Did you ever play that game where you are supposed to pick just three things to take with you on a deserted Island? – I know, I hate that game. It’s so hard to choose! But, I am happy to report I have finally come up with the perfect solution. Just choose watermelon and you’ll be a winner! Especially if you take a friend. Why? Well, for one thing Dr. Bhimu Patil, director of Texas A&M’s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center, says: “Watermelon may have Viagra-like effects.” O.K. – Survivor honeymoon!
If you have practical tendencies you might be thinking, “That’s nice, but I need more than love.” Right. There’s that old saying, “You can’t live without water.” Score again! This member of the Cucurbitaceae or gourd family lives up to its name. Packing up to 92% of its volume in H2O, it will help keep you hydrated.
And a single cup of watermelon seeds, with 61% of your daily recommended protein will help sustain you as you set up that must have shelter and carry logs for the fire.
Of course you will want to look your best while waiting for a passing cruise ship, so the fact that watermelon inhibits the production of fat cells while being low in calories is another plus. You will look great in your tattered tee.
Lets face it, no one wants to rescue a sniffley, wheezy, low energy, castaway. No worries, you will be getting a significant amount of healthy vitamin C, iron, and calcium, not to mention about one gram of fiber per cup from your delicious melon, so you will be clear eyed and strong, having absorbed all the vitamin A thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, betaine, vitamin B-6, choline, copper, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, manganese, and selenium this wonderfully fleshy fruit has to offer.
After you have spent the day digging for clams or running away from hostile crustaceans, watermelon can even help reduce post exercise soreness!
Hopefully, you and your survivor companion will make it back to the mainland where you can tell all your friends about your exploits. Feel free to show off your lovely skin, which will have benefited by about 35% less UV damage. Brag about your prowess and reduced risk of prostate, lung and stomach cancer, and then stop in at the National Watermelon Promotion Board and thank them for making sure that landlubbers like us can fully appreciate the fact that watermelon contains more lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable, including tomatoes.
Although watermelon is obviously an adventure in and of itself, it is also luscious combined with cheese and other fruits, in salads, like this one: Watermelon balsamic-arugula salad
Or as a sweet carrier for soups or adult beverages. Don’t be afraid to freeze it and use it in smoothies, ice cream, or as a surprising alternative to tomato on a sandwich. More than just a summer fling, Watermelon is a gourd that offers heathy benefits all year round.
So, go ahead and create your own watermelon adventure, right in the comfort of your home. And next time someone asks you “If you were stranded on a desert island what three things would you take?” You can smile and say, “Just watermelon.”