Watermelon’s sweet secret
Don’t you just love it when you find out something delicious is actually good for you? From creamy avocados to tangy berries, the fruit and vegetable world is filled with nutritious treats. But the most surprising of them all might just be watermelon. Perhaps because of its high water content and super sweet taste, this summery melon is often unfairly maligned as being low in nutrients and high in sugar. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth! Though watermelon does have some naturally occurring sugar, it is also jam-packed with vitamins and minerals. Read on to see why the official fruit of summer deserves a spot in your picnic basket.
To understand why watermelon is so good for you, it helps to think about its history. We associate the king of melons with American back yard BBQs, but it actually originated in Africa, and was popular in ancient Egypt. Because their flesh is over 90% water, watermelons were a very handy and hydrating snack for explorers and desert nomads traveling through areas where clean natural water was hard to come by. Tasty, nourishing AND super-hydrating? It just doesn’t get any better than that. Which is part of why this sweet summer fruit is such a clever snack on those muggy, sweltering days.
So aside from amazing hydration, what else is this magic melon packing? For starters, it’s a great source of vitamin C, which is a key nutrient for keeping your skin, gums and immune system healthy. It also contains potassium, which is critical for maintaining blood pressure and heart health, as well as supporting healthy muscles. Not to mention beta carotene, which your body turns into eyesight-boosting vitamin A, and lycopene, which is believed to help protect you against cancer.
But the real star of the show is citrulline, an amino acid that helps improve circulation, lower your blood pressure and, when transformed into the essential acid arginine, keeps your internal organs functioning and helps your wounds heal more quickly. Watermelon is one of the best dietary sources of citrulline, especially the white rinds. So next time you’re eating a slice of melon, crunch in a little closer to the skin!
So, ready to pack a little more melon into your summer routine? While it’s beyond delicious on its own, there are plenty of other ways to mix it up.
- Make a mouth-watering snack with cubed watermelon, a sprinkle of chili powder and sea salt and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
- Puree watermelon juice then freeze it into ice cubes. Then, puree the ice cubes in your blender with some fresh citrus juice for a frosty summer refresher.
- Try a simple salad of watermelon, cucumbers, mint, feta and lime.
- Add diced watermelon to your favourite salsa – it pairs great with tomatoes, onion, jalapenos and lime juice!
- Want the benefits but don’t feel like chopping up a melon? Try our Summer Watermelon salad on for size.