6 Summer Salads for you and your stem cells

vegan salad

08-17-2018 Aubrey Recchia, Nutritionist

6 Summer Salads for you and your stem cells

It is summer time and everyone, more than normal, may be a little more worried about their bodies, and appearances, while planning pool parties, and vacations. But what if we shifted our worries to the function of our bodies, instead of simply the appearance of them? How our bodies are working on the inside, can directly change our bodies on the outside, for the better! When we make changes for the greater good of our internal function, we will gain long term results, which tends to surpass any fad diet.

One of the best things individuals can do to increase function and longevity, is eating a diet rich in foods containingnaturally occurring nitrates and nitrites. These nitrates will go through a pathway in the body and produce Nitric Oxide, which is the super hero molecule in our bodies that allows red blood cells to bring oxygen and nutrients to all of our cells and organs. Without proper Nitric Oxide production, your body cannot function properly. Further, Nitric Oxide is the key activator of Stem cell treatment Plano. If we want our Stem Cells to be activated, and perform optimally we most give them a Nitric Oxide rich environment to thrive in.

Now, let us not confuse naturally occurring nitrates from the nitrates we have been warned about, found in processed meats. Naturally occurring nitrates are found in whole fruits and vegetables and this type is not known to produce nitrosamines, which is the evil villain compared to Nitric Oxide. The vitamin C readily found in fruits and vegetables actually prevents the nitrosamine from forming. How cool is that? On the other end the nitrates found in processed meats such as bacon, hot dogs, and lunch meats, convert to the potentially cancer causing carcinogenic factor, nitrosamine, with other negative side effects.

The “NO” in this diagram stands for Nitric Oxide, our super hero. If this had been a person eating processed meats, instead of the acid in the stomach converting the nitrates to Nitric Oxide, this would show it converting tonitrosamine.

A fun, tasty, and easy way to ramp up your Nitric Oxide production is to increase your dark leafy green vegetable consumption. You know what that means, it is salad making time! And before you start yawning or your stomach starts aching at the thought of “eating rabbit food”, check out these six creative salads that will fill you up, excite your taste buds, and most importantly boost your bodies’ remarkable systems!

While we are talking mostly about salads, let it be known that all the whole fruits and vegetables mentioned in the recipes also hold a special piece of the Nitric Oxide production puzzle. Whole fruits and vegetables alike, contain a plethora of micronutrients, and phytochemicals that are necessary for the hundreds of metabolic reactions going on in your body every second (including nitric oxide production). This further illustrates the notion that fruits and vegetables are superior to meat products, in the sense that they are nutrient dense, while being calorie low. What each salad highlighted in this post will entail (and what is recommended you consume at one serving), is at least two cups of dark leafy greens, and then a mixture of other whole foods. It is also recommended to avoid an oil-based calorie-packed dressing for each of these salads. However, not everyone can go “cold turkey” from their ranch, or Italian herb dressings. I would like to encourage you to follow the oil-free dressing suggestions, but of course, eating the full salad with or without a certain dressing, is still better than not eating it at all. Start with a smooth transition if you must. Try pouring exactly the serving amount of dressing (ranch etc.) suggestion on the nutrition label, in a small bowl, and then dip your salad into it instead of pouring it all over. Then slowly take away a portion of the oil dressing at a time, and begin trying out the new oil free ones until your taste buds adjust. With the dressing recipes I found for you, I don’t think you will have trouble kicking the oil!The recipes of the oil-free dressing will be found at the bottom of this post.

Mouth Watermelon-ing Salad

For this salad, combine 2 cups of arugula salad mix, 1 cup of diced watermelon, and 1/4 cup of thin sliced almonds. Because of the juiciness in the watermelon, you may find you do not need a dressing at all, but might I suggest for this salad the lemon poppy seed dressing. You can even just squeeze fresh lemon juice over the salad and call it a day! This is a recommendation and option for all the salads.

