Jul 24, 2015
It's summertime! We pray for warm weather in SF this time of year and if we're granted our wish, we celebrate with watermelon, of course! This iconic summer fruit not only tastes delicious on a hot day, but also helps cool the body. Watermelon is always a favorite go-to snack on a warm day and lucky for all, this time of the year they are perfectly ripe and in endless supply.
Watermelon has a high water content at 92% but despite all that water it is packed with tons of nutrients. In about one cup of diced watermelon, there is about 43 calories, 0 grams of fat, 1 gram fiber and 11 grams of carbohydrate with only 9 gram of sugar from carbohydrates. It also contains a high amount of Vitamin A, C and B vitamins. The high water content helps hydrate the body which helps keep our skin well hydrated and the rest of our body functioning correctly. Vitamin A is a great nutrient to help support eye health while Vitamin C and B vitamins help play a huge component in supporting our immune system.
The greatest health benefit in watermelon is its high content of lycopene. Lycopene is the bright red pigment found in red fruits and vegetables. In aprroximately two servings of watermelon there is 15-20 mg of lycopene - the highest content of lycopene compared to other fruits and vegetables. As a powerful antioxidant, lycopene helps reduce the oxidative stress, which can create damage within the body, specifically damage to the cardiovascular system and maintaining healthy bones.
Here are some ways to incorporate watermelon into your diet:
1. Juice it!
2. Dice and eat or add to fruit salad
3. Watermelon salsa
4. Watermelon fruit smoothies
5. Watermelon, basil, feta salad
Contributed by Kathyrn Stabler
photo by Amber Kercmar