Food of the Month: Watermelon
Care of Amy Symington of ameliaeats.com
Watermelon, also known as the ultimate summer time treat, is well known for its high water content. However this juicy fruit packs a punch of nutrients as well.
Watermelon is a significant source of vitamins A, C, and B 6. It is also high in the carotenoid lycopene, which is what gives watermelon, tomatoes and grapefruit their beautiful red or pink colour. Lycopene is also a powerful antioxidant that has been associated with heart and bone health as well as prostate cancer prevention. To maximize your lycopene intake, ensure that your watermelon has completely ripened before consuming.
In addition, the powerful plant-based phytochemical citrulline is also found in high amounts in this revered and refreshing fruit. Although nothing conclusive has been proven, the research surrounding the consumption of high concentrations of citrulline has shown some promise in the areas of fat loss and reducing erectile dysfunction due to hypertension.
Watermelon also has a modest amount of the mineral and electrolyte potassium, making it a perfect food to quench your thirst and help you stay hydrated on hot summer days.
When trying to find that perfectly ripe watermelon, pick it up. It should feel heavy for its size, have a hollow sound when you tap it and will have a creamy yellow patch where it has been resting on the ground during growth. Watermelons can also be found in a variety of colours like white, yellow and green. Put them in your water, smoothies, slushies, juices and salads or eat them hot off the grill or just straight up.