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Superfood Saturday: The Wonders of Watermelon

What’s a fruit, a drink and a celebration sport all wrapped up into one? Hope you guessed watermelon—the fruit that at all times reminds us of excellent occasions, from yard barbecues to household picnics. Technically watermelons are a fruit, however they’re additionally a drink as a result of they’re 92 % water, in keeping with the USA Division of Agriculture (USDA). And what’s even higher? The advantages of watermelon are numerous—in order that they’re the proper selection for a refreshing snack on a heat day.

In accordance with Aggie Horticulture, watermelons have an fascinating historical past. Dr. David Livingstone—the Africa explorer of “Dr. Livingston, I presume” fame—was the primary to pin down the watermelon’s origins in Africa, the place he found acres of them rising wild. There are photos of watermelons on historic Egyptian papyrus that also exist right now. As a result of the watermelon is basically in a liquid state, it supplied a lot wanted hydration in arid areas starved of rain.

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One of many main advantages of watermelon? It’s an awesome supply of hydration irrespective of the place you reside. In reality, a examine revealed in 2013 in The Journal of Agricultural and Meals Chemistry discovered that watermelon juice is likely to be simply the proper thirst-quencher for athletes. Together with being largely water, the fruit is wealthy in an amino acid, citrulline, which helped ease sore muscular tissues and cut back restoration coronary heart charge (the speed at which the center returns to regular after train) in seven athletes after their exercises. The physique converts citrulline to l-arginine, an amino acid that helps chill out your blood vessels and enhance blood movement, a boon to your coronary heart.

Two College of Florida research the advantages of watermelon extract discovered it lowered blood strain and eased arterial stiffness, two threat components for coronary heart assault and stroke. Watermelon can also be a number one dietary supply of lycopene, an antioxidant beneath examine for the prevention and remedy of prostate most cancers, in keeping with the Journal of the Science of Meals and Agriculture.

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On Nutrisystem, watermelon is a SmartCarb—although you’re restricted to 1 cup a day due to its excessive Glycemic Index score, a measure of how a lot a meals can increase your blood sugar. One cup accommodates about 40 energy, 15 % of your beneficial each day requirement for vitamin A and 12 % of your want for vitamin C. Like most fruits and veggies, it’s additionally supply of potassium.

Have it as a snack, a dessert or perhaps a salad. This versatile fruit is stuffed with taste and freshness.

Try six methods to benefit from the many advantages of watermelon:

1. Wholesome Watermelon Summer season Salad with Quinoa >

quinoa salad

Toss it with feta and arugula for a salad or facet dish. Throw in some frest strawberries, slivered almonds and quinoa, and it’s a wholesome gentle meal. See the complete recipe right here >

2. Caramelized Grilled Watermelon >

grilled watermelon

Slice it thick and put it on the grill. The warmth from the grill will caramelize the sugar within the fruit and make it much more intensely candy. Brush the fruit slices with olive oil in order that they don’t burn. You’ll be able to add a pinch of salt and pepper for a savory, candy meal. Serve with chevre or different comfortable cheese. Get the main points right here >

three. Melon Fruit Kebabs >

kebabs

Thread cubes or balls of watermelon on kebabs skewers with different fruit, and even some veggies like cucumbers together with low-fat cheese cubes for an awesome snack or dessert. Watch the video for a wholesome right here >

four. Non-Alcoholic Watermelontini >

watermelontini

Get pleasure from this non-alcoholic Watermelontini that whips up a cup of the fruit with ice, coconut water, lime juice and Truvia pure sweetener for a refreshing summer season drink. Get the recipe right here >

5. Watermelon Berry Salad >

watermelon berry salad

If you happen to’re in search of a refreshing salad to fulfill your starvation within the heat climate, this Watermelon Berry Salad is your go-to. Full with feta cheese and chopped mint, this recent and flavorful salad is a watermelon win. Get the main points on the salad right here >

6. Watermelon Popsicles >

benefits of watermelon

Puree seedless watermelon and pour the puree into small cups or popsicle molds with sticks inserted and freeze for 4 hours. You’ll have a candy deal with that’s good for a warm-weather calm down. Get the instructions right here >