Watercress, Pear & Baby Spinach Salad – A Superfood Salad!
Watercress, Pear and Spinach are a great combination for a Healthy Salad! Now being identified in the Superfood range of foods due to their Amazing Health Benefits. This can be eaten as a salad on its own, added to make a healthy sandwich or addition to a main meal.
Watercress is actually a part of the cruciferous (also known as brassica) family of vegetables along with Kale, Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts. These foods providing nutritional support for improved immune function, cancer prevention and thyroid support. With combined health support of pear and spinach. Taking a deeper look into these health benefits and the making of this easy, yet highly nutritious salad.
Watercress Amazing Health Benefits
Watercress could be called the fast health food in previous times. As it was a free and an important source of sustenance throughout Europe and the US in the 19th century. Given the nickname “poor man’s bread,” bunches were often rolled into a cone and eaten as an on-the-go breakfast sandwich – much less expensive than the real thing.
About the Plant itself – A nutrient-rich perennial plant growing naturally around slow moving water sources, watercress has been known for centuries as an exceptionally nutritious herb for both eating and healing.
It can be used in sandwiches, salads, and steamed as a side dish, it adds a tangy, peppery flavour as well as a plethora of minerals and vitamins – more than that of spinach, milk or oranges. Vitamins A, C, and K, and phytonutrients like isothiocyanates and gluconasturtiin in watercress strengthen bones, limit neuronal damage, fight infection, help maintain healthy connective tissue, and prevent iron deficiency.
Studies have found the compound PEITC in watercress may suppress breast cancer cell development and prevent DNA damage in cells. You can find this oft-overlooked leafy green in most supermarkets, so give it a try when you make your next green salad or sandwich. Remember, watercress from stagnant water may host harmful parasites or pathogens, so rinse and soak well before eating
The Simple Pear! Surprising Health Benefits
Eating a medium sized pear per day will provide you with the following health benefits – Pears are a rich source of important minerals, such as copper and potassium. Copper plays a role in immunity, cholesterol metabolism, and nerve function. Potassium aids muscle contractions and heart function. Pears also play a significant role in maintaining healthy digestion therefore being of great assistance with weight loss and prevention of digestive problems. What’s more, the humble pear is an excellent source of polyphenol antioxidants. Polyphenol antioxidants provide protection against oxidative damage. It is important to eat the whole pear, as the peel boasts up to six times more polyphenols than the flesh.
Amazing Health Benefits of Eating Baby Spinach
The humble spinach is Best eaten raw as you will benefit from also the fibre content of the spinach giving you additional nutritional benefits. A major role Spinach in preventing inflammation, therefore providing great health benefits in the reduction of arthritic conditions. And there’s more benefits to your health with this simple food:
- Healthy Eyes: Studies have demonstrated the power of lutein (a powerful nutrient in spinach) in preventing cataracts. Lutein also slows down aging of the eyes, prevents macular degeneration and helps to promote eye strength. One of the benefits of grapefruit juice is that carrots are also great for our eyes.
- Prostate cancer. Neoxanthin, a carotenoid present in spinach induces cancer cells to kill themselves and is also converted by the body which prevents cancer cells from multiplying.
- Ovarian cancer. Studies have found that women with diets packed with kaempferol (a flavonoid in spinach) had a 40% reduction in ovarian cancer.
Bone health. Spinach is loaded with vitamin K, a nutrient essential to maintaining bone structure and health. The health benefits of cabbage make it great for the bones also.
- Heart health. A stack of folate also takes residence within spinach and helps to safely break down chemicals that usually lead to heart attack or stroke if their concentrations get too high.
- Energy. As I mentioned earlier, spinach is bursting with iron, which builds red blood cells and increases blood flow. This leads to increased oxygen supply to your body which fills you with energy and eliminates fatigue.
Blood pressure. Due to a lack of sodium and a surplus of potassium, spinach is thought to lower your blood pressure. Use spinach when juicing for high blood pressure.
- Anti-inflammatory Properties. As mentioned one of the major health benefits of spinach is its superb role in preventing inflammation. Beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin k are all in spinach and they all have anti-inflammatory properties. This makes them effective at reducing symptoms of inflammation, such as arthritis pain.
- Mental performance. It’s inevitable that our brain function declines with age, but what can we do to slow this process down? One study found that eating 3 servings of green leafy vegetables (such as spinach) could slow the mental decline by up to 40%.
Watercress, Pear & Baby Spinach Salad – (Serves 2)
What you need:
- •2 cups watercress, trimmed, use sprigs
- •2 cups baby spinach, trim stalks
- •2 pears, Sliced
- •Ground Pepper to taste
- •1 carrot, grated
- •1 capsicum finely sliced
- •1 red onion finely sliced
- •1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
- •1 tblespn fresh ginger, roughly chopped
- •¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
- •¼ cup smooth almond butter mix with 2 tblespn hot water
- •1½ tblespn raw honey or Maple Syrup
- •½ tspn chili paste, or to taste
- •3 tblespn toasted sesame oil
What to do:
- Place watercress and spinach in a large bowl. Cut pears into thick matchstick-like slices. Toss gently with the watercress and spinach. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place all dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Drizzle dressing over salad and garnish with grated carrot and toasted sesame seeds.
For variations you can add chicken, feta cheese, pine nuts, beetroot grated
Learn more about the Foods to Eat & Why with Easy Recipes in my eBook: Eating to Live
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