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Queens Chronicle

Hydrate Your Way to More Energy

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Posted: Monday, August 25, 2014 1:00 am | Updated: 4:32 am, Mon Aug 25, 2014.

(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.

  1. Look the watermelon over. You are looking for a firm, symmetrical watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents.
  2. Lift it up. The watermelon should be heavy for its size; most of the weight is water.
  3. 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.

Agua Fresca

Recipe: Agua Fresca

Ingredients:

  • 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

Preparation:

  1. Combine all ingredients, including slices of juiced lime, in large serving pitcher.
  2. Garnish with watermelon wedges and mint.

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