Fresh yields in the summer are healthy snacking heaven, but there are plenty of options that offer more treats than watermelon.
Keeney offers 5 health benefits of watermelon and lots of creative ways to incorporate it into your diet.
1. Keeping you submerged
“the water we get from food, especially fruits and vegetables, contributes to our overall hydration during the day,” she explains. “at 92° water, watermelon can keep us from getting wet, especially during the hot summer months. “moisturizing also helps keep our skin healthy.
2. Good for the heart
Watermelon contains two important ingredients that research has linked to heart health. Keeney goes on to say the antioxidant lycopene, found in red fruits like tomatoes, guava and red peppers, reduces the risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer. Fun fact: seedless watermelons tend to contain more lycopene than seeded watermelons. In addition, watermelon contains the amino acid citrulline, which may improve heart health by increasing the dilation of blood vessels, lowering blood pressure, and improving blood flow.
“there is also evidence that citrulline can reduce muscle soreness after exercise and reduce cognitive decline,” she adds.
3. Stabilize blood sugar. While it tastes good, says keeney, watermelon actually helps control blood sugar when eaten with protein or fat like feta waste, greek yogurt or almonds.
4. Full of vitamin a.
Just one slice contains the daily recommended amount of this vitamin, which improves eye, heart and skin health.
5. Easy to digest.
This is helpful for people with digestive disorders similar to crohn’s disease, keeney notes. While nutrition recommendations for similar people are individualized, in general, melons, including cantaloupe and honeydew melon, are easier to digest than other fruits.
How to add watermelon to your diet
Besides eating watermelon cut into cups or slices, keeney recommends trying the following
In steamed cream. Make your own by dropping fruit with lemon juice in a blender, which also hardens. Mix with cucumber and basil like a granita
Turn into gazpacho
Make smoothies with greek yogurt
Wrapped in melted dark chocolate
Grilled skewers (see sample below)
Cut salad with berries and mint
Watermelon feta skewers
2 cups watermelon cubes
1 cup feta cubes
Basil leaves or mint leaves
Choosing balsamic vinegar
Toothpicks, bamboo skewers or the like