It’s National Watermelon Month!

Who doesn’t love a juicy watermelon as a sweet treat to cool down in the heat of summer? At first glance, watermelon seems like one of the less nutritious fruits out there…just a bunch of water and a little sugar. But not so fast! Watermelon proves to be a valuable addition to our diets in many ways!

Red flesh: The redder the watermelon, the higher the concentration of lycopene. Lycopene is a phytonutrient that has been linked to heart health, bone health, and prostate cancer prevention and is a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. Beta carotene and phenolic antioxidants, which contribute to immunity, skin, and eye health also increases as the watermelon ripens. The red flesh is also where watermelon stores most of its water, causing it to be a great way to rehydrate.

White flesh and rind: Contains more of the amino acid citrulline than the red flesh. Citrulline is converted to arginine and nitric oxide in the body leading to improved cardiovascular health and circulation, as well as improvements in those suffering from erectile dysfunction. Watermelon juice before an intense workout has been shown to help reduce next-day muscle soreness and heart rate due to its contribution to improved circulation.

Seeds: Quit spitting them out! Roast them up for a nutritious treat containing lots of protein, good fats, magnesium, and B vitamins, as well as smaller amounts of phosphorous, iron, potassium, sodium copper, manganese, and zinc.

Watermelon Agua Fresca Recipe

Total Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 8

8 cups watermelon, cut into pieces
1 cup water
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 cup Pellegrino sparkling water

Blend watermelon, water, honey and lime juice in a blender.
Stir in Pellegrino just prior to serving.
Garnish with lime slices and mint leaves if desired.