Watermelons are now in season and we've got two fantastic smoothies for you to enjoy!
It's great to welcome back the Watermelon Refresher again. It's a very simple drink made with a chunk of watermelon, a sprig of fresh mint and ice. All blitzed together to create an amazingly refreshing 'slushy' drink. Perfect for these hot summer days.
This year we've also introduced the Hydro Hit, a blend of Watermelon, Lime, Mint and Apple juice.
So what are you waiting for? Come and grab one now, whilst stocks last! (and subject to availability of fresh watermelons)
Watermelons are mostly water — about 92 percent — but this refreshing fruit is soaked with nutrients. Each mouthful has significant levels of vitamins A, B6 and C, lots of lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids. There's even a modest amount of potassium. Plus, this quintessential summer drink is fat-free, very low in sodium and has less than 50 calories per cup.
Watermelon has some of the highest levels of lycopene than any other type of fresh produce. Lycopene is a phytonutrient, which is a naturally occurring compound in fruits and vegetables that reacts with the human body to trigger healthy reactions. It is also the red pigment that gives watermelons, tomatoes, red grapefruits and guavas their colour.
Watermelon's high levels of lycopene are very effective at protecting cells from damage and may help lower the risk of heart disease, according to a study at Purdue University. A study published in the American Journal of Hypertension found that watermelon extracts helped reduce hypertension and lower blood pressure in obese adults.
Watermelon may be especially important for older women. A study published in Menopause found that postmenopausal women, a group known to have increased aortic stiffness, who took watermelon extract for six weeks saw decreased blood pressure and arterial stiffness compared to those who did not take watermelon extract. The authors of the study attributed the benefits to citrulline and arginine.
Arginine can help improve blood flow and may help reduce the accumulation of excess fat.
"The lycopene in watermelon makes it an anti-inflammatory fruit," Jarzabkowski said. Lycopene is an inhibitor for various inflammatory processes and also works as an antioxidant to neutralize free radicals. Additionally, the watermelon contains choline, which helps keep chronic inflammation down, according to a 2006 article published in Shock medical journal.
Reducing inflammation isn't just good for people suffering from arthritis. "When you're sick, you have cellular damage, which can be caused by a variety of factors including stress, smoking, pollution, disease, and your body becomes inflamed," Jarzabkowski said. "It's called 'systemic inflammation.'" In this way, anti-inflammatory foods can help with overall immunity and general health.
"Watermelons help with overall hydration, and that is a great thing," said Lemond. "They say we can get 20-30 percent of our fluid needs through our diet alone, and foods like these certainly help." Additionally, their juice is full of good electrolytes. This can even help prevent heat stroke.
Maybe surprisingly, watermelon contains fibre, which encourages a healthy digestive tract and helps keep you regular.