Get wild for watermelon!
When I think of watermelon I think of summer and all of the fun, beach days, and laughter that go along with it. This juicy fruit is packed full of nutrition, provides great hydration benefits, and is low in fat. Watermelons are an excellent source of several vitamins: vitamin A, which helps maintain eye health and is an antioxidant; vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system, heal wounds, prevent cell damage, promote healthy teeth and gums; and vitamin B6, which helps brain function and helps convert protein to energy. This power fruit is beneficial to the skin and aids in the regenerative process. Watermelon has the highest concentrations of lycopene of any fresh fruit or vegetable. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant hat helps fight heart disease and several types of cancer. It is also a great source of potassium, which helps muscle and nerve function, helps maintain the body’s proper electrolyte and acid-base balance, and helps lower the risk of high blood pressure. Watermelon contains the amino acids citrulline and arginine, which can help maintain arteries, blood flow and overall cardiovascular function. Along with all of these benefits, eating watermelon can aid in reducing weight as 1 cup of diced watermelon has only 46 calories.
Alone or in a fruit salad are the most common ways many of us eat watermelon. One recipe that combines a touch of salty with the sweetness of the fruit is watermelon mint feta salad. I make this all the time in the summer and is great at summer BBQs as a side salad or as a dessert option. I also eat it as a mid-afternoon snack to tide me over until dinner. This recipe is fast and easy to make:
Watermelon Mint Feta Salad
• Dice up fresh watermelon into bite-sized chunks (you can buy the pre-sliced kind if you are really short on time)
• Add a couple of tablespoons of reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese
• Chop up fresh mint leaves and sprinkle into the salad
• Shake well in a container and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve
With so many benefits watermelon offers, we should all add this wonder fruit into our diets on a consistent basis. There are fresh watermelons galore in the grocery stores throughout the summer so pick one up ASAP and get wild for watermelon!