Bored with plain old H2O? These foods help quench your thirst, too...
Cucumber is a wonderfully cleansing food, as it's made up of 96 percent water. “Many people think that this veg is a bit of a nutritional waste of time,” food expert Dale Pinnock tells us. “But, cucumbers are, in fact, the closest thing to an edible mineral supplement we have. They are incredibly rich in magnesium, which is vital for musculoskeletal health, and silica, the mineral that gives them their supershiny skin.” Tip Cucumbers are best eaten raw in salads and sandwiches, and they make wonderful additions to fresh juices.
Melon is bursting with vitamins C and E and is great for targeting bloating. “Eating melons is literally as good as drinking several glasses of water, as they have such a high water content,” says Dale. “Plus, they have the added benefit of being mineral-rich, which helps with hydration, as they change the osmotic potential of the liquid – this means it'll get through your body faster, hydrating you quicker.” Tip Melon is digested rapidly and eating it on top of a meal can cause fermentation of starches, which leads to bloating.
Tomatoes are deliciously versatile and extremely refreshing, as they're made up of 90 percent water. “They are a great addition to juices and even smoothies,” Dale tells us. “Tomatoes have a wonderful mineral content, and actually contain more vitamin C than any citrus fruit. The most interesting thing about them, and certainly the most widely studied, is the presence of a very powerful antioxidant called lycopene. This is a carotenoid compound, and has shown to be beneficial for many inflammatory conditions.” Tip Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C when eaten raw, whereas cooking them actually enhances the bioavailability of the lycopene.
Strawberries are packed with antioxidants to help rejuvenate your skin. “This colourful berry is a delicious treat, and a nutritional powerhouse to boot,” Dale says. “Like most berry fruits, they are incredibly rich in vitamin C. Plus, they're also extremely high in anthocyanidins, which are responsible for their deep red colour. And, they contain a compound called pelargonidin, which is thought to have antiinflammatory and even pain-killing properties.” Tip Keep a bowl of strawberries at hand to satisfy a sweet tooth and also help to speed up your metabolism.
Peaches are naturally sweet, but also great for detoxing your system. “Like most fruits, peaches are rich in vitamin C,” says Dale. “They also play host to several colour pigments, that deliver some interesting health benefits. The first is beta carotene, which is responsible for the orange coloured flesh of peaches. This is a powerful antioxidant for your skin health, as it's fat-soluble and will migrate towards fatty tissues, such as the subcutaneous layer of your skin, to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.” Tip Snack on this juicy fruit to ward off symptoms of PMS. They contain the mineral boron, which can help to stabilise your hormone levels.