Throwing together a salad for dinner needn’t mean bland or unappealing. Pack it full of your favourite ingredients such as sweet potato (high in the antioxidant beta-carotene which converts to Vitamin A), red quinoa (a gluten free protein full of vitamins and amino acids) and leafy greens such as kale (a fibre that will help keep you fuller for longer). As the seasons start to change we need as many colourful food groups packed full of the necessary goodness to feed our bodies and protect us from the numerous bugs and germs that take their toll on our busy lives. But, along with these main ingredients, I’ve tracked down some extra magic we should all be sprinkling in and on our salads to help us feel sexy into the colder months. Get ready to stock up your kitchen cupboards for the ultimate health and sex-life boost!
- Pumpkin seeds and oil. Try dressing your salads with pumpkin oil (though due to its low smoke point it’s not suitable for cooking). Its nutty sweetness is not only yummy, but is known to promote health from the inside out. Having one of the highest concentrations of polyunsaturated fats, pumpkin oil can help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. And when it comes to shiny hair, skin and nails, its fatty acids and vitamin E promote the growth of new cells. Regular consumption has also been shown to relieve depression and anxiety, lowering stress hormones in our bodies and also increase libido, hence the name of this blog!! ( I love the Clearspring Toasted Pumpkin Oil £7.79 available at Healthyfoods-online.com ) Or for an added crunch to your salads, why not sprinkle some seeds straight on top.
- Zinc. This super mineral works wonders for our bods. It helps support our immune system and kicks starts our ability to metabolise food. Give your salads a zinc boost with garlic – I like mine roasted in its skin – or sprinkle over some sesame seeds for instant added nutrition. There’s also a link between depression and low zinc levels, so even more reason to make sure you’re not lacking.
- Flax seed. These super seeds are packed full of omega-3 fatty acids and provide an excellent dose of fibre, too. Sprinkle either roasted or raw on top of your salads for a powerful antioxidant boost. And for you all veggies and vegans out there, flax seed is a great source of plant-based protein.
- Raw chocolate. Yes, really! Cacao nips are a fat-burning super food. They also contain more antioxidants than blueberries and goji berries, and are packed full of iron and magnesium too
- Salad sprinkles. If you’re looking for a quick and convenient addition, then many supermarkets and health food stores stock a ready-to-sprinkle seed mix. Try Holland and Barrett’s bag of pumpkin, sunflower seeds and pine kernels (£3.99 for 250g, available at hollandandbarrett.com) for some added crunch and flavour.
Have any of your own super salad recipes? Then why not pop them in the comments box below. Happy munching!