10 weeks to a healthier you
We are still keeping our hopes up high for a heat wave this summer, and hotter days and warmer nights usually means lighter dinners and lunches. This is where the humble salad and delicious salad vegetables get the chance to shine.
Including a rainbow of colourful fresh vegetables to your salads or any main meal, such as carrots, onions, tomatoes, cucumber, avocadoes and peppers, is the easiest way to make sure you’re getting a variety of nutrients. So simple to assemble and eat, salad vegetables also all have one thing in common - they can be eaten raw.
"Be adventurous with your lettuce leaves by trying different varieties, including lamb’s, romaine, round lettuce, rocket, watercress and spinach leaves", says Waitrose Nutritionist Nicola Selwood. “Spinach is rich in vitamin C, folate and vitamin A, which all help support the immune system. Spinach also provides calcium and iron, but avoid eating spinach with tea, as the naturally occurring tannins in tea decreases the body’s absorption of iron. Instead, add a squeeze of lemon juice or have a glass of orange juice with your spinach – the vitamin C in them helps improve the body’s absorption of iron from vegetable sources,” she says.
Find out why avocadoes are good for you and how you can use them
Nicola’s top tips
Our Nutritionist Nicola Selwood, shares her top tips on how to introduce more fresh salad veg into your diet.
Add flavour by roasting
Add a smoky flavour to your meals by roasting vegetables like peppers under a hot grill for 10-15 mins. This will stop the temptation to add flavour with salt. Also red peppers are rich in vitamin A, which helps the body to use and absorb the iron from veggies like spinach and peas.
Skip to the beet
Did you know that beetroot juice is being used by sports people to help improve endurance performance? Studies have shown drinking beetroot juice a few hours before a long race or training session may improve performance, which is attributed to the high levels of nitrate it contains.
Take on the tomato
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a pigment that gives tomatoes their deep red colour and has been shown to act as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from damage. Processing raw tomatoes using heat actually makes it easier for the body to use lycopene, so tomato juice, paste and even ketchup are more valuable sources.
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