Mediterranean salads are great for a healthy, refreshing summer blend of greens. For this recipe, all you need is a vegetable spiralizer and, to make cutting up veggies easier, some type of vegetable chopper.
- Cucumber (1 large)
- Quinoa (1/3 cup)
- Squash (1 large)
- Red Onions (1/2 cup)
- Cherry tomatoes (1 cup)
- Feta cheese (1/2 cup)
- Pitted Kalamata olives (1/4 cup)
- Microgreens Bull's Blood (1/2 cup)
- Avocado (1 large)
- First, spiralize your cucumber and squash using a spiralizer.
- Then, cut cherry tomatoes in half and cut up onions.
- Finally, cook quinoa and stir all ingredients together.
- Lastly, add avocado slices and top off with avocado vinaigrette.
Overall, three main ingredients in the Mediterranean salad that offer high vitamins and nutrients: cucumber, microgreens, and avocado. While we eat these foods regularly, it is also important to know their vitamin and nutrient content.
Cucumber Health Benefits
Cucumbers are light, juicy, low in calories and surprisingly offer numerous vitamins.
Vitamin K 19%
Vitamin C 4%
Vitamin B1 3%
Microgreens Bull’s Blood Nutritional Benefits
Above all, this beets microgreen otherwise known as “Bull’s Blood” is high in vitamin A and C. So, despite its scary name, it offers nothing but pleasant nutritional rewards. It also contains necessary fiber, protein, folic acid, and potassium our bodies need. According to a Science Direct microgreens research, micro greens are an emerging food with Bull’s Blood offering great flavor:
“Microgreens are an emerging food product with scarce information pertaining to their sensory and nutritional properties. In this study, six species of microgreens, including Dijon mustard (Brassica juncea L. Czern.), opal basil (Ocimum basilicum L.), bull’s blood beet (Beta vulgaris L.), red amaranth (Amaranthus tricolor L.), peppercress (Lepidium bonariense L.) and China rose radish (Raphanus sativus L.), were evaluated for their sensory attributes and chemical compositions. Results showed that bull’s blood beet had the highest rating on acceptability of flavor and overall eating quality while peppercress the lowest.”
Amazing Benefits of Avocado
To begin with, avocado offers rich, creamy texture to sandwiches and salads, providing your favorite recipes that added velvety touch. However, avocado brings more than great taste to your table. While one cup of avocado contains 21 grams of fat, 14 grams of that fat is monounsaturated fat. According to research, monounsaturated fat actually increases your metabolic rate, substantially speeding up your metabolism. So, fear not when it comes to fats found in avocado, nuts, and fish oil (Omega 3 Fatty Acid) because they offer “good fat.”
1 Cup of Cubed Avocado (240 calories)
Pantothenic acid 42%
Vitamin K 35%
Vitamin B6 23%
Vitamin E 21%
Vitamin C 20%
A study by the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences at the University of California, Riverside indicate that consuming avocados means consuming free radical fighting antioxidants.
Furthermore, avocados contain more than twice the amount of the three antioxidants our bodies need to fight free radicals: vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene. Not to mention, Medical News Today states avocados offer benefits for the eyes and heart. In fact, two phytochemicals in this creamy green fruit are lutein and zeaxanthin, which benefit eye tissue. Additionally, the study goes on to explain the correlation between plant sterol and healthy cholesterol:
“According to registered dietitian Patricia Groziak, MS, RD, with the Hass Avocado Board, avocados contain 25 milligrams per ounce of a natural plant sterol called beta-sitosterol. Regular consumption of beta-sitosterol and other plant sterols has been seen to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.”
Other avocado benefits that will make you rush to the grocery store and purchase few:
- For one, it reduces chances of osteoporosis due to high amounts of vitamin K, which helps to maintain healthy bones.
- Surprisingly, avocados offer cancer-fighting properties due to the vitamins and antioxidants found in this fruit. Additionally, lipids found in avocados are now used to help treat leukemia patients.
- Most importantly, avocados offer expecting mothers desired nutrients due to high amounts of folate, which is required for healthy pregnancies.
- Of course, folate does not only help pregnant women. Essentially, folate helps improve mental health. Incidentally, it can help ward off depression due to the folate in avocado. Medical studies associate lower levels of folate and B12 in depression sufferers.
- In addition, avocados help improve digestion. Basically, fiber acts as a natural detoxifier, as just one cup of avocado contains 10 grams of fiber!
- Finally, high fiber reduces chances of suffering from chronic disease. In fact, here are the chronic diseases that can be avoided due to high fiber: stroke, diabetes, certain gastrointestinal diseases, hypertension, and coronary heart disease.
- Lastly, a high fiber diet helps to maintain lower blood pressure, reduce obesity, and contribute to weight loss.
We Are What We Eat
Hopefully, this recipe will inspire you to be more conscious of the types of foods you are eating. In summary, we truly are what we eat and what we consume plays a role in how good or bad we feel. So, if you are unsure what to cook your family for dinner, consider making a nutritious and vitamin packed meal.
KNOW WHAT YOUR EATING: YOUR BODY + MIND WILL THANK YOU FOR IT!