By: Stephanie Duhon
The sweet, juicy taste of a watermelon … it’s one of my favorite things about the summer. It’s also one of the best ways to beat Houston’s sweltering heat! I craved watermelon like crazy when I was pregnant, which turned out to be a good thing! Not only does watermelon taste divine and keep you hydrated, it’s full of good stuff for you!
Watermelon is low in calories, rich in antioxidants, and a good source of lycopene, and Vitamins C, A, B6 and B1. Up to 92 percent of a watermelon is water. This super fruit is especially good for you during pregnancy!
Benefits of watermelon:
*Eases heartburn and reduces swelling
*Minerals found in watermelon can help prevent muscle cramps
*Ounce for ounce, watermelon is richer in lycopene than a tomato … lycopene is an antioxidant that protects against cancer and heart disease
*A 2003 study in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics found that daily lycopene supplements decreased incidence of pre-eclampsia by 50%
*Nutrients found in watermelon, such as potassium and magnesium, are important for baby’s development
*Potassium regulates water balance in the blood and body tissue during pregnancy
*Some expectant mothers have said watermelon is all they can eat when faced with morning sickness
You can eat watermelon as is, make a smoothie or combine it with other foods. But first, you have to find the right watermelon to take home from the store.
Finding the perfect watermelon:
*Is it symmetrical, free of cuts and marks with bright, fair skin?
*Is it heavy? Heaviness indicates amount of water. You want it to have some weight to it.
*Is it a good size for you or you and your family?
*Does it sound hollow when you thump it?
Once you find a good watermelon, leave it out a room temperature if it still needs to ripen. Once ripe, keep it in the fridge to keep it fresh longer.