Packed with health benefits, add this golden spice to scrambled egg or rice dishes, or sprinkle over roasted vegetables. It can soothe stomach upsets and boost collagen production in skin and joints. A grind of black pepper dramatically improves absorption of curcumin, the active compound in turmeric.
Canned, dried or in ready-to-eat pouches, all types of lentil are a fabulous source of iron, especially valuable if you’re a vegetarian. As a complex carbohydrate, they are also rich in folate, which will keep your energy levels and moods steady. Use as a base for a filling summer salad.
Rich in plant hormones called isoflavones, chickpeas exert an oestrogen-like effect on the skin – boosting collagen production, skin thickness and elasticity. Make your own houmous or add to salads, tagines and rice dishes.
4. Coconut milk
This incredibly popular drink contains more valuable minerals – such as potassium, magnesium and iron – than cow’s milk. Although high in saturated fat, it’s in the form of medium-chain triglycerides, which our bodies use quickly so they’re less likely to be stored as fat.
Bursting with protective antioxidants, saffron strands help to fight age-related vision loss and may prevent hardening of the arteries. Add a little sunshine to a risotto, paella or a sweet dessert – a pinch is all you need!