Peppers originated in the Americas. Columbus brought them back to Europe, and from there they spread to Africa and Asia.

Sweet peppers are low in calories, and supply folic acid, potassium and fibre. They are an excellent source of beta carotene and bioflavanoids. These substances are antioxidants which protect the body against arthritis, cancer and heart disease.

Most importantly, peppers are packed with wonderful vitamin C. The green ones have the smallest amount, and the red ones the most., but even the green peppers give you more vitamin C than an orange. This is more than your daily requirement. Keeping them in the fridge ensures no loss of this important vitamin whilst storing. Always source organic, if you can.

Melons are such a favourite

Melons are such a favourite with our grandchildren in the summer! Orange-fleshed cantaloupe are among the most nutritious of the many varieties of melon. A 100g portion supplies more than half the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. and is also a good source of beta carotene (which the body converts into vitamin A.) Both of these are antioxidants which may help to prevent cancer and heart disease. It is thought that the high water content in melons may stimulate the kidneys to work more efficiently.

Melons are low in calories so they are a popular choice for slimmers. Sprinkle some ginger on your melon slice instead of sugar. Delicious!

(Source organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible.)

Fennel is both a food and a medicine.

Fennel tea is recommended for hot flushes. It has been used by the Greeks, the Romans, Anglo-Saxons and the American Puritans. It was a diet aid for Roman women, whilst the Puritans found that it staved off hunger during their long church services. Fennel tea is good for coughs, bronchitis, flatulence and digestive problems. It stimulates the liver and is a useful diuretic. It is helpful for kidney stones and cystitus. Seventeenth century herbalists recognised fennel as both a food and a medicine. It is often grown for its attractive feathery leaves. Try fennel tea as a change from coffee.

Celery is very popular with slimmers

Two sticks of celery only contain seven calories!  This vegetable is rich in potassium which  helps to maintain healthy blood pressure. Celery also helps the kidneys to function efficiently and to hasten the excretion of waste. It contains an anti-inflammatory agent which can relieve gout. It was used in the Orient to treat hyper-tension. Steaming or lightly boiling celery helps to reduce nitrate levels. And it is delicious!