Summer Fruit and Spinach Salad

in Recipes

This is like Fruity Pebbles in salad version. So. Many. Colors!

But unlike Fruity Pebbles, this salad is made of real colors not made from artificial chemicals. Those beautiful colors from plants are stellar for our insides and aid in a variety of functions in the body. How? Let’s talk phytonutrients, baby.

Phytonutrients are chemicals that occur naturally in plants. There are around 25,000 of them found in a variety of plant foods. Phytonutrients are responsible for protecting plants from invading bugs and germs and giving them their rich colors. When we ingest phytonutrients, we reap some pretty amazing benefits too. They more plant foods you consume in a day, the more phytonutrients you also reap.

What are some of these phytonutrients?

Carotenoids – over 600 provide fruit and veggies with brilliant orange, yellow, and red hues. In our body, carotenoids work as antioxidants to combat free radical damage and oxidative stress. Others carotenoids, like alpha and beta-carotene, are converted to Vitamin A to aid our immune system and protect eye health. Find carotenoids in carrots, dark leafy greens, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, mango, cantaloupe, apricots, and many more.

Ellagic Acid – Another potent antioxidant for the body, ellagic acid is a cancer killer and immune system booster. Animal studies have shown that ellagic acid slows the growth rate of tumors caused by certain yucky carcinogens. You can find this phytochemical in berries, walnuts, pecans, and pomegranates.

Flavanoids – Antioxidants that can reduce risk of asthma, cancer, and inflammation in the body. Find these in green tea, grapes, apples, berries, onion, and citrus.

Resveratrol – These have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties within the body. Some research suggests they help lessen the risk of heart disease and cancer. Resveratrol is found in grapes and red wine.

So what is the takeaway message from all my science wordiness? Eat a meal that is rich in color! Ensuring that you’re consuming a variety of colors insures that you’re getting a ton of different vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. That is why diving into this delicious summer salad packed with beautifully colored fruit and veggies is the best idea ever.

Eat colorful!

Summer Fruit and Spinach Salad

Serves 6

6 big handfuls baby spinach
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 cup blueberries
1 mango, diced
2 peaches, diced
½ cup grapes, cut in half
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
1 carrot, sliced or grated
1 avocado, diced
¼ cup almonds

1/3 cup olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
½ T red wine vinegar
1 T lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
Freshly ground pepper and sea salt

Combine balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and garlic clove in a small jar. Whisk to combine. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Finish with salt and pepper to taste.

In a large salad bowl combine all fresh ingredients. Toss with dressing and mix to combine. Enjoy!

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