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Autumn Salad

What’s good for the heart is good for the brain

Karen Miller
Autumn Salad
(Photo: Courtesy of National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

This is a simple and healthy salad from the cookbook Heart Healthy Home Cooking African American Style published by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The prevailing theory is that there is a connection between heart health and brain health.

This recipe combines fruit and lettuce greens with nuts and seeds. Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been found to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. They also contain fiber, protein, iron, vitamin B6 and magnesium, which aids in bone strength and normal heart rhythm.

The lettuce greens provide folate, a B vitamin which, especially when combined with vitamin B12, may reduce the risk of AD. The salad is also high in potassium and low in sodium, which helps maintain normal blood pressure. High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke, which can result in vascular dementia.


• 1 medium Granny Smith apple, sliced thinly (with skin)

• 2 tbsp. lemon juice

• 1 bag (about 5 cups) mixed lettuce greens (or your favorite lettuce)

• ½ cup dried cranberries

• ¼ cup walnuts, chopped

• ¼ cup unsalted sunflower seeds

• ⅓ cup low-fat raspberry vinaigrette dressing


  1. Sprinkle lemon juice on apple slices.
  2. Mix the lettuce, cranberries, apple, walnuts and sunflower seeds in a bowl.
  3. Toss with ⅓ cup of raspberry vinaigrette dressing to lightly cover the salad.

Makes 6 servings

Per Serving
(1 cup)
Calories: 138
Total Fat: 7 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 41 mg
Total Fiber: 3 g
Protein: 3 g
Carbohydrates: 19 g
Potassium: 230 mg

Recipe Source: Heart Healthy Home Cooking African American Style

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