Summer's staple fruit doesn't just taste great, it's also great for your overall health! Check out these interesting facts that will make you wild for watermelon.
Did you know watermelons are actually related to pumpkins, cucumbers, and squash, which means this "fruit" is actually in the vegetable family. There are more than 300 types of watermelon grown in the U.S. Only 50 varieties of watermelon are actually sold in grocery stores. Don't be mistaken, sometimes this fruit will have green, white, yellow, and even orange flesh! Next time you come across a seedless watermelon, keep in mind they are NOT genetically modified - it's just a sterile watermelon with immature white seeds.
Hydration is important, especially during the hotter Summer months. Those juicy watermelons are 92% water, you can stay hydrated just by snacking. It's also loaded with electrolytes, vitamins, and nutrients. Each slice has high levels of vitamins A, B6, C, lycopene, antioxidants, potassium, fiber, and amino acids! At only 40 calories a cup, this snack is fat-free and low in sodium - a major plus.
Watermelon even has some of the highest levels of lycopene compared to other fruits and veggies. This naturally occurring phytonutrient in fruits and veggies give off that red pigment. Linked with bone and heart health, it's also a powerful antioxidant that's anti-inflammatory. Less inflammation means optimal health. The darker the watermelon is, the more lycopene it contains.
Antioxidants, like phenolic and beta-carotene, are found in watermelons, which will boost your immune system, improve eye and skin health, and can help prevent cancer within your cells. Other amino acids in the fruit will promote healthy blood flow, which means optimal heart health, circulation, and lower blood pressure. If you drink watermelon before an intense workout, it can help reduce muscle soreness the next day.
It's a common misconception that you should only eat the pinkish - red flesh. In fact, you can eat ALL parts of the watermelon. When you chew down on the seeds, they are high in magnesium, zinc, vitamin B, protein, and healthy fats. Don't worry, a watermelon won't start growing in your stomach!
Unsure of how to spot the "perfect" melon? Look for one that's firm to the touch, free of cuts, bruises, or any dents. Remember, it's ok if the melon has a few scratches on it. Turn the fruit over to see if the bottom looks off-white or yellow. This is where the Sun ripened the fruit as it was growing. Enjoy watermelon sliced, grilled, frozen, juiced, mixed or blended into drinks, etc. Add some watermelon to your grocery list, it will Change Your Life.