In this salad, for roughly 180 calories (without dressing) you are getting a lot of bang for your buck! You gain nearly 40% of your daily Vitamin A intake from the arugula and watermelon. Arugula has been applauded for its prevention and maintenance ofmacular degeneration since not only does it contain beta-carotene, but also has lutein and zeaxanthin in those delicate and pungent leaves. The watermelon will keep you hydrated and satisfy your sweet tooth, while the almonds will offer you a hardy crunch and provides about 5 grams of clean protein, and about 11 grams of healthy fat. Top it off with the citrus dressing, and you have a delicious snack just waiting to do good work for your body.

Taste the Rainbow, Chard

For this salad you will need 1 cup of rainbow chard and 1 cup of Kale, 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes (red or orange, or both!), 1/4 cup of purple/red onion (in thin slices), and one fresh lemon (juice).

Wash and chop the rainbow chard and kale and place in bowl and keep cold. I like to keep at least a few pieces of the chard’s nice pink stem in the salad to offer a fun and satisfying crunch! Then in a small sauce pan on the stove add in the tomatoes (whole), onions, and squeeze the lemon over, add in 1/8 to 1/4 cup of water or vegetable broth and heat on medium. Let this mixture simmer until the tomatoes are soft. Add a pinch of salt to taste. Remove from the stove, and pour the entire sautéed mixture over your greens. You really don’t need a dressing for this one! Between the lemon and juice from the tomatoes, your taste buds will be dancing. I personally love the taste of the rich cold leaves, under the soft steaming tomatoes and onion. The heat also breaks down the strong kale flavor, and offers a smoother bite with the tougher chard.

In this salad you are looking at less than 100 calories, and well over 100% of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin A and Vitamin C! In one little salad? That’s right. Along with vitamin C tomatoes also offer a good source of lycopene, an antioxidant that prevents cell damage and certain chronic diseases.

This is really a salad to be savored!

Strawberry fields Salad

For this salad gather 2 cups of spinach, 1 cup of sliced strawberries, 1/4 cup of crushed (or whole) walnuts, and 1/4 cup of dried cranberries, or “craisens”. For this salad I recommend the lemon poppy seed or the lime ginger dressing.

This refreshing salad checks in at about 330 calories (without dressing). It is true nuts like walnuts are high in calories for such a small portion, but let’s just brag on these brainy looking guys for a minute. Walnuts offer you omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and the long chain omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA can be synthesized from ALA. EPA and DHA are known for supporting heart, brain and eye health at all stages of life.

With the spinach and strawberries, you are gaining a good source of vitamin C again, but also crucial micronutrients like folate. Folateis required in the formation of red and white blood cells, the conversion of carbohydrates into energy and the production of DNA and RNA. If that wasn’t enough, more and more studies suggest it has a role in prevention of heart disease and breast cancer!

*This is an ideal salad for expecting mothers (due to the ALA and Folate specifically)

Italian Spring Salad

After spring comes summer! And spring salad mixes are always plentiful. The spring salad mix includes a variety of dark leafy and purple greens. For this salad grab 2 cups of spring mix, 1/2 cup of jarred artichoke hearts, 1/2 cup of sliced or diced fresh cucumber, and 1/4 cup of sliced banana peppers (for less spicy) or pepperoncini peppers (spicy). Optional: Add nuts or seeds like sunflower or pumpkin, and beans like kidney beans. For this salad I would go with the creamy Italian dressing.

You may only find artichoke hearts jarred in oil, so just drain and rinse them off gently. Artichokes are known to boost your immune system, by encouraging healthy bacteria growth and offering you not only Vitamin C, but B vitamins, Vitamin E, and a plethora of minerals including calcium. Basically, artichokes have your back!

Cucumbers are known to hydrate your body and are especially good for your skin. The peppers offer a fun zest, and will counter the creamy Italian dressing well.

In this salad you are looking at about 125 calories without dressing or any extras added.

