Every day for lunch, I'll have a large kale salad bowl, with oodles of plant goodness, like roasted butternut squash, tomatoes, hemp hearts, hummus, chickpeas, brown rice and other delectable goodies from the ground. It’s a veritable plant party.
Or, in my house, we also love baked sweet potato fries (see: bottom left) for lunch and that in-between-meal-times-meal. I have nothing to do with this recipe, my sister is the brains behind these crispy delights. She also makes a creamy vegan lime dressing for them and claims she can’t cook. I beg to differ; these look and taste pretty profesh.
Cauliflower and kale are members of the cruciferous vegetable family and make a hearty base for a health-promoting salad. These vegetables all have a distinctive, sulfurous smell. These sulfurous compounds are key to this vegetable family’s health benefits. When cut, crushed or chewed, a greater amount of the beneficial, sulfur-rich phytonutrients are converted and activated. This nifty chemical reaction turns sulfoxides into thiosulfonates. Other sulfur-containing foods, like garlic, actually become more beneficial if chopped and left on the cutting board for 10 minutes before consuming.
The sulfurous compounds in these and other foods, are cancer-preventive. A study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, showed sulfurous compounds guard against tumor proliferation, carcinogen bioactivation and work to suppress carcinogen formation. Another study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, showed “substantial evidence,” for the compounds in cruciferous vegetables to “...effectively block chemical carcinogenesis in animal models, ...reducing susceptibility to carcinogens.”
These super sulfurous compounds include: glucosinolates, thiocyanates, isothiocyanates, thiosulfinates and thiols. One compound that's released from sulfurous compounds, indole-3-carbinol, is particularly beneficial to human health, in terms of its anticancer and detoxifying properties. This compound is especially helpful for estrogen and other hormone-related cancers, as it works to detoxify and sweep away excess estrogen (and other hormones), instead of circulating in the body, potentially causing problems down the road. Indole-3-carbinol is found in abundance in cruciferous vegetables, like cauliflower and kale.
Apples, which also make an appearance in the crazy good salad, have been found to posses dozens of anticancer compounds, according to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. It's important to note that these compounds were found in apple peels, making it important to keep the skin intact, when eating and cooking with apples (if it's the apple's health benefits you're after).
This creamy mustard dressing recipe uses vitamin E-packed almonds, for creaminess and antioxidant power; vitamin C-rich orange, which helps to absorb all that irony goodness from the kale, and sweetens the deal; and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, from extra-virgin olive oil. It also contains sulfur-packed raw garlic, to boost this salad's health benefits even further. Mixed with cancer-kicking cauliflower, kale and sweet apple, this salad is a meal in a bowl, which I'm clearly very fond of!