Immune System-Boosting Foods: Kale Salad

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Looking for a delicious bowl of vitamins and minerals that you can prepare in just 20 minutes? Then this kale salad with butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds, and balsamic vinegar is just for you! Kale is an immunity superfood, as is butternut squash. Pumpkin seeds are an incredible source of protein and unsaturated fats and pomegranate seeds have so many health benefits you can hardly count them all!

I love whipping up this kale salad recipe to enjoy at lunch or bring to a dinner party, and it never fails to satisfy.

Kale: An Immunity Superfood

As a member of the cabbage family, kale is loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that play proactive roles in our overall well-being. Kale contains vitamins A and C and several other antioxidants that boost your immune system. It’s also packed with important minerals such as potassium and calcium, which help support and maintain healthy bones. Kale is high in magnesium as well — which is a critical mineral responsible for over 300 enzyme reactions in our bodies. And that is just the tip of the iceberg for what kale can do!

Kale’s other superfood benefits include:

  • Kale contains bile acid sequestrants which help lower cholesterol
  • Kale is an important source of vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting
  • Kale contains cancer-fighting substances sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol
  • Kale is high in minerals that most people are deficient in such as magnesium and potassium
  • Kale contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two nutrients that may help lower the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration
  • Kale is low in calories but high in water content so you feel full after eating, which can help with weight loss goals

Can You Eat Raw Kale?

When I talk about the immune-boosting power of kale, sometimes people ask me if they can eat it raw, or if they should cook it. You can eat kale raw or cooked, although it’s best when it’s raw. Cooking it reduces the effectiveness of all those antioxidants and nutrients, so to get the most from this superfood, you should eat it raw.

Other Nutrients in Kale Salad

My kale salad recipe features other healthy superfoods. Let’s look at the benefits of each one!

 

Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is low in calories but packed with vital nutrients:

  • Vitamin A: essential for eye health, bone health and your immune system
  • Vitamin C: boosts your immune system, collagen synthesis, and repair of tissues
  • Vitamin E: prevents free radical damage
  • B vitamins: folate and B6 are important for energy and the production of red blood cells
  • Bone-health nutrients: magnesium, potassium, and manganese

 

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds provide numerous health benefits, including:

  • Hypoglycemic properties that may help manage blood sugar levels
  • Excellent source of magnesium to help lower blood pressure
  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) could be beneficial to heart health

 

Pomegranate Seeds

Pomegranates are known for their many benefits to your overall health:

  • Full of fibers that aid in digestion
  • Anti-inflammatory effects in the digestive system
  • May help fight breast cancer and prostate cancer
  • May help treat arthritis and joint pain

 

Now that you know all the amazing health benefits you’ll get from this kale salad, I bet you can’t wait to try it!

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Immune System-Boosting Foods: Kale Salad


  • Author: Chef Serena Poon

Ingredients

1 bunch kale.

1 c. cubed butternut squash

1/4 tbsp. olive oil

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 c. toasted pumpkin seeds

1/2 c. pomegranate seeds

1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar


Instructions

  1. If your squash is raw, a simple way to prep butternut squash is by roasting in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, then toss the butternut squash cubes in 1 tbsp of olive oil with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Place in a baking pan and position on a center rack in the oven and let it roast for about 15 mins or until just tender.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the kale, oil, and salt. Using your hands, massage the leaves, rubbing them with the oil and salt until they become softer, smaller, and darker, for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the roasted squash, pumpkin and pomegranate seeds and gently toss to combine.
  4. Add the vinegar and toss again.
  5. Check the seasonings, adding a little more oil and/or vinegar, if needed.

Immune Superfoods

Incorporating superfoods like kale into your diet on a regular basis can have such a huge impact on your overall health. You can help stave off disease and feel more energized. And when you make a kale salad this delicious, it’s easy to get all those nutrients in!

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This content is strictly the opinion of Chef Serena Poon and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Serena nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

Medical Disclaimer
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