When fellow foodblogger and foodie Teena Sunoj asked me to contribute a 'pink' salad to her Facebook page 'Salad Nation' to promote awareness of Breast Cancer this October, I could think only of pomegranate and cranberries as the ingredients for the salad. I've taken a classic Watermelon Arugula Feta Salad, and 'pinked' it up with luscious strawberries, and arils of dark pink pomegranates.
Pomegranates are considered a superpower in the battle against various cancers including breast cancer and prostate cancer. In breast cancer, research suggests that pomegranates suppress the production of oestrogen and thereby slow down the growth of the disease.
Strawberries are known to be a good dietary source of vitamin C and folate as well as to contain some potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus.Strawberries are said to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-lowering, and neuro-protective properties. Research suggests they may lower coronary heart disease risk. Some research has suggested they help reduce the risk of some cancers such as oesophageal cancer.
I added Cranberries as they are important in helping the body fight against disease, as they are know to be high in vitamin C content, as well as phyto-chemicals and antioxidants. Some medical research suggests that cranberries may have some effect in anti-proliferation of some cancers such as breast cancer, liver, lung and prostate cancers, and may be effective in controlling inflammation as a result of urinary bladder infections.
One titbit I read online about cranberries, onhttp://www.whfoods.com/ says "....For many years, water-harvesting of cranberries has been looked upon as an industry convenience. It's simply easier to harvest berries that are floating on the surface. However, recent research has shown that the anthocyanin content of cranberries (the phytonutrients that give the berries their amazing red color) is increased in direct proportion to the amount of natural sunlight striking the berry. If berries floating on top of water get exposed to increased amounts of natural sunlight (in comparison to other growing and harvesting conditions), they are likely to develop greater concentrations of anthocyanins. These greater concentrations of anthocyanins are likely to provide us with stronger health benefits. .. If it can expose cranberries to greater amounts of natural sunlight, it can increase phytonutrient health benefits that involve the unique antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of anthocyanin."
As is the case with any vegetable or fruit, the berries should be washed well to reduce risk of any pesticide adhering to the skin.
Considering all this, the Watermelon Arugula Feta Salad made from these disease fighting berries seemed an appropriate recipe to create as my contribution to increasing the awareness of breast cancer.
Watermelon Arugula Feta Salad with Strawberries Cranberries and Pomegranate
- 1 bunch arugula leaves - (200 gms)
- 2 cups watermelon , diced,
- 1 cup Strawberries sliced
- 1 cup Cranberries
- 1 cup pomegranate arils
- ½ cup feta cheese
- ½ cup Walnuts
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- to taste salt
- mint leaves to garnish
- Pinch the arugula (rocket) leaves away from the stalks, wash and dry throughly in a salad spinner or between paper napkins. I usually reserve the arugula stalks to add to chutneys or soup, as I love their peppery flavour.
- Prepare the fruits as in the ingredients list above. Lightly roast the walnuts for a few minutes.
- Gently squeeze out liquid from the watermelon, as otherwise the salad can become soggy real fast. (I don't discard the liquid as I can add it to soup or drink it with a sprig of mint).
- Combine the Arugula, melon, strawberries, cranberries and pomegranate. Add salt and mix.
- Crumble bits of feta on the salad. Sprinkle pieces of walnut.
- Dress with the lemon juice and mint leaves just before serving.