I don’t know about you, but I love a good salad. I’ve experimented with several varieties of lettuce, but I pretty much have stuck to the most common ones.
Recently, I decided to venture out from my salad comfort zone. After searching, I came across a kale salad recipe that looked oh, so delicious.
However, after reading through the ingredients, I realized I would have to modify it quite a bit. I needed to not only make it tasty but also healthy for my body and my skin.
The original recipe included oils that are touted as healthy, but I’ve found that added oils produce oily skin. This can also result in bacteria and acne (not to mention added fat in unwanted places).
Not. A. Good. Look.
Since this blog’s Clear Skin Diet focuses on avoiding added oils, I had to find a substitute that didn’t ruin the recipe.
Now, before we get to the recipe, I want to share why this kale salad recipe is so beneficial to our skin. Let’s start by taking a look at the main ingredients and their benefits.
Ingredients in kale salad which promote healthy skin
Oh, where to begin? There are so many wonderful benefits of kale. It’s high in iron–more iron, in fact, than beef. And our bodies need iron to help transport oxygen throughout the body, grow healthy cells and help our liver function properly.
Kale is filled with cancer-fighting antioxidants and it contains a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids. These are powerful because they fight against autoimmune diseases, arthritis, and asthma. It treats sun damage, lowers cholesterol levels, and promotes elasticity in the hair.
But it doesn’t stop there (I told you this stuff is wonderful), kale is full of benefits for our skin.
Kale is loaded with vitamins A, C and K, lutein, iron, and antioxidants, and according to Dr. David Bank, “The vitamin K in kale helps to reduce the dark circles under your eyes and ‘tightens’ your skin, thereby reducing fine lines and wrinkles.”
He goes on to say that the vitamin A and antioxidants contained in kale repair skin tissue while preventing free-radical damage. “Kale beauty products are also known to be beneficial for detoxification. These products help to keep your skin hydrated while cleaning out your pores and providing your skin with a healthier look.”
Tomatoes are tasty in salads, and the green ones are fried and pickled in many Southern cafes. However, we don’t often hear about the cosmetic benefits of tomatoes.
Tomatoes are a powerhouse in many homemade beauty treatments because of their abilities to help shrink large pores, reduce acne flare-ups, and soothe rashes and burns.
While tomatoes have benefits topically, eating them will fill your body with lycopene. This antioxidant has anti-aging properties, helping to fight cellular damage and any reddening of the skin.
Keep your skin healthy and vibrant by munching on carrots. They are loaded with the antioxidant beta-carotene which helps to repair skin tissue and protects against sun damage.
If you want a healthier, more attractive skin color, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables–including lots of carrots–is better than lying in the sun.
Carrots may help reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles over time. Adding about one cup of carrot juice to your daily diet will give you about 22 mg of beta-carotene, as well as a good dose of vitamin C.
Red Bell Peppers
This mild pepper is not only tasty, but it’s a storehouse of nutrients. Loaded with vitamin C, vitamin B6, and magnesium, red bell peppers help rid the body of free radicals and helps to slim a bloated face.
Applied topically with other natural ingredients, red bell peppers help to soothe rashes and fade blemishes–a powerful anti-aging food.
Pumpkin seeds have a number of health benefits. The nutrients they contain help lift your mood, reduce the “bad” cholesterol, and can give you better sleep.
For those of us with oily skin, pumpkin seeds are our best friend. The zinc contained in the seed keeps the skin looking healthy and clean. Also, the vitamin C found in the seed firm and tighten the skin.
If your skin lacks moisture, this healthy snack provides long-lasting moisturization without leaving you feeling greasy.
The vitamin E in sunflower seeds protects the skin from free radical damage while preventing scarring and the appearance of wrinkles.
Sunflower seed oil is a good source of essential fatty acids which encourage the skin to produce collagen and elastin, leaving your skin soft and smooth.
To me, walnuts are not at the top of the list of tasty nuts, but they are really great for our body and skin. In fact, many skin care manufacturers include walnuts in their formulas.
Walnuts are packed with B-vitamins which, along with vitamin E, helps to reduce stress levels. Since an increased amount of stress ages the skin faster (aka develops wrinkles faster), walnuts delay the aging process.
Applying walnut seed oil to your skin leaves you with well-moisturized skin and can lighten dark circles under your eyes.
Anti-aging kale salad recipe
Now that you know all of the health benefits of this delicious kale salad, it’s time to put it to the taste-test.
Anti-Aging Kale Salad Recipe
- 1 lemon
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 bunch kale chopped finely
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 1 tomato chopped
- 1 medium cucumber chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper chopped
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper chopped
- 1/2 cup carrots shredded or chopped
- 1/2 cup seeds pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame
- 1/4 cup raisins & dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 2 tbsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 dashes black pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- Chop the kale and add to a bowl. Squeeze the juice of the lemon over the kale. Add the minced garlic and Bragg's Liquid Aminos. Toss well to coat the kale. Let sit for five minutes to soften.
- While kale is soaking, chop remaining vegetables. Sprinkle seasonings over the kale mixture and toss.
- Add chopped vegetables and remaining ingredients to the kale mixture. Toss to combine and serve.