Warm weather, staying cool and enjoying watermelon. My short to-do list for the summer.
I’ve always been a fan of watermelon. As a kid, who didn’t love biting into a sweet, juicy slice and enjoying all that messy goodness?
As an adult, I appreciate that watermelon is low in calories and fat and has no cholesterol. And since my tastes have matured a bit over the years, I’ve been inspired to find a variety of ways to enjoy this delicious fruit. I’ll include some of my favorite watermelon-based recipes in part two of this blog.
Watermelon is rich in lycopene, which gives it strong antioxidant properties. According to healthline.com, “Antioxidants protect your body from damage caused by compounds known as free radicals.
“When free radical levels outnumber antioxidant levels, they can create oxidative stress in your body. This stress is linked to certain chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
“Research shows that lycopene’s antioxidant properties can help keep free radical levels in balance, protecting your body against some of these conditions.
“In addition, test-tube and animal studies show that lycopene may protect your body against damage caused by pesticides, herbicides, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and certain types of fungi.”
Lycopene also reduces inflammation, which helps combat the development of high blood pressure and arthritis. The American Heart Association website explains that nearly half of American adults have high blood pressure, and many don’t even know they have it. Since having your blood pressure checked is the best way to know if you’ve developed high blood pressure, my primary care doctor checks mine every time I see her.
Watermelon keeps me hydrated. Yes, I drink water. Lots of water. We all should. Hydration is key for bodily functions like digestion and elimination. But let’s face it, water can be downright boring. Since I don’t want to add liquid or powdered drink mixes that contain sugar, aspartame or sucralose to my water, watermelon, which is about 92% water, is a great way for me to keep hydrated.
Watermelon contains fiber, which aids in digestion. It’s also rich in vitamins like A, C, and B and minerals like magnesium and potassium. Vitamin A helps protect vision. Vitamin C aids in the production of collagen. Vitamins A and C play key roles in healthy and soft skin and hair. Vitamins A, B6, C and the minerals magnesium and potassium are also good for the heart.
Watermelon contains electrolytes, which our bodies lose when we sweat. People choose products like Gatorade and Power Ade to replenish electrolytes, but those drinks contain sugar or aspartame, which I’m trying to steer clear of. Instead, I opt for a slice of chilled watermelon or a cup of watermelon cubes to hydrate and replace the electrolytes I’ve lost during a session of yard work.
How do you keep yourself and your family hydrated, especially during the summer months?
Drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you.