Father's Day is just around the corner. Why not level up your celebration? In addition to celebrating the fathers in your life, help them boost their health too!
You may remember that we put together a rundown of why a healthful salad is perfect for a Mother's Day celebration. It turns out that many of those same reasons apply to Father's Day. This is a healthful, tasty meal that contains a myriad of foods with health-boosting properties. So this Father's Day, why not offer a gift that strengthens his heart and reduces his risk of chronic disease?
- 1/2 pound fresh baby spinach
- 3 medium-sized oranges, peeled and diced
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- 1/2 cup red onion, sliced thin
- 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
- Black pepper to taste
- Balsamic vinegar to taste
- To assemble the salad, put the spinach, oranges, cucumber, onion, and walnuts in a large salad bowl. Cover and refrigerate, up to 12 hours, before serving.
- At service time, toss gently to combine. Allow everyone to top their own salad with black pepper and balsamic vinegar.
- Serves 6.
- Each 1 and 1/2 cup serving contains 205 calories, 5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 58 mg sodium, 15 g carbohydrate, 4 g dietary fiber, 8 g sugar, and 4 g protein.
- Each serving has 137% DV vitamin A, 90% DV vitamin C, 11% DV calcium, and 11% DV iron.
- If you don't have any oranges handy, you can also use 2 cups of canned mandarin orange segments, drained and rinsed.
- No balsamic vinegar? Try a flavored fruit vinegar or a dash of pomegranate molasses.
Let's Talk Health: Health Boosters in This Salad
Yes, the salad is delicious. As an added bonus, it's full of nutrients to protect and improve health. Plus, eating it could displace other, less healthful foods. The perks just keep on coming! Let's take a moment to discuss the health benefits of the key ingredients in this dish...
A cup of spinach is an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin K. It's also a good source of vitamin C and folate. Vitamin K works with calcium to strengthen your bones, and it also keeps your blood vessels healthy. Plus, vitamin K is also integral to making the proteins used in your blood, bones, and kidneys. Vitamin A, on the other hand, is key to maintaining good vision and plays a vital role in cell growth and differentiation. It even helps form and maintain healthy skin, teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, and mucus membranes. Good thing spinach is such a good source of vitamins A and K, right?
Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that protects your cells from free radical damage. Vitamin C boosts your immune system, reduces inflammation, and protects blood vessels. Oranges also contain folate, a water-soluble B vitamin that is integral to the formation of healthy red blood cells and DNA.
Red onion has tons of health benefits as well! According to the paper Onions -- A Global Benefit to Health "Compounds from onion have been reported to have a range of health benefits which include anticarcinogenic properties, antiplatelet activity, antithrombotic activity, antiasthmatic and antibiotic effects." Red onions are also rich in anthocyanins. Anthocyanins make it harder for your body to develop atherosclerosis, a heart disease that can have a serious and negative impact on health. The authors of the study, Flavanols and Anthocyanins in Cardiovascular Health: A Review of Current Evidence explain "Anthocyanins seem to have a clear effect on endothelial function and myocardium protection"
Walnuts are good for the heart too. Take a look at the claims in the article Walnut May Be Top Nut for Heart Health, which outlines the results of a study performed by Joe Vinson, PhD and other researchers at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. WebMD quoted Vinson as saying "'Twenty-eight grams of walnuts (an ounce) have more antioxidants than the sum of what the average person gets from fruits and vegetables,' he says. 'That is not to say they are a replacement for fruits and vegetables, but they are very antioxidant dense.'"
Of course, this salad is also rich in fiber. Fiber is packed with health benefits. Check out this free infographic -- it's got fun facts about fiber!
For even more resources that promote good health, check out the nutrition education materials below. The popular bestsellers highlighted below are simply flying off the shelves!
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.