On the Border salad

You might need to share this hardy salad with a friend! For this salad add 1 cup of chopped romaine lettuce, 1 cup of spring mix, 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro, 1/2 to 1 cup of drained black beans (canned, no added sodium), 1/2 cup of drained corn (canned, no added sodium), 1/2 cup of fresh diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup of fresh diced yellow and/or orange peppers, 1/2 to 1 whole diced avocado, 1 whole lemon(juice), add a small amount of salt and pepper to taste.

This is more of a meal than a snack and could be coupled nicely with brown rice, quinoa, or corn tortillas to make the meal complete. In this salad you are looking at roughly 453 calories (without dressing or added grains). Good news is, with the lemon juice, and creaminess or the avocado this salad is one more melody that does not require dressing to enjoy.

In this salad you are getting so many qualities. In the black beans you are getting 64% of your daily intake of our friend Folate, 40% of your copper, 20% of your daily iron, and so many more micronutrients! Not to mention the fiber. But we will get into fiber on a later post. You can enjoy from this salad,a good amount of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fat.

Get Shredded Salad

This salad is a little different and is a great side dish or refreshing snack. You will need 1 cup of chopped kale, 1 cups of shredded cabbage, 1 cup of shredded carrots, 1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced, 2 tablespoons of fresh chives, and 1/2 cup of freshly chopped cilantro. Optional: Add Chickpeas, and dried cranberries or raisins. This salad pairs well with the lime ginger dressing, or the mustard dressing.

You are looking at around 100-200 calories in this salad but a whole lot of flavor! Cabbage is often over looked, even though it is jam packed with impressive nutrients. Between the Kale and the cabbage you are getting over 400% of your daily Vitamin K needs. Now that’s impressive! Vitamin K is a critical nutrient we all need. It prevents calcification of your arteries, it maintains the integrity of your bones, including structure and density, it regulates certain hormones that reduces blood flow during menstruation, it has been known to prevent cancer, it improves our cognitive function, encourages healthy teeth and gums, and the list goes on!

I hope you enjoy your summer, and find ways to make it a healthy one, like enjoying these fresh salads. Remember my goal for you is to get in as many leafy greens as possible daily, while enjoying other whole foods like seeds and berries, to help all the amazing processes going on in your body. Each of these salads mentioned are really your canvas, and can be embellished with so many more nutrient dense foods that will satisfy your taste buds. It is time to get creative, have fun, be healthy and well!

Oil Free Salad Dressings

Oil-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Salad Dressing

Author: Ordinary Vegan
Serves: ¾ cup

  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • ½-inch knob of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1½ tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • Fresh ground black Pepper
  • 6 tablespoons water (or more if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  1. Add all the ingredients except for the poppy seeds into a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Taste – adjust seasonings and add more water if too tart. Add poppy seeds.
Oil-Free Creamy Italian

Author: Ordinary Vegan
Serves: ¾ cup

  • ¾ cup cooked white beans, drained and rinsed (if using canned)
  • ¼ cup water (or more)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1½ tablespoons shallots, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (or more to taste)
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings adding a little more parsley or water if needed.
Oil-Free Hummus Salad Dressing

Author: Ordinary Vegan
Serves: ⅓ cup

  • 3 tablespoons plain hummus
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • ½ clove garlic, chopped (optional)
  • salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste
  1. Whisk together. Taste and season with a little salt and ground black pepper.
Oil-Free Mustard Salad Dressing

Author: Ordinary Vegan
Serves: ⅓ cup

  • ¼ cup water
  • 1½ tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 2½ teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  1. Combine all the ingredients except the parsley into a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Add the chopped parsley, Taste and adjust seasonings.
  2. Cover and refrigerate. Will keep 4-5 days refrigerated.
Oil-Free Lime Ginger Salad Dressing

Author: Ordinary Vegan
Serves: ⅓ cup

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons sweet rice wine (Mirin)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon chopped Japanese pickled ginger
  1. Whisk together

4 Replies to “6 Summer Salads for you and your stem cells”

    1. Thank you, so much for you comment and hope it was helpful. Looking forward to bringing you more articles to optimize your health.

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