By Faiza M.
Tue, 06, 24

This week You! dives into the health benefits of watermelon, the quintessential summer fruit, and creative ways to enjoy its goodness…



It’s a scorching summer day, and you’re lounging in your terrace, desperately seeking refuge from the relentless heat. Suddenly, like a mirage in the desert, a bowl appears, filled with the ultimate summer saviour – the watermelon.

As the sun beats down and temperatures soar, few things rival the satisfaction of sinking your teeth into a slice of chilled watermelon, its sweet nectar dribbling down your chin, instantly cooling you from the inside out. Watermelons in the summertime evoke a sense of refreshment and joy, their vibrant green rinds hiding a juicy, crimson interior bursting with flavour.

These iconic summer fruits are not just delicious; they are also incredibly hydrating. Forget plain old water – this juicy fruit is nature’s way of saying, ‘Stay cool, my friend.’ A juicy slice can quench your thirst and replenish your body’s fluid levels, making it a popular choice for summertime.

The versatility of watermelons extends beyond simply slicing and enjoying them as a refreshing snack. They can be blended into thirst-quenching smoothies, tossed into vibrant salads for a sweet twist, or even grilled to enhance their natural sweetness. Some creative culinary minds even use watermelon as a base for savoury dishes, pairing its subtle sweetness with tangy cheeses and fresh herbs for a unique flavour experience.

Moreover, watermelons have a cultural significance in many parts of the world, often associated with summertime festivities and celebrations. In some regions, watermelon seed-spitting contests are a beloved tradition, adding an element of fun and competition to gatherings. And let’s not forget the iconic image of a watermelon slice adorned with a festive umbrella, symbolising carefree days and relaxation under the sun. Additionally, the vibrant green and red colours of the watermelon are reminiscent of the Palestinian flag. In this context, the watermelon serves as a visual representation of Palestinian pride and resilience, a reminder of their rich cultural heritage and steadfast determination to thrive despite the challenges they face.

Refreshing benefits:

The mighty watermelon is not just a delicious summer treat, but also a powerhouse of health benefits:

Hydration station: With over 90 per cent water content, watermelons are nature’s way of keeping you cool and hydrated on those scorching summer days. Say goodbye to dehydration woes.

Vitamin boost: Packed with vitamins A and C, watermelons give your immune system a much-needed boost, helping you stay healthy and vibrant all summer long.

Heart health hero: Thanks to their high levels of lycopene, watermelons are heart-healthy champs, potentially reducing the risk of heart disease and promoting cardiovascular wellness. Heart-eyes for watermelons, anyone?

Skin saviour: Want that summer glow? Look no further than watermelons. Their vitamin A content promotes healthy skin by supporting cell turnover and repair, leaving you looking fresh-faced and fabulous.

Muscle magic: Feeling the burn after a day of summer fun? Watermelons contain citrulline, an amino acid that may help reduce muscle soreness and improve exercise recovery. Time to enjoy guilt-free summer activities.

Eye candy: Don’t let those summer rays get you down – watermelons are loaded with beta-carotene, which can help protect your eyes from sun damage and maintain optimal vision.

A summer sensation

Get ready to tantalise your taste buds with these fun and fabulous ways to enjoy watermelons all summer long:

Classic slices: Let’s kick things off with the classics – there's nothing quite like biting into a juicy watermelon slice on a scorching day. Simple yet utterly satisfying.

Watermelon smoothie: Blend up chunks of watermelon with ice, a splash of lime juice, and a handful of mint for a refreshing and hydrating summer smoothie that will cool you down in no time.

Watermelon salad: Get your salad game on with a vibrant watermelon salad. Toss cubed watermelon with feta cheese, fresh basil, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze for a sweet and savoury sensation.

Grilled watermelon: Elevate your barbecue game by throwing watermelon slices on the grill. The heat caramelises the sugars, creating a smoky-sweet flavour explosion that’s sure to impress.

Watermelon gazpacho: Beat the heat with a chilled watermelon gazpacho. Blend watermelon with cucumber, red onion, bell pepper, and a hint of chili for a refreshing twist on this classic Spanish soup.

Watermelon salsa: Spice things up with a zesty watermelon salsa. Combine diced watermelon with jalapeño, red onion, cilantro, and lime juice for a fruity and flavourful topping that pairs perfectly with grilled fish or tacos.

Watermelon popsicles: Freeze watermelon puree in popsicle moulds for a sweet and icy treat that’s perfect for kids and adults alike. Add a sprinkle of chili powder for an extra kick.

Watermelon sorbet: Blend frozen watermelon chunks with a touch of honey and lemon juice, then churn in an ice cream maker for a refreshing sorbet that’s guilt-free and oh-so-delicious.

Watermelon pizza: Get creative with a watermelon pizza. Top a watermelon slice with Greek yoghurt or coconut cream, fresh berries, and a sprinkle of granola for a healthy and Instagram-worthy dessert.

With these mouth-watering ideas, you’ll never run out of ways to enjoy the deliciousness of watermelons all summer long. So, this summer, when the sun is blazing and you’re in need of a pick-me-up, just remember: when life gives you heatwaves, grab a watermelon and make a splash.