Brain Building Massaged Kale Avocado Salad
I love a good salad. However, if I hastily throw one together and forget to capture one of fundamental nutrients I will not stay satisfied long and will be neck deep in the fridge within an hour. Unfortunately, all the awareness in the world doesn’t immunize me against the occasional lack of preparation and, being a product of the low-fat generation and sometimes slipping back into the “fat makes me fat” mindset, the first thing I often overlook when preparing a quick meal are high quality fats like those found in avocado, coconut or some “clean” animal foods. Fortunately, knowing that my weekly schedule can often get muddied with personal and professional responsibilities (damn you adulthood!), I developed a tasty, balanced, and nutrient dense Messaged Kale and Avocado Salad that can be prepared in a pinch, pairs nicely with a modest piece of meat or poultry, and easily satisfies my body’s nutritional need no matter what any given day demands.
The star of the Messaged Kale and Avocado Salad show is kale. Kale’s nutritional value can be attributed to its wealth of (1) antioxidant nutrients, (2) anti-inflammatory nutrients, and (3) anti-cancer nutrients. More specifically, kale is a standout source for vitamins K, A and C. Vitamin K allows the blood to clot normally, helps protect bones from fracture, helps prevent postmenopausal bone loss, helps prevent calcification of arteries, and provides possible protection against liver and prostate cancer. Vitamin A has multiple functions in the body, including it contribution to growth and development, vision and immune system maintenance. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory effects that can fight off free radicals and can help ease inflammation. Vitamins K, A and C are often depleted in alcoholics, which can impair wound healing and cell maintenance.
A close second are avocados. These little green gems are a rich source of monounsaturated fats that have been found to greatly enhance the basic chemistry and electrical properties of the prefrontal cortex, which enhances the ability to learn, remember and problem solve while slowing age-related cognitive decline. Not so coincidently, alcohol consumption can impair all the aforementioned executive functions of the brain and may compromise motor function, energy production and mood stability. An added bonus, the monounsaturated fats found in avocados are essential in the absorption and utilization of fat-soluble vitamins like K and A so that they can help maintain cell structure and function.
Last, but certainly not least, a little bit of lemon juice goes a long way in aiding the detoxification process where environmental and lifestyle toxins are processed and eliminated by the liver and kidneys.
Messaged Kale and Avocado Salad
- 1 bunche kale, rinsed and chopped
- 2 ripe avocados
- Juice from 1 lemon
- ½ tbsp. sea salt
- ½ tbsp. black pepper
- ½ tsp. red chili flakes
Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl and “message” ingredients into kale until well incorporated and only a few pieces of avocado are discernable. Add more salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.
The obligatory pretty picture.