Watermelon is one of my all-time favorite fruits. Its sweet flavor and light texture is refreshing every time I bite into it. While I’ve always known that watermelon is a fairly healthy food, especially if it’s taking the place of a heavy dessert, I had no idea how dense it was with good-for-you vitamins and nutrients.
Health benefits: Watermelon is an excellent source of Vitamin A, which is beneficial for eye health; Vitamin B6, which is beneficial for brain function and turning protein into energy; and Vitamin C, which helps strengthen the immune system, prevent cell damage and even promote healthy teeth and gums.
Watermelon also contains lycopene, which is an antioxidant that fights free radicals in the body and helps prevent heart disease and various types of cancer. It’s also an excellent source of potassium, which we all know helps muscle and nerve function, as well as helps maintain our body’s proper electrolyte level.
Nutritional statistics: One cup of watermelon (balls) contains approximately 46 calories, 0 g fat, 12 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 10 g sugar, and 1 g protein.
Cooking methods: Besides eating watermelon fresh from the rind like my family and I most often do, you can blend it into a soup or smoothie, chop it up and put it on a kabob with other assorted fruits, puree it and add it to popsicles, or dice it and add it to cocktails and other refreshing beverages. Also, a great savory way to enjoy watermelon is in salad with either fresh mint or cilantro and a generous spoonful of feta cheese. The sweet-salty combination is absolutely mouth-watering.
Now quick! Go find some watermelon before the summer ends, and start get daring in your kitchen with this delicious and healthy fruit!
July 29th, 2012