Healthy And Delicious Watermelon

A friend once asked me: “If you were stranded on an island and could only have three foods and all foods were equally nutritious, which three foods would you choose?” I wasn’t sure about the other two, but my favorite food is definitely watermelon.

Watermelon is a great cooling food on a hot summer’s day. It’s easy to prepare—just cut it! And nearly everyone likes it. But that’s only the beginning. It’s fat-free, unprocessed, natural, and low in calories. Watermelon is loaded with nutrients and health benefits. Just one cup of watermelon has 25% of our daily vitamin C needs, 10% of vitamin A and B6, 7% of B1, and about 5% of magnesium and potassium. It’s also loaded with the anti-oxidant lycopene. Lycopene has been shown to protect against cancers including: prostate, breast, colon, endometrial, and lung. It’s also been shown to reduce inflammation in asthma, and arthritis. Studies also show that eating at least three servings of fruit each day can protect against macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in adults. Watermelon is a delicious summer-time way to fulfill that.

My favorite way to prepare watermelon is to just cut it in edible sized pieces and leave the rind on it. If you want to be fancy, make a watermelon basket.

Making a Watermelon Basket

  1. Wipe off the watermelon with a damp cloth. (Sometimes they still have dirt on them.)
  2. Cut a sliver off the bottom so it will sit better.
  3. Take a marker or pencil and draw a line a bit above half-way around the watermelon.
  4. Also mark a place for a handle and make it about 1-1/2 to 2 inches wide.
  5. Then take a sharp knife and carefully cut along the outside of the “handle” in a zig-zag
    shape if you want to be fancy, and straight if you don’t care about being fancy.
  6. Once you’ve cut out the handle, continue cutting on each side of it to finish making the
    basket. (zig-zag or straight)
  7. Take a melon-baller or a sharp knife and hollow out the watermelon. Put the pieces in a
    bowl while you are doing this.
  8. Then either put the watermelon pieces back into the basket or mix with other summer
    fruit—like other melons, berries, peaches, plums, nectarines, grapes, and more.
  9. Eat and Enjoy the summer day.

Dr. Lipski is the Director of Academic Development for the Nutrition and Integrative Health programs at Maryland University of Integrative Health. She has been working in the fields of nutrition, holistic health, herbology, and lifestyle management for more than 30 years. Prior to joining MUIH, she served as Director of Doctoral Studies and Educational Director at Hawthorne University. She has been extensively published in many academic journals and is the author of four books, including Digestive Wellness and The Digestive Connection. Dr. Lipski speaks nationally and internationally, is on faculty at the Institute for Functional Medicine, and serves on advisory boards for the Ceres Foundation and the Autism Help Alliance. She received her doctorate in clinical nutrition from the Union Institute with a specialization in functional medicine, is board certified in clinical nutrition (CCN) and holistic nutrition (CHN), and is a certified nutrition specialist (CNS).