If you aim to eat seasonally, we have good news — it’s watermelon season! Depending on where you live, the season typically spans from May to October. Not only is the photogenic fruit delicious, it’s also incredibly nutrient-packed with significant levels of vitamins A, B6 and C, lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids.
In honor of National Watermelon Day, we’re diving into four key health benefits and giving you two hydrating recipes to sip on.
But first, let’s talk about why eating seasonally even matters. First: sustainability. By reducing your consumption of fruits that are out-of-season locally, you help reduce carbon emissions produced by the shipment of fruits from afar. Second: most of the fruits that are not in season are picked unripe, left in storage for weeks, and gassed for color. That definitely sounds less delicious and less nutritious. Third: in most cases, eating what’s in season should also cost less as its at the peak of its supply and costs less to farmers and distribution companies to harvest and deliver to grocery stores. Plus, eating seasonally also makes supporting local farmers easier and more enjoyable, and can introduce you to a wider variety of foods.
Ok, back to those health benefits.
1. Heart Health
Watermelon has high levels of lycopene, which are proven effective in protecting cells from damage and may also help lower the risk of heart disease, according to a study at Purdue University.
2. Anti-inflammatory Properties
Another lycopene bonus, it is an inhibitor for many inflammatory processes and also works as an antioxidant to neutralize free radicals. Choline is another superstar nutrient which is anti-inflammatory.
Why do you crave watermelon on a hot, sunny day? Because they are filled with water! In fact they are made mostly of water — about 92 percent.
4. Improved Athletic Performance & Recovery
Watermelon is a great pre- and post-workout drink as it contains citrulline and arginine — two amino acids which help improve circulation. According to research drinking watermelon juice before a workout helped reduce next-day muscle soreness.
So, now that you’re sold on the benefits — here are two fun ways to sip your watermelon.
Chop your watermelon into small cubes and add to a large pitcher. Pour cold, filtered water on top and let sit in the fridge for several hours or overnight to infuse. Sip throughout the day for a slightly-sweet treat. And when you finish hydrating, you get a bonus snack at the bottom of your glass.
Chop your watermelon into large cubes and add to a blender. Add with cold, filtered water and blend. Stop and add more water if necessary. Once smooth, strain and serve over ice cubes.
Not into eating your watermelon? Here’s another way to celebrate: watermelon TOMS!
What’s your favorite way to eat or drink watermelon? Share your photos by tagging us with @avocadomattress or #avocadomattress on Facebook or Instagram.