This Summer Citrus Salad tastes so refreshing and is perfect for the warm, summer weather! This nutrient-dense salad is packed with vegetables, fruit, and healthy fat.
Spinach: Spinach contains fiber and has a diverse vitamin and mineral composition compared to other green, leafy vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and lettuce. Spinach contains vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, vitamin K, beta-carotene, potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, and manganese. Furthermore, spinach contains phytochemicals, some of which function as antioxidants. Spinach is thought to be protective against chronic diseases due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity, hypoglycemic, and lipid-lowering functional properties [i].
Cabbage: Cabbage is considered a brassica vegetable. It contains several nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin E, and carotenoids. It also contains antioxidants, which neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. In addition to preventing oxidative stress, it also supports a healthy immune system [ii].
Bell Peppers: Bell peppers have a high nutritional content. They are a source of carotenoids, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Furthermore, they contain substances such as phenols, flavonoids, carotenoids, tocopherol, and pectic polysaccharides that have a variety of health benefits. These bioactive compounds can present antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic properties [iii].
Mandarins: Mandarins are a type of citrus fruit. Citrus fruits are a source of vitamin C, vitamin E, and minerals. Moreover, they contain bioactive compounds that have a wide range of health benefits [iv].
Hemp Seeds: Hemp seeds are an incredibly nutritious food. They contain several minerals, including magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, and potassium. They are also rich in healthy, unsaturated fats and contain fiber. Furthermore, hemp seeds are a source of plant-based protein and contain much more protein in comparison to some other seeds such as flax, chia and sesame seeds [v].
Summer Citrus Salad
- 2 cups cabbage (fresh)
- ½ bell pepper (fresh)
- 1 cup spinach (fresh)
- 2 mandarins (fresh)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 Tbsp hemp seeds
- Finely chop the cabbage and bell pepper. Peel one mandarin and separate into pieces.
- In a large bowl, add the spinach, cabbage, bell pepper, and mandarin pieces.
- In a small bowl, add the juice of one mandarin. Then, mix in the olive oil and honey.
- Top the salad in the large bowl with the salad dressing and sprinkle on the hemp seeds. Enjoy!
- You can substitute the hemp seeds with another seed, such as sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
- Try adding fresh herbs, such as mint or basil, for extra flavor.
- Serve this salad with a source of protein, such as chicken or chickpeas, to make it a balanced meal.
[i] Roberts, JL and Moreau R. Functional properties of spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) phytochemicals and bioactives. Food Funct. 2016 Aug 10. doi: 10.1039/c6fo00051g
[ii] Kapusta-Duch J, Kopeć A, Piatkowska E, et. Al. The beneficial effects of Brassica vegetables on human health. Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 2012;63(4):389-95.
[iii] Anaysa-Esparza LM, Villagrán-de la Mora Z, Vázquez-Paulino O, et. Al. Bell Peppers (Capsicum annum L.) Losses and Wastes: Source for Food and Pharmaceutical Applications. Molecules. 2021 Sep. doi: 10.3390/molecules26175341
[iv] Saini RK, Ranjit A, Sharma K, et. al. Bioactive Compounds of Citrus Fruits: A Review of Composition and Health Benefits of Carotenoids, Flavonoids, Limonoids, and Terpenes. Antioxidants (Basel). 2022 Feb. doi: 10.3390/antiox11020239
[v] Alasalvar C, Chang SK, Bolling B, et. al. Specialty seeds: Nutrients, bioactives, bioavailability, and heath benefits: A comprehensive review. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf. 2021 May. doi: 10.1111/1541-4337.12730.