The body wants to cool down a lot more in the summer, so you will crave more fruits, juices, and smoothies. More raw foods, fruits, vegetables, and salads are typically associated with the summer. One of my favorite summer foods is watermelon.
Watermelon is more than just delicious...it's a super-healthy addition to your diet (in moderation, of course).
1. Watermelon Has More Lycopene than Raw Tomatoes. Lycopene is a powerful carotenoid antioxidant that gives fruits and vegetables a pink or red color. It’s most often associated with tomatoes, but watermelon is actually a more concentrated source. Compared to a large fresh tomato, one cup of watermelon has 1.5 times the lycopene (6 milligrams (mg) in watermelon compared to 4 mg in a tomato).
To learn more about the benefits of Lycopene click here.
2. Watermelon Juice May Relieve Muscle Soreness. If you have a juicer, try juicing about one-third of a fresh watermelon and drinking its juice prior to your next workout. This contains a little over one gram of l-citrulline, an amino acid that seems to protect against muscle pain. One study found that men who drank natural unpasteurized watermelon juice prior to their workouts had reduced muscle soreness 24 hours later compared to those who drank a placebo.
3. Watermelon Is a Fruit and a Vegetable. Remember how watermelon is related to cucumbers, pumpkin, and squash? That’s because it’s part vegetable and part fruit (it’s a sweet, seed-producing plant, after all). The other clue that watermelon is both fruit and vegetable? The rind is entirely edible.
4. You Can Eat Watermelon Rind and Seeds. Most people throw away the watermelon rind, but try putting it in a blender with some lime for a healthy, refreshing treat. Not only does the rind contain plenty of health-promoting and blood-building chlorophyll, but the rind actually contains more of the amino acid citrulline than the pink flesh. Citrulline is converted to arginine in your kidneys, and not only is this amino acid important for heart health and maintaining your immune system, but it has been researched to have potential therapeutic value in over 100 health conditions.
5. It’s Mostly Water. This might not be surprising, but it’s still a fun fact; watermelon is more than 91 percent water. This means that eating watermelon on a hot summer day is a tasty way to help you stay hydrated and avoid dehydration (it’s not a substitute for drinking plenty of fresh water, however).
Other common summer fruits are cantaloupe (have you tried Sugar Kiss Melon?...they are extraordinarily sweet and juicy) honeydew, peaches, plums, and berries. Also, consider seasonal vegetables such as summer squash, bell peppers, artichokes, beets, cabbage, eggplant, celery, and fresh and organic corn on the cob. Peppermint and cilantro are also popular summertime seasonings.