Watermelon is not just a pretty pink fruit, juicy watermelon can also soothe morning sickness, healthy growth of your baby and can help you stay hydrated. A fruit which is thought to have limited culinary range and nutritional value, watermelon actually is a versatile and very healthful fruit. On a salad plate, it’s a succulent stand-in for tomatoes. It adds crunch and colour to starters. It makes a good sweet background for smoothies and sorbets. And it freshens up a tangy barbecue sauce.
During pregnancy the benefits are even more delicious. Watermelon relieves heartburn and reduces swelling; its high water content (92 percent) and fruit sugars can help ease morning sickness and dehydration; and the minerals present in it contains can help prevent third-trimester muscle cramps. It is richer than tomatoes in lycopene, an antioxidant that protects against cancer and cardiovascular disease. It boosts the body’s immunity to infections and raises the skin’s SPF naturally.
Good news for pregnant women, a study in the International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics found that daily lycopene supplements reduced the incidence of preeclampsia by 50 percent. Scientists have also discovered that watermelon is packed with vitamins A, C and B6, as well as magnesium and potassium. These nutrients are very important for the development of your baby’s brain, vision, nervous and immune systems, and more. For pregnant moms, potassium regulates water balance in the blood and body tissues during pregnancy. And the best part is, you get all these benefits for less than 50 calories per cup.
Watermelon has abundant health perks and has juicy and refreshing taste. All these qualities make it one of summer’s most perfect nutritional packages.
Easy way to ease nausea
Many pregnant women tell us that watermelon is all that can help them when morning sickness kicks in. Perhaps the only thing more refreshing than a big slice of watermelon is a glass of fresh melon juice or a melon ice pop.
How to make watermelon juice?
- Purée 8 cups cubed seedless watermelon in a blender until smooth.
- Pour through a fine-mesh strainer (don’t press the fruit through with a spoon, or the juice will be too fibrous).
- Discard the pulp.
- Serve the juice immediately or chill it. Stir it well before serving.
- You can also add 1 tablespoon citrus juice (such as lime, lemon or orange) to intensify the flavour.
How to make Ice pops?
- Purée 4 cups frozen, seedless, cubed watermelon and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a blender.
- Pour purée into popsicle moulds or 10 small paper cups.
- To avoid the fibers, strain purée through a fine-mesh strainer before pouring into moulds.
- Cover each cup with aluminium foil, making a small cut in the top of each with a knife for inserting a wooden stick.
- Place in freezer until hardened.
- Unmould when ready to eat.
You can also mix the purée with lemonade, sweetened low-fat yogurt, fruit juice or other fruit purées before freezing.