The Joys of Watermelon

Updated: Sep 25, 2019

As an adult, I have come to appreciate watermelon for it’s healing properties, which are just as amazing as its taste. It’s also a very versatile melon with lots of ways you can prepare it as part of your meal.

I love watermelon. It’s sweet, juicy – and for me – filled with nostalgia. Watermelon takes me back to summers as a young girl visiting my grandparent’s farm in Alabama. While tending the gardens with my mother, aunts, siblings and cousins, we’d somehow always find our way to the watermelon patch for a quick snack. Like yesterday I can remember one of the adults grabbing the biggest watermelon they could find and hurling it to the ground. Imagine the excitement of us children as that big juicy fruit burst open to reveal the bright red deliciousness. And in those really lucky times when the flesh turned out to be yellow – you wouldn’t believe the delight. As kids, enjoying the rarity of a yellow watermelon just felt special. But red or yellow, big or small, watermelon on a hot summer day in the country was oh so refreshing!

As an adult, I have come to appreciate watermelon for it’s healing properties, which are just as amazing as its taste. It’s also a very versatile melon with lots of ways you can prepare it as part of your meal.

Why Watermelon is Good for You

Lycopene

Most people think tomatoes when they see the word lycopene, but believe it or not, watermelon contains more of this nutrient than tomatoes. Lycopene is the pigment that gives red and pink fruits their color. It is also a carotenoid antioxidant that has been linked to a number of health benefits, including heart health and protection against sunburn and certain types of cancers. Studies show watermelon has a concentrated source of lycopene – about 1.5 times the amount in tomatoes.


Cucurbitacin E

As you may know, inflammation is a key culprit of many chronic diseases. Cucurbitacin E is a plant compound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Watermelon is a rich source for Cucurbitacin E.


High Water Content

Drinking water isn’t the only way to get your daily intake. Watermelon is roughly 92% water. So eat up and stay hydrated on hot summer days.


Low in Calories

The next time you get the munchies, try watermelon for a low-calorie snack. It has just 46 calories per cup, which is right around there with other well-known, low-calorie fruits, such as grapefruit, apples and berries. Plus, with all the water, it’ll leave you feeling full and satisfied.


Consider these Exciting Food Possibilities

Ready to incorporate more of this awesome fruit into your diet? Get creative and have fun transforming this versatile melon into dishes your entire family will enjoy.

Grilled

The first time I had grilled watermelon it awakened my taste buds something wonderful. The host of the party I was attending grilled it with just a pinch of sea salt and finished it with a drizzle of lime juice, cilantro and honey. Wow. Just wow.


Smoothies

Cut your watermelon into cubes. Try using this handy melon cutter to make life easier. Add your cubes to a blender with other fruits, such as apple and lime, along with almond milk, for a creamy breakfast smoothie. Or blend it with just with a sprig of mint, a teaspoon of honey and crushed ice for an energizing refresher. Really, the sky’s the limit here. Play around with your favorite flavors until you find those you like best.


Roasted Seeds

I have to say I was a bit skeptical about this cook. Watermelon seeds were generally not favored when we were growing up as kids. But what a pleasant surprise to learn what a tasty little snack the seeds make when you roast them at 325 degrees for about 18 minutes and sprinkle them with a pinch sea salt. I was also encouraged to learn they’re packed with iron, magnesium, protein and B vitamins.


Salads

I always enjoy summer salads with berries, apples and now, watermelon. Try incorporating watermelon into a salad of spinach, red onion, salted avocado and sliced almonds, with a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette. The flavors meld so beautifully together.


Pops

Your children will love you for this yummy frozen treat. Simply blend your watermelon cubes with a pinch of sugar in the raw or agave, pour into ice cube molds or little plastic cups, insert wooden sticks like these and freeze until solid.


Watermelon goals, anyone?

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