plus, these cool vegetables may help ward off breast cancer.
5. Toss in Some Seeds, Nuts, and/or Seasonings
Sunflower seeds, almonds, Himalayan sea salt, and freshly cracked, good-old black pepper are all incredible additions to detox salads. Sunflower seeds have vitamin E, an anti-inflammatory vitamin, phytosterols, magnesium, and selenium. Almonds have monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, fiber, vegetable protein, vitamin E, copper, manganese, potassium, and magnesium. Himalayan sea salt promotes a healthy pH balance within the body, promotes blood sugar health, diminishes signs of aging, and aids in the absorption of food particles in the intestinal tract among other benefits. Black pepper has antioxidants, vitamin K, manganese, copper, antibacterial benefits, and may aid in weight loss.
Now, to put all these steps together in one recipe, we have this salad courtesy of a fellow Green Monster: the Superfood Salad! This salad originally does not include any type of fruit or sea vegetables, but you can easily toss in some rasins and gomaiso to give it some extra oomph. All you have to do is put everything in a big bowl, and mix it all together for a delicious salad that nourishes your body inside and out! This salad serves 3 – 4 people:
- 1/2 cup kale washed
- 3/4 cup purple sprouting broccoli
- 1/4 cup alfalfa and broccoli sprouts
- 3-4 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 3-4 tbsp hummus
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- Steam the kale and purple sprouting broccoli. This will not only make them tender but also remove some of the bitterness.
- Toss all ingredients together, coat in the hummus, and serve immediately.
Image source: Avocado Kale Chili Salad