healthy salad recipe

5 Steps To An Immune Boosting Salad

A salad can sometimes seem like the boring healthy option however the versatility of a salad is really exciting. After treatment for cancer the body’s immune system is often suppressed. To help rebuild the immune system to feel well again, we are often advised to eat fresh, colourful foods packed with vitamins and minerals. A salad can do just the trick.

As Spring is here, there are many delicious fresh ingredients bursting with flavor, colour and goodness waiting to be enjoyed. A tasty, fresh salad can really make a positive difference to your digestion, immunity and overall well-being. A salad doesn’t need to include heavy, creamy dressings that make you feel sluggish. Simply using a healthy oil, lemon juice or fresh herbs can bring a salad to life. 

These five tips can help you create the most healthy and delicious immune boosting salad.

1. Where is my protein? 

Plant proteins

When you are planning a meal, always ask yourself, where is my protein! Protein is such an important element of a meal as it helps enhance the feeling of fullness and satisfaction, repairs cell and muscular damage, and brightens your hair and skin.  Protein doesn’t always have to be from animals, there are great vegetarian proteins that make a fantastic salad.

Choose one of these delicious proteins for the base of your salad:

  • Beans and legumes
  • Lentils
  • Tofu
  • Nuts
  • Lean meat such as chicken, turkey, beef
  • Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, trout
  • Eggs
  • Feta or goats cheese

2. Make friends with fat

Healthy Fats

Fat has had a bad reputation over the years as supermarket marketing has led us to believe that low-fat products are better for our health however this isn’t always the case. Low-fat products can sometimes contain more sugar to retain the taste lost from the reduction in fat. Fat is so important for our brain function, metabolism, hormonal health and reducing inflammation in the body. Eating good fats such as avocado can also boost the collagen levels in our skin to keep us looking more youthful.

So when you are making up a salad, be sure to include a delicious fat source from this list:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Nut oils
  • Coconut oil
  • Coconut flakes
  • Avocado
  • Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, trout
  • Soft white cheese such as feta or ricotta

3. Go green

Green vegetables

Choosing two or three greens will ensure you get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, folic acid, magnesium and vitamin C. Including some cruciferous greens such as broccoli and kale will enhance the fibre content of your salad and improve your digestion. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli help to reduce inflammation in the body thus increasing cancer fighting potential.

Choose a few greens from the examples below:

  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Arugula 
  • Spinach
  • Cabbage
  • Asparagus
  • Spring onion 
  • Fennel
  • Herbs such as basil, mint, coriander, parsley, watercress, pea sprouts

4. Brighten up your salad with colour

Eat the rainbow

Fruits and vegetables rich in colour will boost its overall antioxidant level of your salad. Antioxidants help to keep your immune system healthy by fighting off infection and disease, they also boost your feeling of well-being. I always tell clients to eat the rainbow by including at least two to three colours at every meal.

Choose colour rich foods to enhance your salad from the list below:

  • Carrots
  • Red and yellow peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet potato
  • Goji berries
  • Blue berries

5. Dress your salad well

Olive oil

Salad dressings should compliment the fresh taste of foods you’ve combined together. Personally, I like to use olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt as that is the Italian way. However, you can use nut oils or herb infused oils to bring your salad to life.

Choose a delicious dressing from the list below:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Garlic infused olive oil
  • Rosemary infused olive oil
  • Fennel infused olive oil
  • Chilli infused olive oil

Keep your salad light, fresh, colourful and interesting to feel the difference in your health and well-being. Try the Eat Move Glow puy lentil salad with roast vegetables for some veggie protein goodness or the warm Middle Eastern salad for something a little more exotic.

Cancer recovery is such an important stage of the cancer journey. There is not a lot of help given from medical professionals on nutrition for cancer recovery. As a cancer survivor and registered nutritionist, I hope you find this information useful for your recovery. Eat well to feel well is my daily moto.


Lisa x

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