Can a superfood salad recipe be healthy and easy and keep you awake through that routine afternoon slump? We all know the dreaded feeling as our eyes start to droop and concentration wanders, but superfoods in a balanced diet can help you power through a busy afternoon. Here’s an excellent meal for lunchtime—but first, a little on what makes superfoods so super.
So what are superfoods? These foods are packed with vitamins and minerals that are essential for health and vitality and specifically lack processed fats and chemicals. Superfoods like tomatoes are popular for containing the nutritious pigment lycopene, but this time the humble beetroot takes its turn in the spotlight as part of a superfood salad recipe. To avoid the afternoon slump, however, it’ll be teamed up with foods that have a low ranking on the Glycemic Index—a scientific way of measuring how quickly a food’s carbohydrates enter the bloodstream. Thankfully, each food is given a number between one and one hundred, so it’s easy for the average health-conscious reader to understand!
Beets were believed to have medicinal properties as far back as the Middle Ages, when the vegetable was thought to be good for the blood. Today, we know that beets are packed with vitamins and minerals including iron, a naturally occurring form of folic acid, and very high levels of nitrates. Nitrates in superfoods have been shown to help lower blood pressure as part of a balanced diet. Above all, however, beets are a tasty, zingy part of a refreshing salad—and great at lunchtime.
There are many ways to cook beets, though we’re most familiar with the ready-cooked and pickled serving, packed in plastic. Don’t forget that when it is in season, it can be bought raw and either boiled or roasted instead.
The Glycemic Index (GI)
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a measure of how our bodies’ blood sugar reacts to the carbohydrates in a particular food. The index gives it a number between one and one hundred. Simple carbohydrates—such as sugars and candies—have a high number, and more complex carbohydrates—such as wholemeal bread, vegetables, and beans—have a low number. Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest and release energy slowly, leaving you feeling fuller for longer. Simple carbs are digested quickly, giving a quick “sugar-high,” followed by a slump where you feel tired and unsatisfied.
A Lively Lunchbox Salad
Combining the properties of beets to lower blood pressure, Omega 3 fats from oily fish, and low GI ingredients makes this salad super healthy—and full of superfoods. It is perfect for a quick lunch and will leave your taste buds tingling.
Gather your main salad ingredients and mix them all together:
- Two handfuls of green leaves
- Two radishes, thinly sliced
- One tomato, sliced
- One stick of celery, thinly sliced
- Two ready-cooked beets, sliced
- One small fillet of cooked, smoked trout, flaked into smaller pieces
The dressing can be made up earlier, but to keep your salad ingredients crisp, wait to add the dressing until you are ready to eat. You will need:
- One dessert spoon each of low-fat Greek yogurt, creme fraiche, and white wine vinegar
- A small splash of olive oil
- Horseradish sauce to suit your own taste
Mix these ingredients together in a smaller sealed container. As soon as you’re ready to eat, add your dressing to the salad and enjoy!
What’s your favorite beet salad recipe? Share it with us below.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons