Watermelons are not considered part of the “dirty dozen” of commercial pesticide sprayed fruits so you don’t have to spend any more if you can’t find organic ones.
Watermelons are usually pink or red on the inside which means they contain a lot of lycopene, an antioxidant. When buying a watermelon, press the outside to make sure they are not overly ripe – the outside should be firm to the touch. You can also knock on the outside and if you get a hollow echo they are considered properly ripe and ready for eating.
If you don’t want to buy a whole watermelon consider buying one that has already been cut. The good news is that they don’t lose much nutritional value when cut and stored in the fridge. Evidently if you let your watermelon slice warm up to room temperature it will have more phytonutrient capacity.
Watermelons are a nutritious fruit as it has excellent levels of Vitamins A and C as well as Vitamin B6. Vitamin A is important for optimal eye health and as well boosts immunity in the body. Vitamin C also helps to bolster the immune system and protects the body against free radicals that can accelerate aging. Vitamin B6 as well as helping the immune system also is good for maintaining normal nerve function and the formation of red blood cells. Eating watermelon also has a good source of potassium that is necessary for the proper water balance found in our cells.
Enjoy the summer and enjoy a sweet tasting juicy piece of watermelon.
Watermelon Kiwi Smoothie
2 cups seedless watermelon chunks
2 pieces peeled and chopped kiwis
2 cups vanilla yogurt
1 cup ice
3 sprigs fresh mint for garnish
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into 2 glasses and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint. Makes 2 servings.
3 cups fresh watermelon juice
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pour watermelon juice into a shallow glass baking dish and add the sugar and lemon juice. Stir well and place the dish in the freezer to chill. Remove the pan from the freezer every 1/2 hour and stir. The juice will form light, grainy ice crystals as it freezes. Repeat the process until the juice is completely frozen, approximately 4 hours (depending on your freezer). Serve immediately or store in the freezer in a covered container for up to several weeks. Serves 4 to 6
A Summer Time Treat
It’ summer, the temperature is climbing. What you need is a nice slice of watermelon! Not only is watermelon a tasty treat on a hot summer’s day, it is also good for you.
They are an excellent source of Vitamin C, have a high beta carotene content so you also get a good amount of Vitamin A.
Watermelon also contains B1 (thiamine) and B6 (pyridoxine). Thiamine helps to maintain the electrolyte balance in the body and pyridoxine helps convert food into cellular energy.
Besides all the vitamins, watermelons contains an array of minerals including potassium and magnesium.
Watermelon May Be Good for the Libido
Watermelon may a treat on a hot summer’s day but according to some studies, this fruit might offer a Viagra-like effect to the body’s blood vessels and may even increase the libido.
“The more we study watermelons, the more we realize just how amazing a fruit it is in providing natural enhancers to the human body,” said Dr. Bhimu Patil, director of Texas A & M’s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center in College Station.
Beneficial ingredients in watermelon known as phyto-nutrients are naturally occurring compounds that are able to react with the human body to trigger healthy reactions, Patil said. Watermelon contains lycopene which has the ability to relax blood vessels much like what Viagra does.
Scientists have known for some time that when watermelon is consumed, citrulline is converted to arginine through certain enzymes. Arginine is an amino acid that supports heart health and the circulation system as well as helping to maintain a good immune system. “Watermelon may not be as organ specific as Viagra,” Patil said, “but it’s a great way to relax blood vessels without any drug side-effects.” The benefits of watermelon don’t end there, he said. Arginine also helps the urea cycle by removing ammonia and other toxic compounds from our bodies.
For more information on this study check out Watermelon May Have Viagra-Effect
Make a Watermelon Fruit Basket
More Information on Watermelons
- National Watermelon Promotion Board
Who knew you could do so much with a watermelon? We did! Here you can browse our extensive watermelon recipe collection and get inspired by our exciting watermelon carvings!