From late September to June, I look forward to summer. For me, summer means trips to the beach, family cookouts, and refreshing watermelon. Ever since I can remember, watermelon has been one of my favorite foods. I love it for its juicy sweetness, refreshing crunch, brilliant color, and nutrient density. Read on to discover why you should eat more watermelon.
It's loaded with lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that fights cancer-causing free radicals and promotes cardiovascular health. Watermelon has lots of this carotenoid, which is also found in noteworthy amounts in tomatoes and pink grapefruit (giving these fruits their redish hue). The riper the watermelon, the more lycopene it will have. Though watermelon can have red, pink, or yellow flesh, lycopene content is highest in the reddest fruit.
Every part of the fruit is nutritious. From the juicy flesh to the seeds to the rind, watermelon is loaded with vitamin C, vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Worried about eating the seeds? If you prefer, you can purchase seedless watermelon, but, like pumpkin seeds, watermelon seeds provide good amounts of zinc and iron. I promise you won’t grow a watermelon in your belly. Wondering how to eat the rind? Pickled watermelon rind is a Southern staple.
It's low-calorie. Watermelon is very low in calories, yet high in lycopene, antioxidants, minerals, and phytonutrients. This makes it a nutrient-dense summer dessert. Try enjoying it after a meal to satisfy your sweet tooth or serving it as the dessert course at your next summer soirée.