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We’ve all heard about the importance of eating organic whole foods, but do you know which foods may have the power to help heal the body? You’re probably familiar with superfoods (and that list seems to change depending on the new trend), but I think you’ll be surprised by the remedies and wonders of specific vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices.

Truth is, nutritionists and researchers are discovering more and more about the healing properties of certain foods. Some may help fight inflammation, while others may help promote bone health. There are also those that may help keep the gut healthy, detox the liver or potentially protect the brain from dementia.

A powerful shift occurs when you move beyond just eating for certain flavors and satisfying your hunger. When you start to understand what different foods can do, it can inspire your daily menu, energize the body and potentially help cure what may ail you.

Packed with crisp chopped veggies and crunchy peanuts, this Thai Salad recipe not only showcases the colors of the rainbow, but it is also loaded with healthy foods.

Check out the ingredient benefits below:

Baby kale: As a cruciferous vegetable, kale is a healing powerhouse that may help regulate inflammation, reduce cholesterol and maintain eye health.

Carrots: Rich in antioxidants and vitamin A, these crunchy root veggies are really good for your eyes. Carrots may also help improve cardiovascular health.

Edamame: These immature soybeans are said to help address inflammation and reduce symptoms of PMS and menopause. The soy isoflavones (compounds found in plants) may help decrease bone loss to combat osteoporosis.

Green onions: This veggie is good for your bones. Its antibacterial elements also may help fight off microbes.

Peppers: Loaded with potassium, folic acid, lycopene, and vitamins A, C and K, peppers may help reduce cardiovascular disease, protect against the buildup of cholesterol, aid in weight loss and more. Red peppers offer the most health benefits.

Red cabbage: The glucosinolates (sulfur-containing compounds) in cabbage are excellent liver detoxers. The phytochemical-rich vegetable may also help prevent Alzheimers.

Sunflower sprouts: These tasty sprouts are packed with protein, zinc and stress-busting vitamin B.

Cilantro: This herb is a great antioxidant that’s known for its ability to help support the liver. As an antimicrobial, it may help you detox and aid in fighting off E. coli.

Peanuts: These legumes add a punch of healthy proteins. They are also a good source of vitamins B and E.

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Thai Salad
Servings: 8
Prep time: 20 minutes
Difficulty level: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups baby kale, destemmed
  • 3 large tricolor carrots, julienned
  • 1 cup edamame, shelled
  • 6 stalks green onion, chopped
  • 6 mini peppers, tricolor, julienned
  • 2 cups red cabbage, chopped
  • 2 cups sunflower sprouts
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup peanuts, smashed
  • 1 mint sprig, for garnish

When you’re ready to eat, add a cup of an Asian-style or sesame dressing, toss together and get crunching. I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do, especially when you know what some of these ingredients can do for your body. To your health!

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References and sources:

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Journalist Ann Wycoff has written about wellness, fitness, longevity, travel, spas, food and wine for the past 20 years for magazines like Shape, Fitness, Spa, Outside, Travel + Leisure, Coastal Living, Redbook, Modern Luxury, San Diego Magazine, Redbook, Marin Magazine and more. She lives in Encinitas, California.