You don’t have to be watching Wimbledon to enjoy a bowl of juicy strawberries! Rich in antioxidants to protect the body’s cells, strawberries have a high water content and more vitamin C per cupful than an orange! Strawberries also have a low glycaemic load which means that they do not spike your blood sugar levels and so do not encourage sugar cravings.
Native to the Kalahari Desert, watermelons are an excellent source of pure water, so are great for rehydrating the body. Not only is watermelon very low in calories, but it also packed with nutrients, notably vitamin C, beta-carotene and lycopene, an important antioxidant that fights damaging free radicals.
Need to cool down? The humble cucumber has both cleansing and cooling properties, making it a must both for hydrating the skin and refreshing the body. With a high water content, cucumber is also rich in important minerals such as silica, potassium and magnesium and a good source of vitamins C, A and folic acid. Use cucumber slices topically for puffiness under the eyes and to soothe skin irritated by the sun.
A celery-based juice is great post workout due to its high potassium and sodium levels, making it an ideal electrolyte-replacement drink. Celery is a great snack food and an excellent source of vitamin C and fibre. Eating celery boosts your intake of coumarins – compounds which support the vascular system and may help migraines. A study has shown that a coumarin compound found in celery lowered blood pressure. .
Wild lettuce is thought to have mild sedative effects but it is the high water content that makes it an excellent summer food. Certain varieties such as romaine lettuce are also a good source of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A and C, folic acid and chromium. Choose red or green curly-leaf varieties to give colour and texture to a salad.