Watermelon: A Taste of Summer!

Photo by Kanka* via Flickr

Photo by Kanka* via Flickr

Summer is in full swing and the heat is on!  Despite the relentless heat, many families head to the park to picnic. When the meal is over, the last thing eaten is often a sweet, juicy slice of watermelon. That is because watermelon is such a great fruit for the occasion.  Each bite seems to cool you down, making the heat more bearable.  But the benefits of eating a slice of watermelon don’t stop there.

What are the health benefits?
Watermelon is a great thirst quencher because of its very high water content (92%).  But it is also contains many nutrients.  It is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6 and lycopene.  In addition, it is a good source of dietary fiber, potassium, thiamin (vitamin B1) and magnesium. Plus, its a low calorie food (50 calories per cup), which makes it a perfect dessert for those who are watching their weight.

Need more reasons to convince you to eat a slice or two of watermelon this summer?  Well, studies show that eating watermelon may help protect against macular degeneration, reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers (such as prostrate and colon cancer), prevent erectile dysfunction and alleviate some symptoms of arthritis.  All good excuses to have a tasty slice.  It’s nice when something we enjoy eating is good for our health, isn’t it?

How do I choose a flavorful watermelon?
Compared to other fruits, it’s a little harder to tell when watermelons are ripe.  Here is what to look for when choosing a sweet, juicy watermelon:

  1. Whole, uncut melons: Choose melons with a rind that is smooth and an exterior that is not overly shiny or dull.  Then look for a yellow or white spot on the rind.  That is where the watermelon was sitting on the ground.  If the watermelon is ripe, the spot will be a creamy yellow.  If it is still white, it is not ripe yet.  And if you give the watermelon a thunk on the side, a ripe melon will give you a hollow sound.
  2. Precut melons: It is easier to judge the quality of a watermelon when it is precut.  The flesh should be deep red and moist with a fresh appearance.  Avoid pale fleshed watermelons that look dehydrated. The flesh should also be devoid of white streaks.

How do I eat watermelon?
Now that you’ve bought the watermelon, it is time to eat it!  Luckily, there are many ways to enjoy watermelon.  Here are 3 simple serving ideas to get you started.

  1. Eat it plain: You can go with the traditional way to eat watermelon at a picnic.  Just grab a slice and bite right into it.  This is definitely my favorite way to go.
  2. Fruit salad: You can use watermelon as a wonderful addition to a fruit salad.  Then you get the health benefits of the watermelon and all the other wonderful fruits you combine it with.
  3. Yogurt: If you’re looking for a different way to eat watermelon, you can always puree it and add it to plain yogurt.  It’s a nice way to add a little flavor.

The bottom line:
So, the next time you are feeling the intense heat of summer, bite into a slice of watermelon.  You’ll get lot of important nutrients, your thirst will be quenched and your taste buds will be happy.  All that and low in calories. You can’t lose!

Comments (2)

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  1. Maria Isabel says:

    It is great to know how nutritious the watermelon is. I always love eating it. We ate one the week that the weather was very hot and it tasted deliciously!!!

  2. Watermelon is one of the few things I’ll substitute for chocolate. I actually like to cut it up and put a few pieces the freezer, which is great on a really hot day (it’s like eating a frozen dessert). I didn’t know that it had so many vitamins in it, which makes it an even better choice. Thanks.

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