Sweet and juicy, watermelon can do more than just refresh you on a hot summer day. This versatile fruit will help you get a dose of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber.
- Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross; Cooking Light
Nutrition Benefits of WatermelonWatermelon contains about 92 percent water, making it a good thirst quencher and diuretic. It also consists of about twelve percent fiber and is an excellent source of vitamin C and a very good source of vitamin A because of its beta carotene. High intakes of vitamin C and beta-carotene have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, improve asthma conditions, reduce the risk of colon cancer, and alleviate some of the symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Watermelon is also a very concentrated source of the carotenoid lycopene, which has antioxidant and cancer-preventing properties.
Basil-Infused Watermelon LemonadeSummer's favorite beverage meets one of summer's best fruits and gets an added burst of flavor from fresh basil. Because watermelon is naturally sweet, not much sugar is needed to make this lemonade.
Sesame-Chile Chicken with Watermelon SalsaCombine diced watermelon with other vitamin C-containing ingredients such as bell pepper and lime juice to make a sweet and tangy salsa for the spicy grilled chicken. To make preparation of the salsa easy, buy a container of cubed watermelon in the produce section of the grocery store and cut the chunks up into smaller pieces.
Watermelon SaladInstead of offering watermelon wedges at your next cookout, branch out with this sweet and savory watermelon salad featuring cubed watermelon, red onion, kalamata olives, mint, and feta cheese. Even with all the added flavorful ingredients, it still weighs in at only 46 calories per 1/2-cup serving.
Flank Steak with Grilled Mango and Watermelon ChutneyPair watermelon and mango with lean flank steak for a high-protein main dish that's packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Like watermelon, mangoes are full of powerful antioxidants that can help fight heart disease and some forms of cancer.
Watermelon And Blackberries With Lemon SyrupGood health doesn't get any simpler than this four-ingredient melon and berry salad dessert.
Cucumber, Asian Pear, and Watermelon Salad with Ricotta SalataRicotta salata is a crumbly, salty cheese that provides a nice counterpoint to the sweetness of the watermelon and grapes. If you can't find it, you can use feta, which is more pungent but just as tasty.
Both cucumbers and watermelon have high water content, so eating this salad is a great way to stay hydrated.
Water tally: 5.3 ounces.
Spring Greens With Strawberries And Honey-Watermelon DressingIn this recipe, the watermelon is blended with honey, vinegar, and olive oil to make a sweet dressing for the greens and fruit. In addition to all the nutrient benefits from the watermelon, the salad greens, strawberries, and almonds also offer plenty of disease-fighting power.
Watermelon-Cantaloupe SorbetDouble the flavor as well as the nutrients with this two-melon sorbet. Both melons are sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber.
Minted Watermelon GranitaCool down with this refreshing frozen treat that has only 98 calories and 0.7 grams of fat per serving.