It’s Watermelon Time!

watermelon-1590125_1280Many people have fond memories of enjoying a slice of icy cold watermelon on a hot summer’s day.  Luckily here in Florida, the peak of the season for watermelon is now—May and June!

Florida has had some dry months this spring, with rainfall well below normal.  Although disastrous for many crops, watermelon plants actually prefer this dryer weather and still produce very sweet and juicy fruit. 

To choose a good one, look for dark green color to the skin, with a large cream-colored patch where it sat on the ground while growing.  It should feel heavy for its size and make a deep thumping noise if tapped.  Another trick—avoid if the stem is still attached, as it may have been picked before it was ripe.

Watermelon is wonderful eaten alone, mixed into salads, or blended into smoothies.  In addition to being tasty, it is also packed with nutrition! 

Watermelon:

  • is one of the lower calorie fruit choices at around 45 calories per cup of cubes
  • keeps us hydrated—it is 92% water
  • contains lots of Vitamin C (20% of the RDI-Reference Daily Intake), which helps maintain our bones, skin, and blood vessels
  • is one of the richest sources of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent damage to cells all throughout the body (and gives watermelon its trademark red color!)
  • also contains Vitamin A (18% RDI), potassium (5% RDI), and magnesium (4% RDI)

What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy watermelon? Share some in the comments below!

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