Summer Snacks: Everything Watermelon

By Kati Epps – May 15, 2022

Summer is here and so are the adventures to the lakes, green belts, parks and even the backyard. Whether you are going on a hike or a picnic, taking healthy snacks with you will keep energy levels up and keep you on track for a healthy lifestyle. With all the amazing summer snack options available, how do you narrow it down to just one?

Choose watermelon!

Watermelon is an incredibly versatile crowd-pleaser when it comes to summertime snacking. There are some fantastic health benefits to eating watermelon; plus, it can be presented in a variety of ways for different summertime events!

Watermelon dates back around 5,000 years and originated in South Africa. This sweet, juicy fruit has a green rind and bright red fruit. It received its name due to the fruit being about 92% “water,” and the “melon” part is from being a large, round gourd with pulpy flesh.

Watermelon’s high-water content, amino acids and antioxidants may help improve 

recovery after a workout, reducing soreness and speeding up muscle healing. If cramping has been an issue when physical activity ramps up, the potassium in watermelon can help alleviate or prevent occurrences. Need a few more reasons to grab a slice?

Why Watermelon?

Woman with watermelon.

  • Being about 93% water, watermelon is a great hydrator on a hot day. The high-water content makes it a perfect low-calorie snack as the density of the fruit allows for greater consumption. In other words, you can eat a lot more but keep your calories low. Watermelon contains only about 45 calories per cup.
  • Watermelon is full of vitamins and minerals. Vitamins A and C work to repair damaged cells. The minerals potassium and magnesium are known salts to help replenish hydration after excessive sweating.
  • Most think about animal protein when thinking about amino acids, the building blocks of our muscles, but watermelon is a rich source of citrulline. Citrulline has been shown to improve sports performance. Perfect for the competitive game of tag, pick-up soccer, a hike or disc golf. With Texas football two-a-days coming up in August, watermelon is the perfect midday refuel food to help rehydrate, replenish, heal and prepare for round two.
  • Lycopene, which gives watermelon, tomatoes and other foods their red color, has been shown to protect cells against damage. There is even evidence that it helps fight cancers, like prostate cancer, by reducing insulin-growth factors. 
  • Watermelon has antioxidant properties and also serves as an anti-inflammatory food. Using foods to reduce oxidative stress and decrease inflammation reduces free radicals. Free radicals cause cell damage and premature aging. This superfood boosts immunity.
  • Did you know you can eat watermelon seeds? A watermelon won’t grow in your belly, but you will gain access to the copper, zinc, manganese and iron that are naturally occurring in these seeds. 

The benefits of watermelon are fantastic, which also matches the flavor! This sweet and juicy fruit is perfect for the young and the young at heart. There are so many ways to serve this sweet treat — there is surely something for everyone.

Watermelon Slices: Leave the watermelon on the rind for a handheld sweet summer treat. 

Watermelon Chunks: Grab a fork and plate to eat your watermelon. Add a pinch of sea salt to increase the mineral content.

Watermelon Salad: Combine watermelon, mint, lemon, avocado oil, feta and kalamata olives for a refreshing salad! Sprinkle with chili salt to kick up the heat and flavor profile!

Thai Steak and Watermelon Salad: This family pleaser is a great surprise at a picnic! The Thai rice noodles chilled with thin slices of red onion and cilantro are marinated in a tart spicy dressing. Top it with watermelon chunks and warm slices of steak!

Thai watermelon salad.

Photo courtesy of Kati Epps

Watermelon Gazpacho: Combine watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, red onion and a bit of jalapeño to make a bright and spicy cold soup! Sprinkle with lime salt and garnish with mint for a fun refreshing treat!

Watermelon Juice: Cut up a watermelon into chunks and toss them into the blender with lemon and mint. Blend until smooth and pour over ice! This refreshing drink can be enjoyed poolside, on the boat or at the park in your favorite tumbler!

Watermelon Popsicle/Watermelon Slushy: Add different kinds of fruits, fruit juices, water or milk to watermelon to create fun frozen treats! Create a tropical popsicle with watermelon juice, coconut water, kiwi and strawberry slices. Make an anti-inflammatory slushy with watermelon, blueberries, lime and banana. Build a recovery smoothie with watermelon, almond milk, vanilla protein and spinach. 

Take watermelon with you to the lake, park or just the backyard for a surefire-winning sweet treat you can feel great eating. Keep your immunity high, boost your energy levels and enhance recovery after exertion with a few bites. No matter how you decide to slice it, watermelon is THE summer snack choice!

Happy, healthy summer snacking!

 

About the Author

Kati Epps posing and smiling.

Meet Coach Kati!

Coach Kati Epps is the founder of MyBody GX with a background in chemistry from Colorado State University, an ACE certified personal trainer, health coach and nutrition specialist.

 
 

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