Watermelon: the delicious part of your summer diet
For most Americans watermelon is the classic summer snack. Now it’s gaining a reputation as a great addition to a healthy diet and an interest grabbing modern party food.
Watermelon is a carbohydrate that is high in vitamin C, Potassium, and the antioxidant Lycopene.
Vitamin C is a super vitamin that is known to benefit eye and cardiovascular health as well as helping to prevent several cancers and strokes. It is also well known as an antioxidant.
Potassium is known to help reduce high blood pressure and possibly reduce the chance of kidney stones. It helps keep salt levels down in the body.
Lycopene is an antioxidant that helps reduce the number of free radicals in the body which can cause heart attacks and strokes.
Watermelon is a great diet food for several reasons, not the least being that it doesn't taste like most diet food.
It works well as a dessert replacement because of its natural sweetness and it has none of the processed fats and sugars of most treats.
One of the biggest benefits of eating watermelon for people trying to lose weight is that it is mostly water. So you can eat relatively large amounts of watermelon without eating huge amounts of calories. A cup of watermelon is about 50 calories compared to around 300 calories in your average cup of ice cream.
The large amount of water in a watermelon is also the reason it makes such a good summer food. It keeps you hydrated and satiated during the hot summer months.
Choosing a Watermelon
Choosing a watermelon can be hard sometimes but there are a few tricks that can increase your chances of getting a ripe one.
You should choose a watermelon that is heavy for its size. This means that is a juicy watermelon and not a dry one.
You should choose one that is dark green and has a yellow spot where the vine used to be. Don’t choose one with white stripes or a white spot because this indicates that it was not picked ripe.
If you are choosing one that is cut make sure that the color is a red and not pale. this will give you a sweeter melon.
Remember that watermelons now come in seeded and non seed varieties as well as personal size and normal sized melons!
Recipes Using Watermelon
3 cups finely diced seedless watermelon
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
1/4 cup finely minced red onion
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Combine all ingredients and serve chilled.
2 cups seeded watermelon chunks
1 cup cracked ice
1/2 cup plain low fat yogurt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger·
½ teaspoon fresh mint
Blend until smooth.