Digestive Health: Summer Salads That Make You Feel and Look Great!

Summer salad recipesIf you are feeling sluggish and your digestive health is taking a hit from too many backyard BBQs it is time to make a change. Summer is the perfect time of year to take advantage of the season’s harvest. At every market, bins are overflowing with an abundance of colors and variety. Here are a few summer treasures that can help you eliminate bloating and increase vitality.

Beet and Beet Greens Salad for Detox
A good way to get a jump-start towards better health is by cleansing your digestive system. Eliminating craving by cutting out the bad stuff (white flour, sugar, processed foods, etc.) and add lots of whole foods. Beets have powerful anti-inflammatory and fungicidal properties that promote cell repair and regeneration. So use up all the beet has to offer by making a salad with the roots and the leaves.

Beet and Beet Greens Salad
serves 2-4

1 bunch of beets, green cut and washed
1 cup of clementine segments
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
¼ cup of sunflower seeds

3 TBL apple cider vinegar
6 TBL sunflower oil
a pinch of sea salt
a pinch of cracked pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Rub a bit of olive oil on the skin of the beets, sprinkle with a bit of salt and wrap them in a foil pack. Set on the middle oven rack and cook for 45-55 minutes until you can easily piece through with a knife. Set them aside to cool. Then dice into bite-sized pieces.
2. Chop up the greens, and add to a large bowl. Mix in cooled beets, clementines, scallions, and sunflower seeds.
3. In a small bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients and toss together with the salad.


Quinoa and Edamame Salad for Energy
There are many foods that make can make you feel rejuvenated and refreshed. This summer, if you are working out often or your lifestyle keeps you busy try a salad with foods that provide natural energy boosters. Quinoa is a gluten-free grain packed with protein, making it ideal for building muscle. It is also full of nutrients: folate, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese. Combine quinoa with edamame, or soybeans, which are high in energizing nutrients such as B-vitamins and phosphorous for a high protein, mineral-rich dish.

Simply combine in a large bowl 2 cups of cooked quinoa, 1 cup of shelled edamame, chopped boiled eggs (eggs are another protein rich food packed with Vitamin D), top with fresh herbs, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Season to taste and dress with extra-virgin olive oil. This salad will keep your digestion on track, which will also give you the energy you need throughout the day.


Watermelon and Cucumber Salad for Hydration
You are probably thinking that eating food to stay hydrated doesn’t sound right–drinking is how you stay hydrated, right? Not necessarily. In the summer, it is very important to stay hydrated in high and humid temperatures. In these conditions, it is easy to sweat out water and loose the minerals that help maintain and balance your body’s fluid levels (also known as electrolytes). Also, keeping hydrated is essential for healthy digestion. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and fill your plate with foods that boast a high water content as well as vitamins and minerals, like this watermelon and cucumber dish.

Watermelon and Cucumber Salad
serves 2

1 cup of watermelon, cubed
1 English cucumber, roughly peeled and diced
1 avocado, diced
½ cup of sheep’s milk feta cheese, crumbled

3 TBL balsamic vinegar
6 TBL olive oil
2 mint leaves, sliced
a small pinch of sea salt
a small pinch of cracked black pepper

1. In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together until emulsified.
2. In a large bowl, combine the salad ingredients and pour over dressing to your liking and serve.

This summer, take the opportunity to eat healthy whole foods. Your body will feel rejuvenated as well as look great in your bathing suit!