How to Choose a Ripe Watermelon and Reap the Health Benefits!

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health-benefits-of-watermelon

I’m at it again…still trying to kick my addition to sugar!  I am desperately searching for something that will satisfy my ravenous sweet tooth and yet is actually good for me.  Fruit seems like the logical solution, so I start with my favorite–watermelon, only to find that it tips the scale on the high end of the Glycemic Index.  So is it really an option for me? Turns out it is!!

Watermelon has a lot to offer in the way of vitamins and antioxidants such as vitamin C and A. They are high in water content and contain potassium which aids in cleaning out toxins in the kidneys.  The potassium as well as magnesium aids in lowering blood sugar levels in many diabetics; therefore a good option for curbing an out-of-control sweet tooth.  Watermelon also contains lyposene which is said to improve heart function, has anti-aging properties, and can protect us against some cancers.  Also containing fiber, calcium and protein, watermelon can aid in boosting metabolism which helps to burn fat. Say no more, I’m in!

Now the question is…seeds or no seeds? There really isn’t much difference between a watermelon that has seeds or the ones without (other than the obvious).  The taste is not affected either way. You have probably noticed that most of our watermelons now-a-days are seedless anyway.  Apparently we prefer them; therefore that is exactly what we are finding in the stores.  But wait!  Mom warned us about what would happen if we swallowed those seeds!  Turns out Mom was wrong (or just full of it); they are actually good for us.  The seeds are loaded with protein, magnesium and fiber, so, no worries!!

watermelon-growing-to-perfection

Photo by Jim the Photographer/Flickr

Now that we know all the wonderful benefits of watermelon, how on earth do we choose a ripe, sweet melon?  I remember watching my Mother thump her way through the pile of watermelons looking for the sweetest.  She would also check the bottom for a yellow spot which indicates the watermelon had a chance to sit on the ground long enough to ripen.  If the bottom is white or too green, keep looking.  She was close, turns out the thumping really does not indicate much, but right to watch the bottom (or “ground spot”) for a nice yellow color.  So, choose a melon that is dark green, symmetrical, firm and yes, yellow on the “ground spot”.  Also, a ripe watermelon contains more water; therefore, should be heavy for its size.  I can’t wait to put my new found knowledge to the test!

Oh, and the best part–Watermelon Margaritas!! Yep, just a cup of watermelon juice and a shot of tequila and its party time!  Enjoy!

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