Your hunger may plummet when temperatures soar, but you need nutrients for energy and optimal health!
Don’t skip that meal or snack. It’s the perfect time for a simple Watermelon Wonder Smoothie that’s hydrating and full of nutrients, including the powerful antioxidant lycopene.
Read on for a delicious smoothie recipe and the many health benefits of a favorite summer gourd that’s actually a berry.
Watermelon’s Numerous Health Benefits
The sweet, red, juicy flesh of watermelon is delightful and hydrating. It’s a treat to the tastebuds and full of vitamins including vitamins A, B6, and C, and minerals potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Moreover, watermelon provides amino acids, a variety of antioxidants, and the phytonutrient lycopene that’s essential for heart, bone, and skin health.
The amino acid citrulline, or L-citrulline, is converted to L-Arginine in the body. L-Arginine helps the body build protein, flush toxins, and protect healthy hearts. It’s pivotal to heart health because it turns into nitric oxide (NO), which relaxes and widens our blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.
In addition to supporting heart health and providing hydration that can prevent heat stroke studies show that:
- Lycopene may help prevent macular degeneration
- Vitamin A helps create and repair skin cells and heal wounds
- Lycopene and other antioxidants may prevent cognitive decline
- Citrulline may boost exercise performance and relieve muscle soreness
- Lycopene and cucurbitacin E in watermelon may have anticancer effects
- Antioxidants lycopene and vitamin C may reduce inflammation and oxidative stress
- Vitamin C helps the body make collagen, which keeps skin and hair flexible and strong
Watermelon Wonder Smoothie Recipe
Since watermelon is both mouthwatering and full of compelling health benefits, let’s look at the simple Watermelon Wonder Smoothie Recipe from Dr. Tara Weir of Toronto, who provides psychotherapy, wellness coaching, and food joy – delicious recipes that nourish the mind and body.
First, a couple of pointers. Watermelon is more nutritional when ripe. Some signs of a good, ripe watermelon are – it’s heavy, the green colored skin is dull rather than glossy and bumpy, and the rind is hard, and difficult to puncture with your fingernail. If it has a ground spot, it’s yellow, not white. Additionally, when you thump a ripe watermelon, it has a hollow sound.
Recipe for 2 Servings
- 2 cups of fresh or frozen, deseeded watermelon chunks (frozen creates a thicker smoothie)
- 1 cup of canned coconut milk or water (Dr. Tara likes to mix both)
- A squeeze of fresh lime
- A few fresh mint leaves (optional)
- A pinch of salt
- Sweeten to taste with monk fruit, raw honey, pure stevia, or your choice
- Optional – a handful of fresh strawberries or a teaspoon or two of red beet crystals (for color)
- If you’re replacing a meal, add a protein booster of your choice such as a ½ cup of Greek (or dairy-free) yogurt, silken tofu, collagen peptides, or protein powder.
Blend and top with granola, nuts, seeds, bee pollen, or other toppings of your choice.