The Simplest Greek Salad Recipe
By Aidanne MacDonald-Milewski, ND • August 18, 2020
Recently, my friend shared this recipe with me and I fell in love with it instantly! It’s simple, refreshing, nutritious and a perfect side to bring to any summer cookout. Below you can find the recipe as well as more information on key nutrients or health benefits packed within each of the main ingredients. I hope you enjoy!
– ½ – 1 can of organic garbanzo beans
– 1 cucumber chopped
– 1 green bell pepper chopped
– 1 red bell pepper chopped
– 1 yellow bell pepper chopped
– ½ cup cherry tomatoes halved
– ¼ – ½ medium red onion diced
– 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
– ½ – 1 tsp fresh or ground oregano (increase amount to taste)
– 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– ½ cup of feta cheese crumbles optional
Instructions for Preparation:
Mix all ingredients in bowl and enjoy! Best served chilled
Protein + Fiber
Chick peas or garbanzo beans, are rich source of protein (approximately 14g per cup) and fiber (approximately 12g per cup). Fiber and protein together help to support cardiovascular health and blood sugar balance.1
The skin of a cucumber is rich in many micronutrients and vitamins, but especially potassium.2 Potassium is a micronutrient needed to ensure proper rhythm and function of the heart and nerves.
Yellow and red peppers are especially rich in beta-carotenes, which act as a precursor to Vitamin A in the body. Beta-carotenes are antioxidants that are needed to keep your skin, vision, immune system, etc. functioning optimally!3
Lycopene is nutrient that contributes to the deep red pigment of many fruits and vegetables. Lycopene is helpful in preventing cardiovascular disease by supporting the health of our vasculature and preventing atherosclerosis. It can also support a healthy blood pressure and acts to lower systemic inflammation!4
Anthocyanins + Sulphur
Anthocyanins are what give red onions their purplish-red color. Sulphur contributes to the pungency of the any onion. Both nutrients act as antioxidants that have been shown to reduce oxidative stress and support proper cell regeneration. Because of this action, anthocyanins and Sulphur containing foods are often recommended as part of an anti-cancer diet and are gaining interest in cancer research.5.6.7
Vitamin C can be found in most fruits and vegetables. It serves as an antioxidant and is a key nutrient in the production of collagen. Therefore, it helps support vascular, skin, joint, organ, etc. health!
Oregano makes for a tasty herbal addition to Mediterranean dishes. Oils present in the leaves contribute to its aroma, and one of the main oils present in oregano is known as carvacrol. Carvacrol has modest anti-microbial properties in the raw herb but is often distilled into oregano oil which has a more therapeutic effect!8
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olives are a great source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids which help to reduce inflammation and scavenge free radicals that cause oxidative stress in the body. Given those key actions, extra virgin olive oil has been shown to reduce the risk or severity of a number of inflammatory conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, certain cancers, IBD, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.9,10,11,12
To learn more about the Mediterranean Diet and how it could benefit you, please contact your Naturopathic Doctor today!
1. McRae MP. Dietary Fiber Is Beneficial for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: An Umbrella Review of Meta-analyses. J Chiropr Med. 2017;16(4):289-299. doi:10.1016/j.jcm.2017.05.005
2. Potassium content of foods. University of Michigan Health System: UMHS Patient Food and nutrition services. Accessed from: http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/Nutrition/PotassiumHandout.pdf. Accessed: August 14, 2020.
3. Grune T, Lietz G, Palou A, et al. Beta-carotene is an important vitamin A source for humans. J Nutr. 2010;140(12):2268S-2285S. doi:10.3945/jn.109.119024
4. Lycopene Professional Monograph. Natural Medicines Database. Accessed from: https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/databases/food,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=554#mechanismOfAction. Updated: March 25, 2020. Accessed: August 17, 2020.
5. Thibado SP, Thornthwaite JT, Ballard TK, Goodman BT. Anticancer effects of Bilberry anthocyanins compared with NutraNanoSphere encapsulated Bilberry anthocyanins. Mol Clin Oncol. 2018;8(2):330-335.
6. Lin BW, Gong CC, Song HF, Cui YY. Effects of anthocyanins on the prevention and treatment of cancer. Br J Pharmacol. 2017;174(11):1226-1243.
7. Chan AT, Garrett WS, Huttenhower C, Izard JG. Dietary sulfur, the gut microbiome and colorectal cancer. Massachusetts General Hospital; Boston, MA. https://grantome.com/grant/NIH/R01-CA202704-03
8. Leyva-López N, Gutiérrez-Grijalva EP, Vazquez-Olivo G, Heredia JB. Essential Oils of Oregano: Biological Activity beyond Their Antimicrobial Properties. Molecules. 2017;22(6):989. Published 2017 Jun 14. doi:10.3390/molecules22060989
9. Larussa T, Imeneo M, Luzza F. Olive Tree Biophenols in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: When Bitter is Better. Int J Mol Sci. 2019;20(6):1390. Published 2019 Mar 20. doi:10.3390/ijms20061390
10. Guasch-ferré M, Liu G, Li Y, et al. Olive Oil Consumption and Cardiovascular Risk in U.S. Adults. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020;75(15):1729-1739.
11. Guasch-ferré M, Hu FB, Martínez-gonzález MA, et al. Olive oil intake and risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality in the PREDIMED Study. BMC Med. 2014;12:78.
12. Borzì AM, Biondi A, Basile F, Luca S, Vicari ESD, Vacante M. Olive Oil Effects on Colorectal Cancer. Nutrients. 2018;11(1):32. Published 2018 Dec 23. doi:10.3390/nu11010032
Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.