Ideal Summer Thirst Quencher

There’s nothing like biting into a wedge of crispy cold watermelon on a hot summer’s day. For me, it brings back vivid childhood memories of being with my family during scorching heat waves in Australia. My dad would always make sure to pick the ripest watermelon by tapping it. If it made a hollow sound all around, then it was perfect to be devoured on the beach during the day, or sitting on the floor with multiple fans blowing over us as the evening air remained stagnant and the sound of cicadas echoed into the night.

Then I grew up and moved to New York and for the next decade or so, the only time I had any contact with a watermelon was either soaked in vodka or in a cocktail in the form of a garnish. I don’t know, but it just didn’t taste as yummy and the cravings weren’t there anymore, that is—until now.

In the last week or two I’ve eaten enough watermelon (minus the vodka!) to feed a small army of children. And since I was eating so much of it, I went to make sure it was nutritionally okay and found a host of good news for us watermelon lovers!

  • Natural diuretic
  • Helps with circulation
  • Aids fat reduction
  • Rich source of antioxidants
  • Anti-inflammatory

Watermelons contain high concentrations of:

  • Phenolic antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • Lycopene
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium

They also contain high levels of the amino acid citrulline which converts to arginine by our kidneys. Arginine helps to improve blood flow and recent studies have shown that this conversion from citrulline to arginine may help prevent excess accumulation of fat in our cells.

Bonus:

  • Low in calories
  • Low in fruit sugar/carbs

According to my food scale, a HUGE wedge contains less than 60 calories! So what are you waiting for?! Go out there and quench your thirst with a refreshing wedge of watermelon!

References:
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=31
http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/facts/surprising-health-benefits-of-watermelon.htm

Photo by Miranda Laskowska

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