The summer is a time when an abundance of fruits and vegetables are ripe for the picking. Beautiful produce in a rainbow of colors can be found at any farmer’s market or grocery store. But which ones provide the most nutritional value?
If you can only choose one fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth this summer make it watermelon. This festive fruit is synonymous with summer BBQs and pool parties, but it’s not just delicious – it’s also extremely nutritious. Here area few other unique qualities that make watermelon the perfect summer fruit.
Unique Thirst Quencher
ONE Thing that makes watermelon a uniquely perfect sweet treat during the summer is its ability to quench our thirst. Many fruits contain water, but watermelon was given its name for a reason. It has an impressive 91.5 percent water content level.
Coconut water may be the latest nutrition craze, but this summer watermelon can provide the same thirst quenching refreshment. Staying hydrated is important year round, but during the hot summers you often need to increase your water intake to avoid dehydration. In fact, research has found that as much as 75 percent of people don’t drink enough water for their bodies on a daily basis. So snack on some watermelon to help get that water consumption up!
Watermelon Protects You From Sun Damage
Another potential hazard of all the summer fun is sun damage. For some people all it takes is a few minutes of unprotected sun exposure to get a burn. Protect yourself by slathering on sunscreen and chowing down on watermelon. Eating watermelon can help protect your body from the sun.
Like other red fruits, it turns out that watermelon contains a significant amount of lycopene. This carotenoid antioxidant helps provide natural protection against UV rays. Tomatoes are well known for being a good source of lycopene, but watermelon actually has more per cup.
Vitamin Packed With Every Delicious Bite
The pure sweetness of watermelon makes it seem more like candy than a healthy piece of produce,but don’t let the natural sugars fool you. Watermelon tops the list of summer fruits because it’s packed with these vitamins and nutrients:
- Vitamin A–These retinoids keep skin, tissue and eyes healthy. It also stimulates cell growth and bone production.
- Vitamin B–Watermelon is high in both B6 and B12 vitamins that protect the brain.
- Vitamin C–Tissue grows and repairs more readily when there’s an ample supply of vitamin C.
- Citrulline – You can actually eat the rind, which is a good idea if you have high blood pressure. The rind contains citrulline, an amino acid that has been shown to decrease blood pressure levels. It can also help sore muscles recover after a day at the beach or park.
- Potassium–This electrolyte helps counteract sodium, which protects the kidneys and heart.
- Manganese –Manganese provides the body with enzymes that help build bones.
- Beta Carotene–This antioxidant is well known for protecting eye health, but it also aids the immune skin and keeps skin healthy.
Picking the Perfect Watermelon
Now that you’re sold on the idea of eating watermelon all summer long you need to know how to pick one. Follow these steps to make sure you find the perfect watermelon:
- Tap on the watermelon to see how it sounds. If it sounds hollow that’s a good sign it’s ready to eat.
- Pick it up to feel its weight. Good watermelons will feel heavy for their size.
- Check to see if the outside is bright green with a yellow spot. The yellow spot is where the watermelon sat on the ground and indicates ripeness.
- Also look for a watermelon that has nice smooth skin without abrasions.
If you dare to be a little different, consider switching up your summer snacking with yellow crimson watermelon. Instead of the familiar pink, it’s a bright yellow inside and has a hint of honey to the taste.
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