How to get the most antioxidants from your salad
Salads are good, but not all salads are created equal. Here is a list of the common salad vegetables which have the highest levels of antioxidants (1):
Surprisingly, you can double the salad's antioxidant capacity by adding a fresh-herb olive oil dressing (it must be olive oil, not other types of oils). As the taste improves, so does the antioxidant level (1). Fresh ginger, thyme and cumin give the best antioxidant boost to your salads. But let what's available in the garden and your own preferences guide you. A couple of tablespoons of fresh-chopped herbs, a generous pinch of sea salt, perhaps one or two tablespoons of lemon juice, and a quarter cup of olive oil will make a divine salad.
Another really important point to remember with your vegetables and fruit is VARIETY. A wide variety of antioxidants and other micro nutrients is essential if you want a long life. Humans evolved whilst eating hundreds of different leaves, flowers, roots and fruits. Even a hundred years ago there were dozens of varieties of each common fruit and vegetable still widely grown. Today, shops offer a very limited variety of local, in season fruits and vegetables. If you only eat a few favourites from them, you are not getting a sufficient spectrum of nutrition.
1. Antioxidant capacity of vegetables, spices and dressings relevant to nutrition. Ninfali, P. et al., British Journal of Nutrition 2005 Feb;93(2):257-266.