Do you remember the best summer of your life?

watermelon is delicious

I am not formally trained as a writer. I don’t romanticize the ordinary for a good story, do it for a good life. What I lack in proper writing technique I am trying (futilely) to make up for with experience. Instead, I study math, chemistry, biology, and physics in an attempt to understand food. Yes, food. 

Nutrition is a topic not well researched. Unfortunately, when it is, it is funded by corporations hell-bent on keeping the people fat. I’d like for my life to be about teaching nutrition as I learn it. Unbiased, unbroken, unfunded. I want people to be less confused when trying to get healthier. Carbs or no carbs? Keto or Paleo? Low fat or low sugar? I’d like to answer these questions for you. Unfortunately, conflicting research makes it impossible for me to give you simple answers. But, if you’re willing to bear with me, I think we can learn something together.

Summer came rolling in, and frankly, it was easy to miss. Without the usual freedom to roam outside in the dead of the heat, the biggest tell was the gradual appearance of watermelon bins in the supermarkets. Watermelon, signs that announce “summer is here !!” Literal fruits of labor, unless summer isn’t your favorite season. To me, summer is like the first sip of water after running a marathon. Maybe the American school system has trained me to believe that it’s the only time of the year that you can actually breathe without worrying about absolutely everything. Luckily, the watermelon this season is as crisp as ever. (chef’s kiss)

After shamelessly consuming several pounds of watermelon, I’d found myself guilty of googling just how healthy watermelon actually is. Obviously it is a fruit and fruits can’t actually hurt you, but I also know that anything in excess isn’t exactly great. So I am here to share my findings on the nutrition of watermelon, along with how to pick the perfect one and a few other incidental tips.

how healthy is watermelon?

anjaslibar summer fruit watermelon anjaslibar GIF

hydration

As the name suggests, watermelon is made of mostly water. Watermelon is about 97% water, meaning that it is almost as good as actual water for hydration benefits. Staying hydrated is super important for good health. Water helps aid in muscle recovery, reduces inflammation, improves circulation, and can even help to make the skin more elastic. Water is also said to aid in weight loss.

vitamins

Watermelon is rich in vitamins A and C. These are essential vitamins, meaning that our body cannot make them, instead we have to get them from our diet. Other essential nutrients include vitamins D, K, E, and B. When these nutrients are not consumed, it is common to feel sluggish or down. In order to feel your best mentally and physically, be sure to eat all 13 essential nutrients daily.

One serving of watermelon provides approximately 30 percent of the daily recommended vitamin A. Vitamin A is necessary for the lungs, kidneys, and heart to work properly. It is most important for normal vision. Vitamin A’s most familiar vehicle is the carrot, which is why we associate eating carrots with good vision. Vitamin A is also good for the immune and reproductive systems.

Watermelon is also very rich in vitamin C. This vitamin is known for its positive effects on the tissues of the body. It is essential for wound healing, joint and bone support, and skin health.

antioxidants

Antioxidants are compounds that prevent oxidation. Oxidation is a process that causes the release of free radicals, these can do significant damage to the cells in the body. In order to reduce this damage and keep cells as healthy as possible, it is important to eat plenty of antioxidants.

Watermelon and other fruits are a great source of antioxidants. Generally, more colorful foods contain antioxidants, so try to keep your diet as colorful as possible.

overall

Watermelon is a great choice! It is low in calories and sugar and rich in vitamins and minerals, making it ideal for a light, summer snack. There are tons of recipes that incorporate watermelon. It is a sweet addition to almost any meal.

I love adding watermelon to fresh salads. Comment your favorite watermelon recipe!