This Delicious Rainbow Salad Will Make You Healthy And Happy
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Color matters … colors appeal to the eyes. Your brain responds to colors by stimulating the pituitary and pineal glands. The glands regulate your happy hormones such as dopamine, endorphin and serotonin. Use this delicious rainbow salad recipe then next time you want a mood lift.
Colorful foods trigger a happy mood that makes you feel more relaxed, calm, optimistic and content.
Let me share my favorite, healthy, delicious rainbow salad recipe. I use whatever is available when I go grocery-shopping. You can feel free to use the same or substitute with other similar color, taste or texture to make a rich salad.
My Favorite Delicious Rainbow Salad Recipe
In this rainbow salad recipe, I missed out the purple cabbage as I couldn’t get it at the market at the time. But, it tastes just as great without it.
This rainbow salad recipe easily serves as an appetizer for about 8-10 people. It is always a hit when I serve this salad and it gets over faster than it takes me to prepare it! But, the satiated look on the faces of my guests are so worth the effort.
Prepare all the ingredients by washing them and putting them aside to be cut. Always use organic if you can. Organic fruits and vegetables are not only pesticides free, they are also richer in nutrients.
These are what I used for this bowl of salad:
- One third of a head of iceberg lettuce – tear a few leaves and shred them up to small bite-sizes.
- One third of a cucumber – quarter it lengthwise and then slice them thin.
- 12-15 cherry tomatoes – cut each one into 2 or 3 pieces to allow the juices to flow into the salad.
- 1 cup of blueberries – use them whole.
- 4-5 clementines – peel them and separate each wedge.
- 1 medium-sized onion – slice them thin.
- 2 ripe avocados – cube them.
- 2 ripe mangoes – cube them.
- Cilantro – chop them up and sprinkle it in the bowl generously.
- Hard-boiled eggs (optional) – slice them and add them at the end after you’ve mixed in the dressing.
- Cashew nuts or any other nuts (except peanuts) – I like to use lightly-roasted cashew nuts as the texture blends in really well with any salad and it gives that nice creamy taste in the mouth.
Healthy Salad Dressing
With such a beautifully prepared bowl of salad, you want to use a healthy salad dressing. You can use any of these easy-to-make salad dressings. I love the Asian sesame-ginger dressing (#3) that goes really well with this delicious rainbow salad recipe.
Having one or two healthy oils in the salad helps to enhance the nutrient absorption in your body. Try it!
The Colors Of Good Health
By including foods from every color of the rainbow, you can ensure that you maximize the myriad of micronutrients you’re consuming for your body. Every fruit and vegetable of every color has phytonutrients that are beneficial for you, are rich in antioxidants, and that protect your body from damaging free radicals, thus preventing diseases.
Phytonutrients, or phytochemicals refer to the natural chemical compounds found in plants that make up its color. Each color group is associated with a predominant set of phytonutrients, and their unique set of health benefits. So don’t just stick to one color!
Consider their health benefits:
Phytonutrients: Carotenoids and lutein.
Food sources: Banana, mango, papaya, yellow bell pepper, peach, pinapple, squashes, apricot, cantaloupe, carrot, persimmon, orange, sweet potato, turmeric.
Health benefits: Eye health, protects and support the immune system, skin health and hydration.
Phytonutrients: Chlorophyll, lutein and zeaxanthin.
Food sources: Asparagus, broccoli, cucumber, green cabbage, all green vegetables, all green peas, green bell pepper, kiwi, zucchini.
Health benefits: Eye health, blood cleanser, lowers blood sugar level, protects the heart, liver and pulmonary health.
Phytonutrients: Carotenoids and lycopene.
Food sources: Red-skinned berries and grapes, pomegranate, red bell pepper, cherries, red cabbage, tomato, watermelon.
Health benefits: Protects heart health, improves brain function, renal health and lowers risks of some cancers.
Phytonutrients: Anthocyanins and flavonoids.
Food sources: Blueberries, blackberries, elderberries, blackcurrants, black olives, black beans, purple grapes, eggplant.
Health benefits: Protects heart and brain health, super immunity booster, high level of anticancer and antitumor properties.
Phytonutrients: Sulfur compounds.
Food sources: Most nuts and seeds, cauliflower, figs, garlic, mushrooms, onions, ginger, garlic, parsnip, celeriac, fennel, jicama, lotusroot.
Health benefits: Protects against pathogens (harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast and parasites), powerful immune booster, hormone balancer and prevents certain cancers.
Beyond The Colorful Phytonutrients
Ok, so phytonutrients are not the only reason that you should eat all the colors! Fruits and vegetables also very rich in dietary fiber, are low in fat and calories, and most of them are alkaline-forming when consumed.
Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables also ensure that you eat as many other nutrients that you often don’t get from processed foods: vitamins, minerals and enzymes.
Nature has a way of “packaging” each fruit or vegetable with all the necessary vitamins and minerals that work synergistically and powerfully when eaten.
And best of all, they can be eaten all on the go, without much preparation. Likewise, when preparing a bowl of salad—just wash them, cut them up and eat!
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