It's National Watermelon Day! So of course I just had to blog about it...
From the early days of summer when it first graced the market shelves I craved watermelon. There was just something about the subtly sweet and thirst-quenching fruit that I could not get enough of. My family teased me relentlessly as I came home toting the melons, not only because they bore a striking resemblance to my pregnant belly, but because I was going through at least two to three of them a week!
It might be surprising to find out that this seemingly simple fruit is not only refreshing but packs quite a nutritional punch too! A 2-cup serving of watermelon contains just 80 calories, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein, no fats, cholesterol, or sodium. The melon is packed full of nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and even a bit of potassium. It is also a great source of lycopene, even more so than tomatoes, at 20 mg per serving. Additionally, watermelon is made up of about 92% water so it can be quite hydrating as well. These qualities all make watermelon an easy choice for a healthy snack on a hot summer day!
So now that everyone’s mouth is watering…let’s take a look at how to pick out a good watermelon. The National Watermelon Promotion Board says that it’s “as easy as 1, 2, 3”!
Step 1: Look at the melon’s appearance; it should be firm, uniform in shape, free of bruises and blemishes.
Step 2: Pick the watermelon up; it should be heavier than it would appear to be.
Step 3: Try finding it's field spot; there should be a yellowish spot indicating that the melon was left in the field to ripen on the vine instead of being picked before it was ready.
And don't forget to wash that perfect melon you picked out before eating it. Even though it has a thick rind that is not typically consumed there can still be bacteria, chemical residue or dirt on the surface that can be transferred to the fruit when the knife slices through it. So err on the side of caution by washing the melon, knife, cutting board and your hands thoroughly before diving in.
Now normally I would add a neat little recipe at this point, and its not like there isn't an abundance of ways you can prepare watermelon. But let's be honest...it never lasts in my house long enough to try them!
Somer, E. (n.d.). Watermelon wisdom [PDF File]. Retrieved from http://www.watermelon.org/HealthProfessionals/pdfs/WatermelonWisdom.pdf
National Watermelon Promotion Board. (2014). Welcome to watermelon. Retrieved from http://www.watermelon.org/
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