There’s nothing better in spring than a kale berry antioxidant salad! Not only does it bring a pop of spring-time color, but it’s also full of antioxidants and vegan (without the cheese added). This salad is amazing for fighting inflammation because of all the healthy ingredients. Here are the top five antioxidant-rich anti-inflammatory ingredients.
1. Antioxidant Rich Berries
Berries are pretty much the star of the show in this recipe – my loves! I usually start my day with a green juice and berries. All fruit is great for the anti-inflammatory properties because of the low calorie, high antioxidant value, but berries steal the show because they contain flavonoids called anthocyanins which give them their amazing color and suppress the inflammation that leads to disease.
2. Green Leafy Vegetables
Dark green veggies like kale, spinach, broccoli and more all are excellent sources of Vitamin E. Studies have shown vitamin E may play a key role in protecting the body from pro-inflammatory molecules called cytokines, which are cell signaling molecules that aid cell to cell communication in immune responses and stimulate the movement of cells towards sites of inflammation, infection and trauma. Dark greens also tend to have higher concentrations of vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium and disease-fighting phytochemicals.
3. Onions and Garlic
These guys are known for their immunity-boosting properties. Onions contain anti-inflammatory agents, such as the quercetin and allicin, which breaks down to produce free radical-fighting sulfenic acid. Garlic is pretty amazing on its own, with similar anti-inflammatory chemicals. Garlic has even been known to work like pain medications by shutting off the pathways that lead to inflammation.
4. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, and peanuts are all excellent sources of vitamin E which protects the body from free radicals and lowers the levels of inflammation-causing molecules that circulate in the bloodstream (cytokines). Nuts are also a good source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which lower cholesterol and are a good source of protein. Some nuts are also high in alpha linoleic acid (ALA), a type of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid.
Try this salad and check out my article on inflammation fighting lifestyle choices!
Kris and Louie
- 3 cups baby kale
- 2 cups arugula
- 1 (6 oz) package raspberries, blackberries and blueberries
- 1 avocado (diced)
- 1/4 red onion thinly sliced
- 2 cups spicy pecans (recipe follows)
- Optional non-vegan addition - 1/4 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
- 2 cups pecans
- 2 T butter
- 3 T dark brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (good quality)
- 1/2 to 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp cumin (optional)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 T real maple syrup
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper