Watermelon- The Perfect Summer Fruit
Wish to quench thirst while boosting your body with antioxidant lycopene and vitamin-A? Watermelon has everything you need to beat the scorching summer heat. Wonderfully delicious and juicy melons are the great source of much-needed water and electrolytes to tame hot, summer temperatures.
Health Benefits of Watermelon
- Rich in electrolytes and water content, melons are nature’s gift to beat tropical summer thirst.
- Watermelons are very low in calories (just 30 calories per 100 g) and carry minimal fats. Nonetheless, they plentiful in numerous health promoting phytonutrients and antioxidants essential for optimum health.
- Watermelon is an excellent source of Vitamin-A, which is a powerful natural antioxidant. 100 g fresh fruit provides 569 mg or 19% of daily-required levels of this vitamin. It is one of the essential vitamins needed for healthy vision and immunity.
- It is also rich in antioxidant flavonoids like lycopene, β-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthin. These antioxidants have been found to offer protection against colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers. Phytochemicals present in watermelons like lycopene and carotenoids have the ability to help protect cells and other structures in the body from oxygen-free radicals.
- Watermelon is an excellent source of carotenoid pigment, lycopene and indeed, superior to raw red tomato. 100 g of fresh melon provides 4532 µg lycopene, whereas this value only 2573 µg for tomatoes. Studies suggest that lycopene offers protection to the skin against harmful UV rays.
- Watermelon fruit is a good source of potassium; Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. It, thus, offers protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases
- Furthermore, it contains a good amount of vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), thiamin (vitamin B-1), vitamin-C, and manganese. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.
Overall this Fruit is loaded with vitamins, minerals and nutrients, watermelon is one fruit you should not miss this hot season.
- Good for your Heart
- Good for your Bones
- Improves Athletic Performance
- Reduces Body Fat
- Keeps you Hydrated
- A Natural Diuretic
- Reduces Inflammation
- Reduces Brain Fog
- Improves Immunity
- It Gets Better as it Ripens
Selection and storageAlthough watermelons can be grown in all the seasons under tropical environments, they are at their best during summer months. In the markets, try to buy organically grown melons since they are richer in taste and nutrients.
Oftentimes, it is hard to judge ripeness and taste without checking a wedge section of the melon. Look for one that is heavy for its size, featuring rind that is relatively smooth, neither overly shiny nor overly dull, without any cuts or bruises on its surface that might have occurred during transportation.
Once at home, place the fruit in cool, well-ventilated place. The cut sections, however, should be kept in the refrigerator.
Preparation and serving method
- Fresh watermelon should be eaten as it is, without any additions/seasonings to experience its delicious, natural, sweet taste.
- Cubes or sections of the melon are a great addition to fruit salad.
- Jam, sorbet, fruit cocktail and juice are some nutritious and delicious recipes you can make with melons.
- The seeds are roasted and eaten as a snack in some Asian countries.
- Its rind is used and eaten as a vegetable in some South American countries.