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Celebrate National Watermelon Month

National Watermelon Month

July is National Watermelon Month. As the name implies, watermelons are made of mostly water. In fact, watermelons are 92% water! The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA’s) recommends eating fruit, especially whole fruit as a part of a healthy eating pattern. Whole fruit such as watermelon should be included in the diet daily.  The average 2,000 calorie diet should include about two cups of fruit daily with at least half of that amount coming from whole fruit. Most people enjoy fruit and would agree that there is nothing like a refreshing slice of watermelon on a hot summer’s day, yet they are not including them in their diet regularly. According to the latest DGA’s over eighty percent of Americans do not meet the daily recommendations for fruit.

There are approximately 94 calories in 2 whole cups of watermelon! This delicious melon is fat free, cholesterol free, sodium free and a good source of vitamin C. Watermelon contains lycopene which is a plant nutrient that gives fruit and vegetables their red, orange, and yellow coloring. Lycopene is also an antioxidant which helps protect cells from damage. Research suggests that lycopene may protect the body from inflammation, reduce cholesterol, improve the function of the immune system, and help prevent blood clots.

Watermelon Cucumber Salad

There are many ways to enjoy watermelon and include in the diet. Try this watermelon cucumber recipe for a fresh summer salad.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
2 medium cucumbers (unpeeled), wash and remove ends, slice lengthwise then slice crosswise
3 cups watermelon, cut in 1-inch cubes

Directions
Wash your hands.
Combine the lime juice, sugar, and salt in a 2-quart bowl; whisk together.
Stir in parsley.
Add cucumbers; toss to coat all cucumber pieces. Add watermelon, fold in gently.
Cover, set aside and allow juice from the watermelon to mix with the other juices.
Stir gently and let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Cucumber Watermelon Salad Recipe (2014, January). Retrieved from https://www.eatright.org/food/planning-and-prep/recipes/cucumber-watermelon-salad-recipe

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