Saturday, July 18, 2015

Summer Treats: Watermelon

Summer is full of great, cool treats.  As our family moves more toward a healthy, real food lifestyle, the subject of summer treats is a tough one.  How do you treat yourself, but still stay healthy?

One of my favorite healthy summer treats has always been the fresh, chilled watermelon.  Yes, nothing brings back childhood memories more than that refreshing, sweet, taste.  We had one last weekend, in fact.  And as I sat there, introducing my youngest son to this tasty treat for the first time, I wondered about the health benefits of the watermelon.  Research to the rescue!

Did you know that watermelons can help regulate the body's pH factor?  They also help reduce high blood pressure and can help reduce heart disease.  They are also very high in water content, nearly 92% of their weight is water, so for those of us who don't love to drink water, eating some watermelon is a good way to hydrate.  They are high in vitamins A and C as well.  And if calorie counting is your game, no worries here!  Watermelons are very low calorie, making them a great snack when you have a craving for something sweet but don't have a lot of calories left for the day!

While clearly very good for you, do practice moderation with watermelon, as with anything else.

Some fun facts that I didn't know about watermelon:
- Dogs CAN eat watermelon, though you would not want to give them the seeds
- While humans can eat the seeds, most don't because they can cause digestion issues
- Watermelons are considered both a fruit and a vegetable.  Fruits are grown from seeds, have sweet flavors, and are refreshing.  Vegetables are harvested and cleared from a field.  Watermelons share all of these qualities, and are considered a member of the same family as cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins.  Thus, they are considered a fruit AND a vegetable.

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