There are some things about summer that are a given. Bbq’s, sunburns, camping, baseball, fireworks, bug bites, no school, and then there is the food. There are just some things that taste better in the summer. The reasons are varied. Everyone knows that eating outside makes things taste way better. Eating food off of paper plates is just better. When it’s too hot to cook, food becomes amazing even if it is raisin toast with a side of fruit salad, a childhood favorite of mine. But the best reason, for me, is that because I live in a part of the world that sees real winter, the produce in the summer is fresh and LOCAL.
Admittedly because we are in 2017 we can get just about any kind of food we want all year long now. With the shipping so quick now, and with so many people moving to other parts of the world but still wanting to eat food from home, there is no excuse to go without any one kind of food. There are limits, however. Sometimes the price for that out of season fruit is huge. Some produce is only imported through specialty stores, but it is still available if you want it.
There are just some things that taste better when they are grown locally, like tomatoes, strawberries, corn, and my personal favorite, watermelon. I have loved it since I was a little kid. Good thing for my ego, I couldn’t find a really old pic of me with an enormous piece of watermelon, drips from it all over me, and a very toothless smile. If you liked it as a kid like I did, I am sure your mom has one just like it.
Now as a grown up, I look into what makes some foods so yummy but also I try to find ways to justify eating them. After all, we all know that if as a kid we knew that things were good for us we would never have eaten them. But now that I am a label reader, I want to know just what I am eating.
Here are some really fantastic reasons to eat watermelon.
- One cup of diced watermelon (152 grams) contains: 43 calories, 0 grams of fat, 2 milligrams of sodium, 1 grams of carbohydrate (including 9 grams of sugar), 1 gram of fiber, 17 percent of vitamin A, 21 percent of vitamin C, 2 percent of iron, 1 percent of calcium.
- Watermelon also contains; thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, choline, lycopene, arginine, and betaine.
It really wasn’t that hard to find some really compelling reasons to eat watermelon. Looking at the nutrition from the above list just confirmed the health benefits that I suspected.
- Vitamin C may aid in asthma prevention as well as have benefits in eye health such as macular degeneration.
- Lycopene may help protect against heart disease and has been linked to decreased risk of prostate cancer, according to several studies.
- Watermelon, because of its water and fiber content, helps to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.
- It is actually made up of 92 % water which is full of natural electrolytes.
- Choline, aids our bodies in sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory. It also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.
- Potassium and magnesium are also key in regulating high blood pressure.
- Arginine is beneficial in dealing with erectile dysfunction, as well as being a key amino acid.
So, as I suspected, it doesn’t matter how you eat it. Just eat it. It also validates the knowledge that fresh is best and the foods with the least amount of processing are the ones with the most health benefits.
I love fresh fruit and vegetables. I'm not a strict dieter. I don't think that anything in life should be so regimented that you're not having fun or can't enjoy like everybody else. Just know that fresh food is always going to be better for you. – Carrie Ann Inaba