A few years ago, good friends asked me to make a refreshing and healthy salad for their "Cinco de Mayo" gathering. Not only did we enjoy this as a delectable and immune boosting side dish, but we also used it as a topping for some of the tacos!
Health Benefits of Mangoes and Radishes:
Mangoes are low in calories but packed with nutrients with a sweet and creamy taste. Mangoes also boast an impressive nutritional profile. In fact, many studies link mango and its nutrients to health benefits, such as decreasing the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, as well as improving digestive health, hair and skin, to name a few. It is filled with antioxidants, making it another immunity boosting superfood.
Radishes are crunchy and peppery. They are considered as part of the cruciferous vegetables family, related to turnips, cabbage, and broccoli and are cholesterol-free, low-sodium, low-calorie, and fat-free. They are low in starch making it great for low-carb diets. Radishes have a very low glycemic load and are a good source of fiber, vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals, which help boost your immune system!
Over the past year, I decided to add other favorite ingredients and turned this delectable side dish into a meal. Some healthy additions used are as follows:
Strawberries and Blueberries: not only are they delicious, but they are filled with nutrients and are low in calories: Strawberries: contain antioxidants and polyphenols - heart protective ingredients. They are also a good source of vitamin C. Blueberries: are rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus zinc, fiber, and vitamin K, all of which promote good bone health. They are also high in antioxidants that help boost the immune system.
Shaved Brussel sprouts, Purple cabbage, Kale, and Spinach: Dark, leafy greens are nutrient-dense and one of the healthiest foods you can eat. They are rich in vitamins A, C, K, and folate and minerals calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium, as well as being low in calories! They also help promote healthy digestion, brain, and heart health.
Quinoa: a gluten-free, high protein food that offers a wide range of amino acids, which are vital for immune activity and other essential functions. It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, and calcium. It’s excellent for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Nuts and seeds: are good sources of protein, healthy fats, fibers, vitamins, and minerals. I used primarily roasted walnuts and sunflower seeds for this salad.
Avocado: is a naturally nutrient-dense food that contains many vitamins and minerals. They are a great source of vitamins C, E, K, B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium. They also provide lutein, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Cucumbers: have a high water content, which help promote hydration, and contain electrolytes. They also contain antioxidants, as well as many vitamins and minerals.
Daikon: is low in calorie and high in vitamin C, potassium, and phosphorus. Daikon contains active enzymes that aid in digestion and have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and diuretic properties.
Mint Leaves: have been around for quite some time and happen to be one of my favorite herbs with remarkable medicinal and antioxidant properties. Mint aids in digestion and has anti-inflammatory properties. Research has shown that mint helps those with asthma and the common cold. And, we all know that it freshens your breath!
Fresh Mango and Radish Salad
Yields: 3 cups Prep Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes
3 ripe mangoes, diced
2 medium size red radishes - rinsed, dried and cut into julienne
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (can sub or add mint or parsley leaves)
1 small lime, juiced
1 small lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive oil
Sea salt to taste
In a large serving bowl, combine the prepared mango, radishes, and cilantro.
Add lime and lemon juice and mix well.
Add olive oil and season to taste with salt. Mix well and let the salad marinate in the refrigerator for an hour or so before serving.
Get your creative juices flowing!