With the holidays behind us and 2012 in full swing, everyone seems to be ready to hit the reset button and renew their vows to eat healthy. There are an abundance of detox diets, juicing diets, and the more well know diets such as the Dash Diet, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, and the Biggest Loser Diet. What do all of these diets have in common? Although each of these diets has their own angle, all of them promote a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, lean proteins, heart-healthy fats, and low-fat dairy foods.
These individual diet programs offer a disciplined approach to eating with the goal of improving health and losing weight. However, if you simply set a goal of your own to pay attention to everything you eat and drink (keeping a log helps), I believe you can come up with your own customized healthy eating plan at a fraction of the cost, eliminating all processed foods, and enjoying a wide variety of your favorite whole foods. Although pre-programmed or pre-packaged diet plans might result in quick weight loss short-term, I believe a conscious commitment to feeding your body a balanced diet of unprocessed, whole foods is the key to long-term health. We all fall off the bandwagon once in a while, but if we know how to pick ourselves back up, we can return ourselves to good health.
Salads, smoothies and soups are the perfect medium for including a nice assortment of healthy fruits and vegetables in the daily diet. Today, I share a simple, straight forward Detox Beet and Pink Grapefruit Salad that is refreshing, light and clean. Complete with antioxidant rich beets and grapefruit, and heart healthy nuts, this salad is the perfect beginning to dinner and would just as easily serve as a nice lunch salad.
But before we get to the recipe, I wanted to share what I’ve learned about beets. I have to admit that I never thought much about beets until a few years ago. I was under the impression that they really didn’t offer much nutrition wise. Plus, until I tasted my first Roasted Beet Salad, I didn’t even like beets. Today, I am a beet convert, especially after learning just how powerful these little red vegetables are.
Beets have a unique phytonutrient profile different from many other antioxidant-rich vegetables. They are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains, which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification properties. Betalains are only found in edible form in beets and prickly pear. I’m getting a bit technical here, but one cool thing that I learned is how betalain pigments help detoxify our bodies. Apparently, betalains trigger a process by which toxins are neutralized, and made water-soluable for excretion from our bodies. Pretty cool, right? Okay, I’m showing my geeky pre-med side.
And what about grapefruit? Not only is grapefruit an excellent source of vitamin C, but pink and red grapefruit contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that may protect cells from the damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. Several scientific studies have found a lower risk of cancer among people who eat lycopene-rich foods.
I hope I didn’t lose you with all that information, but I just think it’s so cool that the lowly beet and the common grapefruit can be such powerhouses.
Okay, back to that Detox Beet and Pink Grapefruit Salad recipe. This recipe was inspired by Betty Fussell, who is being recognized this week by a group of bloggers as one of the Top 50 Women Game Changers in Food. According to Gourmet Live, Betty Fussell’s books are a “snapshot of every major recent food trend – often before it happened.” For the past fifty years, Betty Fussell has been writing articles and books on the subject of what it is to be an American, covering a variety of topics – food, travel, movies, theater and the arts. Her writing has appeared in scholarly journals, food publications, popular national magazines and major newspapers. She is the author of eleven books, including The Story of Corn, documenting the history of corn, and a food memoir, My Kitchen Wars.
If you’re interested in more beet recipes, I’ve made Fresh Beet and Apple Soup, Pureed Beet and Carrot Soup, Pasta with Roasted Beets and Pine Nuts, Oven Roasted Beets with Sage and Thyme, and Orange and Beet Dip.
If you’re interested in joining our group as we cook our way through this list of 50 influential women in food, just ask Mary from One Perfect Bite.
Please stop by and take a look at what the rest of the group made this week in celebration of Betty Fussell:
Annie from Most Lovely Things
Linda from There and Back Again
Val from More Than Burnt Toast
Joanne from Eats Well with Others
Taryn from Have Kitchen Will Feed
Susan from The Spice Garden
Heather from girlichef
Miranda from Mangoes and Chutney
Mary from One Perfect Bite
Sue from The View from The Great Island
Barbara from Movable Feasts
Nancy from Picadillo
Kathleen from Bake Away With Me
Veronica from My Catholic Kitchen
Mireya of My Healthy Eating Habits
Claudia - Journey of an Italian Cook
This recipe has been added to the #citruslove bloghop.