Wonderful Watermelon

Hot Summer? Cool Off With Watermelon!

National Watermelon Day is just around the corner — August 3. Watermelon is a summer favorite with kids. It’s a good thing they often eat it outside.  Who doesn’t remember spiting watermelon seeds to see who can propel them the furthest during the dog days of summer?

According to eHow you need to drink water right before you put a watermelon seed in your mouth to keep it moist. Tilt your head upward and blow hard to get the most distance for the seed.

Watermelon is mostly water, right? We know it’s refreshing on a sweltering summer day, but is there much nutritionally when watermelon contains 92 percent water?

Watermelon is from the same family as cucumbers, pumpkin and squash. Watermelon is nutritionally low in calories and is high in energy, making it a great energy boost! Watermelon contains powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize free radical damage to cells.

Lars is beating the heat with a juicy slice of watermelon.

Free radical molecules contribute to tissue damage and the progression of disease. They are unstable and bond to other molecules, which change their function. Free radicals also increase inflammation making most diseases worse.

Some say eating watermelon is like taking a multi-vitamin – except it’s tastier and more refreshing than popping a pill. Some of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants found in watermelon include:
*Vitamin C, Vitamin A (beta carotene)and Lycopene (Lycopene is found in red fruit and vegetables like tomatoes. Lycopene has been found in human studies to be effective in preventing some cancers.)

*Watermelon is also packed with B vitamins, which are necessary in energy production. It is a good source of vitamin B1, vitamin B3, and vitamin B6.

*It is also a rich source of essential minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium.

As nutritious as watermelon is, it’s high on the Glycemic Index (The Glycemic Index measures how the body absorbs carbohydrates–sugar). Watermelon rates around a 76 on this scale. Although this is high, the concentration of carbohydrates in watermelon is low. The fruit is mainly water and one cup of watermelon contains about 11 grams of carbohydrates, which is a glycemic load of 4—less than apples! You would need to eat a lot of watermelon to have the same impact on your blood sugar as a slice of bread.

Watermelon is a perfect addition to a salad, salsa or refreshing drink. (Click Here for Frosty Watermelon Drink recipe.) For a cool treat, top chunks of sweet watermelon with fruit sherbets or sorbets. Use watermelon cubes in a fruit Kebab. You can also freeze pureed watermelon juice in ice cube trays to add in tea or freeze as Popsicles. You can be sure that kids love watermelon ice pops on a hot day!

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