(Family Features) Americans thirsting for more energy can refresh their hydration habits by thinking outside the water glass. Some foods - including flavorful, water-rich produce like watermelon - can help hydrate the body as well.
"Sliced, cubed or blended, or even simply juiced, watermelon is a delicious way to increase fluid intake and boost energy," said Elizabeth Somer, a registered dietician and author of several nutrition and wellness books. "Watermelon is 92 percent water, and the perfect ingredient for salads, salsas, smoothies and more."
With a distinctively sweet, refreshing taste, it may be hard to think of watermelon as a nutritious, low-calorie hydration boost. But actually, beyond its high water content, watermelon is loaded with vitamins A and C, potassium and magnesium, fiber and phytonutrients, such as lycopene.
Tips for picking the perfect watermelon
Choosing a good whole watermelon at the store may seem like a challenge, because the thick rind hides the vibrant fruit inside. But actually, making a good pick is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
- Look the watermelon over. You are looking for a firm, symmetrical watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents.
- Lift it up. The watermelon should be heavy for its size; most of the weight is water.
- Turn it over. The underside of the watermelon should have a creamy yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.
Once you've got your watermelon home, there are dozens of ways to enjoy it, including a wide range of cold, refreshing beverages. One easy way to up your water intake with watermelon is this simple one-ingredient recipe for watermelon juice:
Just cut a seedless watermelon into one-inch chunks with a sharp knife and place in blender. Blend watermelon well until juice is smooth. If you prefer, you can strain the juice to remove the pulp.
For a little extra flavor, try combining watermelon juice with other fruity flavors, as in this Agua Fresca, which blends that natural sweetness of watermelon with lime, a small amount of sugar and water.
Find more ideas to help you sip your way to hydration with mouthwatering inspiration at www.watermelon.org.
- 1 cup finely chopped watermelon
- 7 cups coarsely chopped watermelon
- 6 cups watermelon juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 large lime, juiced
- 1 serving water (if needed)
- Watermelon wedges
- Mint leaves
- Combine all ingredients, including slices of juiced lime, in large serving pitcher.
- Garnish with watermelon wedges and mint.