When I think of summer, I instantly picture myself eating watermelon at the beach on a sunny day, or at a BBQ alongside a juicy burger. Not only is this summer fruit tasty and refreshing, but it also offers a ton of nutrients and hydration. 

Straw hats

Watermelon is packed with lycopene, a cancer-fighting antioxidant also found in tomatoes, grapefruit, and other red/pink-pigmented fruits. Studies have also shown that lycopene plays a role in heart health by improving the flexibility of arteries, decreasing plaque accumulation, and even lowering blood pressure. It is also high in vitamin C, with a single wedge providing 30% of your recommended daily intake. Vitamin C is beneficial in that it helps maintain healthy skin and may improve injury recovery by participating in collagen production in the body. Watermelon is also known for its high water content, making it the perfect post-workout snack after a sweaty workout in the summer heat. It also contains less sugar per serving compared to other fruits, with one cup containing just 9 grams of sugar. That’s impressive when compared to a cup of mango (23 grams) or banana (18 grams). Watermelon is great on its own, but I encourage you to get creative with it this season! Make it into a watermelon-feta salad, blend it into a cocktail, or even turn it into a sweet salsa and serve it with grilled fish or chicken. 

Do you enjoy healthful foods, such as watermelon, but struggle putting all the pieces together into a practical example?  I help my clients come up with meals and snacks that they love the taste of, and foods that fit into their busy schedules.  If you want to hear more, fill out a contact form or email me at nuleafnutrition2018@gmail.com.

Hi, my name is Katelyn Greenleaf, Registered Dietitian, Nutritionist

NuLeaf Nutrition strives to...

1. Provide scientifically-backed information to help athletes find a nutrition plan that fits their individual health/fitness goals.

2. Educate people in achieving optimal nutrition in attempts to prevent the development of chronic diseases. 

3. Improve total health by emphasizing balance in the diet and physical activity.

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