A vegan Super Immunity Power Salad with chia balsamic dressing inspired by Dr. Fuhrman. Fresh, nourishing, and immune-supporting. (Gluten-free, oil-free.)
I enjoy reading health-focused books and "Super Immunity" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman is one that stands out from the crowd.
It is an easy read with information to better support our immune system.
The author, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, is a family physician and nutrition researcher. He specializes in preventing and reversing disease through natural and nutritional methods.
He also focuses on a group of immune-supporting foods. Dr. Fuhrman believes these are the best anti-cancer and health-promoting foods on earth.
This group of foods is said to help protect our bodies from everything from the common cold to cancer. They are also very effective at preventing chronic disease and promoting health and longevity.
Dr. Fuhrman's "Super Immunity" foods are:
Green vegetables contain anti-cancer compounds, especially in the cruciferous family (broccoli, brussels sprouts, and bok choy).
Leafy greens such as kale, watercress, and spinach are shown to be the most nutrient-dense of all foods.
Beans (including lentils, peas, other legumes) have been found to decrease colon cancer risk by 50%. They also provide significant protection against many other cancers as well.
Beans are the most nutrient-dense carbohydrate source and are also packed with fiber.
(Note: fiber is only found in plant foods, and no animal products contain fiber. Also, there is no cholesterol in plant foods. Cholesterol is only found in animal-based foods.)
The Allium family includes onions, leeks, garlic, scallions, chives, and shallots. They have beneficial effects on the cardiovascular and immune system. And they also show anti-cancer and anti-diabetic effects.
Their potent organosulfur compounds are released after cutting or chewing. These compounds can help slow tumor growth and kill cancer cells.
Consuming mushrooms regularly is associated with decreased risk of breast, stomach, and also colorectal cancers.
White, cremini, portobello, shiitake, oyster, maitake, and reishi mushrooms all have anti-cancer activity. So you can enjoy whichever ones are available in your area.
In a recent study, women who ate about one mushroom a day had a 64% decreased risk of breast cancer.
Dr. Fuhrman calls berries true super foods. (Especially strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.)
Their vibrant colors are not only gorgeous, but full of antioxidants. Berries are said to be some of the highest antioxidant foods on earth.
Plus they are great for the brain. They help in improving memory and cognition. Berries also help prevent DNA damage and provide anti-cancer effects.
Many studies show cardiovascular (heart-healthy) benefits of seeds because they are rich in micronutrients.
Plus, they have also been shown to aid in the absorption of nutrients when eaten with vegetables.
Each seed is nutritionally unique. So I try to get a variety in my diet: sunflower, chia, hemp, sesame, pumpkin, and flax.
So this super immunity salad covers each group. (Except mushrooms because Dr. Fuhrman suggests we don't eat them raw.)
For the dressing, I also add a couple more from the list with garlic and chia seeds. But feel free to dress it however you like.
Super Immunity Power Salad with Chia-Balsamic Dressing
- 1 large bunch kale
- 15 oz. can garbanzo beans
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup hemp hearts (optional)
For the chia-balsamic dressing:
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove finely minced garlic (or shallot)
- 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Make the dressing: in a bowl, whisk together all ingredients. The dressing will thicken a bit after sitting. (Tip: for an even smoother/thicker dressing you can pulse in a blender.)
- Tear the kale into bite-size pieces. Place in a large bowl and lightly massage. Pour desired amount of dressing over top, and lightly toss to coat. (If you have any unused dressing, store in a covered container. It stores in the fridge for about 4-5 days.)
- Rinse and drain beans. Add to kale.
- Thinly slice onion, and strawberries. Add to salad with blueberries.
- Sprinkle sunflower seeds and hemp hearts on top. We find it keeps covered in the fridge for about 2-3 days.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
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