Aussie tennis champion Sam Stosur has stormed through to the second round of the Australian Open, with a little help from fresh vegetables.

To the delight of vegetable growers around the country, Ms Stosur recently said in a media interview that she loves vegetables and eats plenty of salads, particularly when she’s home in Australia.

“AUSVEG has long promoted the benefits of a vegetable rich diet and we are delighted to see a world-class Australian athlete reaping the benefits just in time for the Australian Open,” said AUSVEG spokesperson Tamara Ungar.

“The health benefits resulting from a diet high in vegetables are relevant to professional tennis players, with leafy green vegetables in particular potentially aiding in sport recovery due to their high levels of nitrate.”

Recent Cambridge University research, funded by the British Heart foundation, has found that nitrate contained in leafy greens, such as spinach, lettuce and celery, has been shown to widen blood vessels, while also turning white fat cells into brown calorie-burning fat cells that may combat Type 2 diabetes. 

AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.

Men’s number one, Novak Djokovic is also a strong advocate for the gluten-free, high-fibre benefits of vegetables.

“With the Australian Open upon us it is the perfect time to take a step back and look at the way we fuel our body,” said Ms Ungar.

“Aussie consumers are among the luckiest in the world, with such a wide range of top-quality locally grown produce at their fingertips. Combine this with a willingness to try new things and experiment with different recipes and food types, and there is a great opportunity to have a healthy and happy start to the new year, and breed the next generation of tennis superstars.”

Cucumber, lettuce, celery and cabbage all contain high water levels and will aid in hydration upon consumption.

“As the summer season reaches its hottest and we watch some of our favourite tennis champs sweat it out on the court, it is important to remember to remain well-hydrated, which is something vegetables can help us with,” said Ms Ungar.

“Vegetables can be used as a tasty and healthy way to supplement water consumption in the hot weather and especially good for kids.”  


MEDIA CONTACT:  Tamara Ungar, Senior Communications Officer

Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0400 980 480, Email: