Watermelon is at my local grocery store and I love a really good piece of watermelon. It reminds me of being a kid and hot summer days. While it is not really hot yet in NJ, seeing watermelon in the grocery store makes my mouth water.
Watermelon has a lot of great health benefits and is very hydrating. Some people may stay away from it and any other type of fruit because they are afraid of sugar. Sugar has become a major focus when trying to eat healthier.
There are sugar detox challenges and diet programs to reduce sugar. However, not all sugar is bad for us. Added sugar in our lifestyles is the issue. Sugar can appear in a lot of processed foods and even in places we don't expect it, like bread and salad dressing.
Sugar found in fruit is not always bad. Every body is unique and will react differently to sugar. I wrote a blog post on sugar explaining the differences between natural sugars found in fruit versus added sugar. The post includes the effects on the body for both. You can click here to access that post.
Blood sugar control is a hot topic because effectively managing your blood sugar by avoiding spikes and keeping it consistent, can reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. The good news is that watermelon sugar, no matter how sweet it is, is low in carbohydrates and has a very small impact on blood sugar levels. (Source: Livestrong.com)
Watermelon is a good source of Vitamin C and contains potassium, Vitamin B-5 and Vitamin A. As well as lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. Lycopene is usually associated with tomatoes but watermelon actually has a higher content than tomatoes. (Source: Healthline.com) Lycopene has shown blood pressure-lowering effects and diets rich in lycopene have been associated with lower risk of some types of cancer. It may also have benefits for skin protection. (Source: Food Insight)
Watermelon also contains the amino acid Citrulline. Citrulline is transformed into arginine, which is an essential amino acid. Arginine is needed for maintenance of the lungs, kidneys, liver, immune system, and the reproductive system. While eating watermelon can give you arginine, you would need to eat 5 pounds to get the daily requirement! (Source: Healthline.com) That would be extremely difficult to do. If arginine is a health concern for you, a daily supplement would be necessary.
Eating watermelon when it is hot outside can help keep you hydrated. We are constantly dehydrated every single day. Not drinking enough water can have many negative health effects. Constipation is a common issue. 42 million Americans are persistently stopped up, making constipation one of the most common gastrointestinal problems in the United States. (Source: US News)
Unfortunately, we aren't taught that not having a bowel movement for even 3 days means we are constipated. We just get through it. We've been told that it is OK for our bowel movements to happen whenever they do. That our "schedules" are unique to our body. I'm here to tell you that isn't true.
The truth is we should be having a bowel movement at least once a day. Why? A bowel movement is waste. Waste, toxins and water that our body wants to get rid of. If we allow waste to sit in our bowels for several days, the waste will continue to absorb water making it harder to release. Plus, bacteria is allowed to ferment in the colon and can potentially travel back into the body.
While water is one way to keep bowel movements regular, it is not the only thing that keeps our gut healthy. How do you know if you gut is unhealthy?
👉Does any of this sound like you?
👉Diarrhea and/or constipation, and intestinal discomfort
👉Congestion, coughing, wheezing
👉Brain fog, difficulty recalling words, short term memory issues
👉Headaches and migraines
👉Hives, flushing, and itchy skin
👉Fatigue and malaise
👉Sensitivity to fragrances and chemicals
If you said yes to just one of the above, your gut is unhealthy. Drinking half your body weight of water in ounces every day can help. But there is more to healing your gut. Not sure where to start?
I am here to help!
I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist teaching people just like you how to stop suffering from the embarrassing effects of an unhealthy gut so you can get back to living. I offer a FREE 30 minute strategy call where we will talk about your specific symptoms and determine if the Simply Great Gut Health program can help.
Simply Great Gut Health is a customized 5 Step plan that heals your gut and fits your busy lifestyle.
It’s very simple. No jumping through hoops and NO PRESSURE.
If we determine it’s not a fit, we’ll go our separate ways for now.
If it is a fit, we can take the next step and get you started on the path to healing your gut.
The purest way to enjoy watermelon is to cut it into cubes. When it is chopped up, it can be a snack or you can use the cubes in a recipe. Fifteen Spatulas does a really great job showing how to cut a watermelon into cubes:
After you’ve washed and dried the watermelon, cut the top and bottom off (where the “belly button” is) so it can lay flat on a cutting board:
stand the watermelon up on one of the flat sides, and run a sharp knife along the edges to remove the rind:
keep turning and cutting the watermelon, you will end up with a big ball of watermelon:
Cut the watermelon ball in half so you have a flat surface for cutting, then cut a grid into the watermelon:
Cut the watermelon ball into sticks. Then you can take the sticks and cut them into cubes. It is that easy!
Now to my favorite part, the recipes.
Watermelon Lemonade by Belle of the Kitchen. Watermelon lemonade is a great way to enjoy the hydration benefits of watermelon on the go. You can make a batch of it and take it with you! This recipe calls for 1/2 cup of sugar. I would use raw honey instead. I may also try this with a variation of adding ginger and turmeric to add anti-inflammatory benefits as well. Click here for the recipe.
Greek Couscous Salad with Watermelon and Feta by Katie at the Kitchen Door. This is a really simple recipe since couscous only takes 5-10 minutes to cook. Simply chop and mix the watermelon, cucumber, feta and olives, toss in a vinaigrette and BOOM you're done! Click here for the recipe.
Watermelon Tabbouleh by Turnip The Oven. What a great idea! Watermelon replaces the tomatoes in this healthy tabbouleh. Perfect for hot summer nights when you want a cooling and light dinner. Click here for the recipe.
Baked Watermelon Barbecue Chicken Drumsticks by Floating Kitchen. Watermelon is used as part of the barbecue sauce and is mixed with ketchup, honey and chipotle peppers. This is a unique way to use watermelon for dinner. Click here for the recipe.
Watermelon Salsa by The Girl Who Ate Everything. The salsa is great by itself as a dip or on top of tacos. Mixing the sweetness of watermelon with spicy jalapeno's is a really fun way to heat things up. Click here for the recipe.
I hope you enjoyed this post about the health benefits of watermelon, how to cut a watermelon and recipes to try.
Do you think you will try any of the recipes I shared? Let me know by leaving a comment below.