Certain things just seem to go together, like bread and butter, winter and hot chocolate, and watermelon and summer. Watermelon is the classic American summer barbecue side dish. It’s sweet, easy to prepare, and a definite crowd pleaser. But there’s far more to this sweet summertime food than meets the eye. Check out the ways watermelon is good for your health, too.
- Hydration Benefits
Summer heat and sunshine can really sap a person’s energy. In part this is because heat and sun can dehydrate. It’s thus incredibly important to get enough liquid during the hottest months of the year, but you don’t necessarily have to drink water to meet this need. Eating watermelon is incredibly hydrating. In fact, watermelon is a whopping 92% water.
Believe it or not, watermelon is one of the lower calorie fruits. It is also packed full of vitamins and minerals like vitamins C, A, B1, B5 and B6. Watermelon also contains magnesium and potassium, which tend to get flushed out of the body in the heat. Magnesium and potassium are imperative for healthy heart function.
One of the most important things a watermelon contains is antioxidants. Oxidative stress is being talked about a lot these days, and that’s because it’s a pretty big deal. Oxidative stress is linked to many diseases. When cells have an imbalance of free radicals, oxidative stress occurs and cells don’t function properly. Redox signaling, which is a cell’s way of communicating with the genes for help, doesn’t work as well. Watermelon is packed with antioxidants, which help balance out oxidative stress and improve healthy cellular function.
4. Prevents Disease
The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in watermelon do more than most people realize, and eating yummy watermelon definitely beats taking medicine. Watermelon may help prevent certain types of cancer, boost heart health, and even help prevent macular degeneration (which simply means eye deterioration).
5. Plus a Few More Benefits
At this point, watermelon should probably be lauded as the best-tasting super fruit in the world. But there’s still more that it does. Want shiny hair and healthier skin? Eat watermelon. Having digestion problems? Watermelon may help. Did you work out a little too hard? Consuming watermelon will help relieve stiff, sore muscles.
Fun Watermelon Recipes
Now that you know all these amazing health benefits, the question is not whether or not to eat watermelon, but how to eat more of it. Watermelon is great on its own, but why not incorporate it into a special summer treat for National Watermelon Day?
- 2 cups cubed, seedless watermelon
- 2 T fresh squeezed lime juice
- 6 chopped mint leaves
Blend and pour into popsicle molds, then freeze.
- 2 cups cubed, frozen watermelon
- ½ cup yogurt
- 2 T sugar
- 1 T lemon juice
Put in food processor or blender, but be careful not to over-blend. Freeze for one hour and then enjoy.
- 2 ½ cups seedless watermelon chunks
- 15 chopped mint leaves
- 12 oz. club soda or carbonated water
- Vanilla ice cream
Blend watermelon, mint leaves, and club soda until just incorporated. Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Put a scoop of ice cream into a cup and add the watermelon mixture.
So, for the sake of your heart, your cells, your hair, and your health, go enjoy National Watermelon Day!