There’s nothing better than this fantastic weather but it can be difficult to know what to eat and being so hot does make us lazy and less likely to be bothered to spend time preparing healthy foods – especially when the kids are on holiday!
I’ve been needing quick, easy and cooling recipes to serve up for lunches and accompaniments to barbeques. This salad ticks a number of nutritional boxes and is especially great on hot sunny days. It’s not only refreshing but it contains the exact nutrients needed to protect against skin damage – and if, like me, you enjoy a glass or two of wine on a sunny day, it also supports the liver thanks to the watercress.
In a recent study watercress ranked highest on a list of ‘powerhouse’ fruits and vegetables, receiving a perfect score of 100%. The score was based on its health benefits and nutrient-to-calorie ratio. So adding watercress to salads is a sure-fire way to boost your nutrient status. I personally love the taste of watercress but the leaves can be overly peppery for some so coupling it with sweet watermelon counteracts this and is a great combination.
My main love for watercress stems from its detoxification powers. Sun exposure, especially with alcohol puts a tremendous strain on the liver and watercress helps counteract some of the damage.
As well as watercress, watermelon is one of the best foods to eat in the sunshine. Watermelons, as the name suggests, are mostly water – about 92 percent – but they are also packed with nutrients delivering more nutrients per calorie than many other fruits and boasts high levels of vitamins A and C along with some of the most important antioxidants in nature. Consumption of watermelons has been associated with improved heart health, skin and hair benefits, reduction in mnuscle soreness, anti-inflammatory properties and can they can help reduce the risk of cancer, in particular prostate cancer.
They’re a rich source of lycopene, an antioxidant that’s been shown to reduce UV damage by over 30%.
They have high levels of beta-carotene which is stored under the skin and absorbs free radicals.
They’re twice as hydrating as water. Watermelon juice acts more like an isotonic drink due to its hydrating salts, minerals and sugars.
On top of all this goodness there are also the healthy fats from the walnuts and olive oil which are also sun protective and help you feel fuller for longer as well as the protein from the nuts and cheese. As this salad literally takes under 10 minutes to make and is a well rounded meal its become somewhat of a staple in this heatwave.
|4 people||5 minutes|
This salad ticks a number of nutrititional boxes and is especially great on hot, sunny days. Not just because it's refreshing, but because it contains the exact nutrients needed to protect against skin damage.
- 1/4 watermelon cut into chunks
- 1 bag watercress
- 100 g feta cheese
- 1 handful walnuts broken up by hand
- 3 spring onions thinly sliced
- 2 sprigs fresh mint finely sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
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- Wash the watercress, mint and spring onions.
- In a large bowl combine the watercress, watermelon chunks, mint and spring onions.
- Crumble over the feta cheese and sprinkle with the walnuts.
- In a small bowl mix the oil with the balsamic vinegar, add black pepper and pour over the salad until the leaves are well coated.
We hope you enjoy this refreshing salad, let us know how you get on in the comments below or on our facebook page and don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter to receive more recipes, nutrition tips and expert advice.