I was walking through Trader Joe’s and I came across a new salad they now carry. The beautiful layers of white, yellow and green drew my eyes and the ingredients of cabbage, jicama, mango and cilantro made my mouth water. I had to get it, and it did not disappoint. It comes with a spicy mango vinaigrette that was too spicy for me. I didn’t miss it when I left it out. I would return to Trader Joe’s daily for this delectable concoction. When I was patient (and frugal) enough I made it myself.
The ingredients are a smorgasbord of antioxidants which help protect against the harmful effects of free radicals. Free radicals are like pinballs that ricochet off of cells causing damage and can lead to things like cancer and heart disease.
Cabbage has a multitude of phytonutrients with strange names. Lutein and zeaxanthins help protect the eyes, skin and prostate and sulforaphane which assists detoxification. It is also a great source of vitamin K, known to help with bone strength and Alzheimer’s disease prevention which makes it a superhero.
Besides vitamin C and potassium, Jicama is a good source of inulin. Inulin helps prevent osteoporosis by increasing calcium absorption from other foods and it also promotes the growth of good bacteria in the intestines. Jicama also lowers colon cancer risk as seen in a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2005.
Not only are mangos insanely delicious but they are a source of quercetin, a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that protects against cancers. They are also a source of vitamin A for healthy eyes and vitamin E for a healthy sex drive.
Not to be outdone in the antioxidant category, cilantro is a powerhouse of vitamins A, C, E and K. It also helps to lower cholesterol and blood pressure which is why it is a great support for the heart.
Each ingredient in this salad alone is wonderful but together they support your health in a symphony of yumminess. What are your favorite summer salads?
Summer Superfood Salad
2 cups shredded green or purple cabbage
1 cup shredded jicama
½ cup shredded mango
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
Juice of ½ lime
Layer ingredients for presentation or mix together to serve.