Top 10 healthy summer foods
Nutritionist, Kerry Torrens, gives your summer menu a healthy kick-start with her top 10 seasonal ingredients that are packed with goodness and best enjoyed during the warmer months.
The key to eating well is variety. Ring the changes with seasonal summer food that's at its very best right now - whether you're at home or on holiday enjoy these summer sensations:
A favourite at this time of year and a real treat (because they have such a short season) cherries are rich in protective vitamins like C and E. They're also a better source of beta-carotene, which our bodies convert to immune-friendly vitamin A, than strawberries.
Anti-cancer compounds called anthocyanins give blackcurrants their characteristic dark colour. These luscious fruits provide more vitamin C than oranges, in fact they provide about four times the amount - so just a handful (about 20g) satisfies your whole day's needs.
What could be more summery than watermelon? High in water content, a slice of melon helps boost your hydration levels, which is especially important on a hot day. Store the uncut melon at room temperature to optimise ripening and nutritional value - because an ambient temperature promotes levels of valuable plant compounds, called carotenoids.
Vine tomatoes are at their very best from the end of June. Roast them with a drizzle of olive oil to maximise your absorption of cancer-protective lycopene. This plant chemical is thought to help reduce the risk of prostate cancer and provide protection for the skin against the damaging effects of the sun. Tomatoes are packed with healthy attributes including being a good source of valuable minerals like potassium which helps moderate blood pressure.
The classic partner for tomatoes, basil adds more than just flavour to a pasta sauce or a seasonal salad. It's heart-friendly, being a good source of magnesium, which helps steady the heart's rhythm and like all leafy greens, it provides vitamin K which we need for blood clotting and strong, healthy bones.