Think summer, think watermelon. Beyond its sweet taste, a watermelon is unique because botanists classify it as a fruit as well as a vegetable. With more than 1,200 varieties available, you’ll have plenty of choices if you fancy this colorful melon and are looking for a healthy food.
Nutritional Benefits from Watermelon
Take advantage of these six pluses while enjoying a cool treat:
Watermelon is 92% water! It helps you rehydrate, refuel, and recover in hot weather.
- Process protein.
This melon contains vitamin B6, associated with helping the body break down protein.
- Control calories.
This summer staple is cholesterol- and fat-free. A 2-cup serving has only 80 calories.
- Stock up on potassium.
One serving contains enough potassium to protect your water balance and avoid muscle cramps.
- Boost immunity.
Experts link watermelon’s vitamin C with boosting your immune system’s defense against germs.
- Get UV protection.
Scientists are assessing lycopene in a melon and the protection it provides from the sun’s harmful UV rays, as well as its role in helping protect you from heart disease.
How to Pick a Ripe Watermelon
Whether your watermelon comes from the supermarket or a local grower’s patch, you’ll want to make sure it’s actually ripe. Look for a melon that has a symmetrical shape, no cuts, a bright skin, and a firm feel. Hunt for one that seems heavy in relation to its size. A misshapen or narrow end could suggest that it grew in spurts.
A watermelon picked at the right time will have a light yellow area where it touched the soil while ripening. Finally, hold the melon close to your ear and thump it with your other hand. If perfectly ripe, it should resonate as hollow.
Watermelon is inexpensive, easy to prepare, portable, and hydrating in the heat of summer. So make watermelon a part of both your summer and your healthy lifestyle!