Wonderful Watermelon

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National Watermelon Day – August 3

Here is a fun way to get more water in your diet: eat more watermelon. In addition to being mostly water, well over 90%, watermelon is a great source of lycopene the phytonutrients most commonly associated with tomatoes.

There is really no reason to not eat watermelon and everyone from children to adults can eat it. Two cups of watermelon (which is a lot) has about 80 calories, or about the same amount as a medium apple, orange, pear, or peach. From vitamins A and C, as well as fiber and the before mentioned lycopene, watermelon is a nutrition fruit to enjoy in many ways. Have it diced and frozen or chopped in a salad with feta or bleu cheese and balsamic – yummy.

From a food safety perspective – it is important to wash the watermelon before you cut it. Even though you do not eat the rind, the watermelon can have contamination on the surface and the knife cutting through can “drag” contaminants through the edible portion on the fruit. You don’t want to get sick from your watermelon.

I am often asked if one can eat “too much” watermelon. I remember watching watermelon eating contests as a kid – but don’t recall ever being repulsed by it (unlike some of these “contests” today).  So, while it is certainly possible, I find it unlikely. It takes about 22 cups or nearly 8 pounds of watermelon to reach 1,000 calories. Can you eat “too much”?

Enjoy some of these beautiful, clever and talented watermelon carvings.

Try a new recipe for variety and to help you go through your watermelon.

Enjoy National Watermelon Day on August 3 and any other day you wish. It is good for you.

For more information on watermelon, go to the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

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