No summer picnic or backyard barbeque can be complete without watermelon. This sweet, juicy and refreshing fruit is a favorite among both kids and adults and best of all, it is good for us too.
Watermelon is low in calories, (only 40 calories per cup) and fat, cholesterol and sodium free. Appropriately named, watermelon contains over 90% water so eating it can also help to keep you hydrated on hot summer days. In addition, watermelon is packed with anti-oxidants including vitamin A and C and lycopene. Antioxidants protect our body cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are produced when our cells burn oxygen during normal body processes or from environmental factors like tobacco smoke and radiation. Overtime, damage from free radicals may lead to health problems such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other diseases. Eating foods rich in anti-oxidants, like watermelon, can help reduce our risk for developing health problems caused by free radical damage.
When shopping for the perfect watermelon for your summer picnic, look for one that is symmetrical and heavy for its size with dried stems and yellowish undersides. To store, keep whole watermelons at room temperature and refrigerate cut watermelon in an airtight container and use within 5 days.
For a delicious recipe that includes watermelon, try this one for Watermelon Granita.