Summer means trips to the beach, family cookouts—and refreshing watermelon. I love it for its juicy sweetness, refreshing crunch, brilliant color, and nutrient density. Here's why we should all eat more watermelon.
It's loaded with lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant that fights cancer-causing free radicals and promotes cardiovascular health. Watermelon has 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. Seedless watermelon is available but watermelon seeds provide zinc and iron. Wondering how to eat the rind? Pickled watermelon rind is a Southern staple.
It's low-calorie. Watermelon is low in calories, yet high in lycopene, antioxidants, minerals, and phytonutrients. This makes it a nutrient-dense summer dessert.