Hot summer days call for a refreshing sip that won’t be loaded with calories or sugar like soda. We suggest tapping the power of tasty melon to satisfy your urge for something cold and sweet, while also giving you a major health boost. Check out all the benefits melons have to offer, plus four slushy recipes that tap into those powerful compounds to keep you happy, healthy, and slim!
Protects the Heart
Enjoying juicy melon daily can lower cholesterol by up to 63 percent within one month, according to a study in the journal Nutrition Research. Credit goes to two plant compounds (lycopene and citrulline) that prevent plaque buildup and help widen blood vessels. In a separate study, fruits like this were found to lower heart disease risk by 40 percent.
Refreshing melon juice is twice as effective as plain water at hydrating the body, report UK researchers. The reason: The fruits’ rich stores of electrolytes (including potassium and magnesium) help balance fluid levels within cells, prompting the release of excess water for an instantly slimming effect.
Sunproofs the Skin
The lycopene in melons increases the ability of skin cells to defend against damaging UV rays, plus helps heal damaged tissue to accelerate recovery if the skin does burn. German researchers suggest that, all told, these effects can slash sunburn risk by more than a third.
Now onto the yummy melon slushy recipes to make at home!
- 4 cups chopped cantaloupe
- 1 peeled kiwi
- 1⁄2 teaspoon mint extract
Puree all ingredients; strain. Puree juice with one cup ice cubes. Garnish as desired. Makes 4 servings.
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 sprigs basil
- 4 cups cubed seedless watermelon
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
Cook sugar, basil, and 1⁄4 cup water until sugar dissolves; strain. Puree watermelon; strain. Puree lime juice with one cup ice cubes. Pour into pitcher; stir in syrup. Makes 4 servings.
- 3 tablespoons agave syrup
- 2 sprigs cilantro
- 4 cups chopped honeydew
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cup club soda
Cook agave, cilantro and three tablespoons water until flavors blend; strain. Puree melon; strain. Puree juice and one cup ice. Stir in syrup. Top with club soda. Makes 4 servings.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.