Why is watermelon great for our gut?
Watermelon is one of the most hydrating foods; 92% of watermelon is made up of water. Because of its high water content, watermelon can help ease digestion by keeping the bowel and stool hydrated. Keeping stool hydrated with water-rich foods can be extra beneficial as a large percentage of the water found in watermelon makes its way into the gastrointestinal tract, rather than being shared with the blood and urine. The water is released as the cellulose fiber as the watermelon is digested, making it an optimal gut-hydrating fruit! Dehydration can cause dry, hard stools, which require extra effort to pass.
Watermelon is 46 calories per serving and contains many different vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium, Magnesium, and Vitamins B1, B5, and B6. 1 cup of watermelon contains 0.6g of fiber. Watermelon also contains a high amount of carotenoids, this is what gives watermelon its beautiful, deep red color. Carotenoids are a type of antioxidant for the body that gets transformed into Vitamin A. Two of the carotenoids that watermelon has are beta carotene and lycopene. Lycopene has been recognized to lower the risk of cancer, and it is specifically linked to lowering the risk of digestive cancers.
Watermelon is also rich in citrulline, which can be transformed into an essential amino acid called arginine. Arginine is essential for the gut because it produces nitric oxide that helps to regulate epithelial permeability, which can limit pathogens and toxins entering the gut and allows for proper absorption of nutrients in the gut.
Picking a good watermelon for those that are inexperienced, so we have some tips on how to pick a good watermelon! Watermelons thrive in the summertime, so when looking at a watermelon at the grocery store or farmers market, if the watermelon has scratches or yellowish marks on it, this is a good thing, this means that the watermelon is ripe. To double-check, knock on the watermelon, if it makes a hollow sound then it is definitely ripe!
Ways to eat it
Add it to smoothies, salads, or eat it on its own!
Its prime season is summer and its sweet taste makes for a perfect summer treat!
Blend lime, coconut water, and watermelon for a super hydrating summer slushy!
Cut watermelon into cubes, add lime and tajin for a sweet and spicy snack!
Blend frozen watermelon with full fat coconut milk to make a delicious watermelon sorbet!
Replace the tomatoes in your favorite salsa recipe with watermelon to make a sweet and spicy salsa.
Recipe: Hydrating Mango Melon Mix
Ingredients (Makes 4 Servings):
1/2 watermelon, chopped
1/2 cantaloupe, chopped
1/2 honeydew melon, chopped
1 small jicama, chopped
1 large cucumber, chopped
2 mangos, chopped
2 limes, juiced
1/4 cup cilantro, minced (optional)
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt (optional)
Grab a large bowl. We like to use a large glass Tupperware bowl with a lid. This way we can easily store leftovers in the fridge.
Grab your knife and cutting board and begin chopping. (Note: You can also use your food processor to quickly chop each ingredient. If you are making a small batch you can throw all ingredients into the food processor all at once.)
The only ingredient that will be processed differently is cilantro. Finely mince this ingredient.
Add all of the ingredients to your large Tupperware or large mixing bowl and mix well.
Taste after you are done mixing and feel free to add more lime juice, salt, or more of your favorite ingredients (watermelon, mango, etc.).
Heal with each meal!
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