by Christina Cioci
Summertime and watermelon seem to go hand-in-hand. Biting into that piece of juicy goodness brings back fond memories of picnics and pool parties. This much loved fruit is more than just a juicy snack. According to Watermelon.org, “About 200-300 varieties are grown in the U.S. and Mexico, although there are about 50 varieties that are very popular.”
Today there are about 5 common types we see in markets: Seeded, Seedless, Mini, Yellow and Orange. Watermelon is packed full of nutrition, hydrates and is also low-fat! It is a great source of vitamin A which contains antioxidants; Vitamin C which can heal and strengthen the body and B6 which helps convert protein to energy.
If you have a busy and energetic lifestyle this fruit helps replenish the loss of crucial vitamins the body needs. Whether you are active or thinking about incorporating more exercise into your life, watermelon is a smart idea to have. Exercising a lot? This fruit also hydrates your body and gives back electrolytes that may have been lost from sweating. On the go or in a meal this fruit is tasty, beneficial and thirst-quenching. Watermelon is a good alternative to drinking high-sugar energy drinks or other caffeinated beverages.
Planet Green reports that tomatoes have always been thought of as having the highest source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps fight heart disease and several types of cancer. Now it has been found that watermelon may be better for you than tomatoes because it contains more lycopene at higher concentrations. This is a big reason to make this typical summer fruit part of the main meal!
Watermelon is also a great source of potassium. Potassium helps with muscle and nerve function and helps maintain the body’s proper electrolyte and acid-base balance. Another important aspect is potassium helps lower the risk of high blood pressure. Giving this to kids will be a hit on a hot day and they will probably ask for more. Planet Green also stated that “Watermelon also contains the amino acids citrulline and arginine, which can help maintain arteries, blood flow and overall cardiovascular function”.
For people that want to improve their health and slash risks of many disease, a well balanced diet is the way to do this. Accompanied with regular exercise incorporating seasonal fruits and veggies can positively improve health and lower risks of disease. Watermelon is in season in the summer so it is the sweetest and juiciest it will be all year at the market. Try to find local markets that grow their own seasonal produce and you won’t be disappointed! This fruit has proven benefits and is truly a new “super fruit” that has been around for a long time.
If you aren’t a big fan of plain watermelon try pairing it with berries in a smoothie or shake. It is also great in salads or mixed with mint as a quick snack. Check out more recipes at this Watermelon site and try some out this summer.