Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Watermelon! My favorite summer fruit


I have been living on one of the best watermelons I have tasted in years this past week. We picked this fantastic one by chance, only knowing to look for the sweet spot. Beyond that, we were lucky. I decided to research more about watermelon as it has been helping me curb my sweet tooth and avoid baked good binging which has me feeling healthier and losing weight.

How to pick a good watermelon:

Look for one with a good hollow sound when you knock on it, some even suggest holding it by your ear to truly hear the sound.

Look on the bottom for the "sweet spot" which is where it sat on the ground as it grew. If the spot is light green, it isn't ripe yet. You want to look for a spot that is light yellow and not white. That means the melon is ripe. Don't buy one expecting it to get ripe at home, watermelons stop ripening once they have been picked.

The watermelon should be heavy for its size. The green stripes should be jagged and broken looking. Press your thumb into the skin on all sides. It should feel firm all around.

If you are buying pre-sliced watermelon. Look for one that is dark red in color and firm to the touch.

Health benefits & nutrition information:
Watermelon is not only great on a hot summer day, this delectable thirst-quencher may also help quench the inflammation that contributes to conditions like asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer, and arthritis.(from WHFoods.com)

Watermelon is the Lycopene Leader in fresh produce, having higher concentrations of lycopene than any other fresh fruit or vegetable. In fact, fresh watermelon contains higher levels of lycopene than fresh tomatoes - a 2-cup serving of watermelon contains and average of 18.16 mg and one medium-sized tomato contains 4 mg. (From watermelon.org)



Vitamins & Minerals (from watermelon.org)

Watermelon Is Practically A Multivitamin Unto Itself
A 2-cup serving of watermelon is an excellent source of Vitamins A, B6 and C.
Vitamin A found in watermelon is important for optimal eye health.
Vitamin B6 found in watermelon is used by the body to manufacture brain chemicals (neurotransmitters), such as serotonin, melatonin and dopamine, which preliminary research shows may help the body cope with anxiety and panic.
Vitamin C in watermelons can help to bolster your immune system's defenses against infections and viruses and is known to stimulate the immune system and protect against free radical damage.
Potassium
A two-cup serving of watermelon is also a source of potassium*, a mineral necessary for water balance and found inside of every cell. People with low potassium levels can experience muscle cramps. A two-cup serving has less than 10 percent of the daily reference value for potassium.


Some informative watermelon related links:

Watermelon.org

Wikipedia: Watermelon

Watermelon Times

World's healthiest Foods: Watermelon

How to pick a watermelon

Consumerist: How to pick a good watermelon

ehow: How to buy a watermelon

Hubpages: How to pick a good watermelon

WikiHow: How to cut a watermelon Pin It StumbleUpon

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