No food says or tastes like summer quite like fresh watermelon! Whether it is found in the supermarket or at summertime gatherings, watermelon is a key food to celebrate the season. While the long, warm days may leave us exhausted, we have watermelon to help us feel refreshed and continue having fun!
Of course as the name indicates, watermelons do indeed contain water... about 90% to be exact and quenches our thirst with delicious flavor. The hydration watermelons provide is important, especially during the summer months since when outside in the heat since we need extra hydration. Watermelon does not provide all of the hydration we need, but it can certainly help!
While many believe watermelons are just water and natural sugar, you may be surprised to learn about the many nutrients watermelon contains. In addition to hydration, watermelon also is a source of lycopene, an important nutrient for disease prevention. The vitamin A watermelon contains promotes healthy skin, the vitamin C and vitamin B6 is great for immune health, and the potassium helps maintain healthy blood pressure. While the specific nutrients that watermelon contains is impressive, watermelon also promotes overall heart heath. All the while, the natural sugar gives our bodies energy to keep us fueled for whatever the day may bring.
Watermelon can be incorporated into various meals, snacks, and even desserts. For breakfast, try enjoying watermelon as a side to eggs or other breakfast dish or in a smoothie with yogurt and other fruits and veggies. For snacks, fruit salad or salsas containing watermelon are familiar, yet have a slightly different flavor. Watermelon chunks can also be added to a glass of water to add natural flavor. If you add watermelon to a glass of water, be sure to drink within two hours for food safety and to prevent bad bacteria getting into your water. When frozen as chunks or pureed and served as popsicles, watermelon is a refreshing treat everyone is sure to enjoy. The serving size for watermelon is 1 cup diced or a 1-inch slice from a smaller melon. Since watermelons are often times large and plentiful in quantity during the summer months, there are many opportunities to add watermelon to your plates.
Whether large or smaller, seeded or seedless, to choose the best watermelon, follow these tips:
- First choose a watermelon that feels heavy; if you can easily pick up the watermelon, look for another.
- Next, there should be a light yellow spot/area on the bottom where it touched the ground when growing. If the spot is not light yellow; choose another.
- Lastly, give it a thump with your hand and you should hear a hollow sound; if the sound is not deep and hollow, keep searching!
- Once you have a heavy watermelon with a light yellow spot and hollow sound, add it to your cart!
So this summer, be sure to shop Forest Hills for a great selection of watermelon at great prices. Take a bite out of your watermelon slice and enjoy the taste as well as the health benefits.
"This medical and/or nutritional information is not intended to be a substitute for individual advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition."
Stephanie Edson Regional Wellness Specialist
Stephanie is an award-winning registered dietitian who believes in empowering every individual to make nutritious food choices to support a healthy lifestyle. She believes in the power of food as medicine and loves sharing about nutrition with others.