There are over fifty varieties of watermelon, including:
… and the list goes on.
Seedless watermelon first appeared in the 1990s. While they tend to be less sweet than seeded watermelon the tiny, undeveloped seeds are easily digested.
The “picture perfect” watermelon that frequently comes to mind is the picnic variety ranging from 15 to 45 pounds.
Health benefits of watermelon
Watermelon is 92 percent water making it a very hydrating choice on a hot day. The high-water content equals low in calories with only 46 calories per cup.
A 1-cup serving of watermelon provides 170 milligrams of potassium. A diet rich in potassium is essential for promoting healthy blood pressure levels.
Watermelon also contains 40 percent more lycopene than tomatoes, providing 15-20 milligrams of lycopene in a 2-cup serving. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant protecting against cancer and heart disease.
How to select the right melon
Look for a whole watermelon that is firm and symmetrical. It should feel heavy for its size. Avoid melons with bruises, dents, or cuts.
The bottom of the watermelon should have a yellow spot from where it was in contact with the ground.
When purchasing pre-cut watermelon avoid slices that are mealy or slimy in appearance.
How to serve watermelon
Watermelon can be served raw in a variety of ways. From wedges to cubes to being added to other dishes. Watermelon works well blended into beverages or cold soups.
You can even grill watermelon for a tasty side dish.
While it’s tempting to add salt to watermelon to further accentuate its sweetness… think about your blood pressure and heart health. Avoid adding salt.
You may store a whole watermelon in the refrigerator or at room temperature for up to a week. Wrap cut watermelon tightly and refrigerate for up to four days.
Be sure to wash the outside watermelon rind with water before cutting to prevent foodborne illness.
Access additional steps you can take to lower blood pressure through my free ecourse 7 Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure here.
Lisa Nelson RD, a registered dietitian since 1999, provides clients step-by-step guidance to lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure, so they can live life and enjoy their family for years to come. Because her own health is the foundation of her expertise, you can trust that Lisa will make it truly possible for you to see dramatic changes in your health, without unrealistic fads or impossibly difficult techniques. She can be found on Twitter @lisanelsonrd and Facebook at hearthealthmadeeasy.