“When one has tasted watermelon, he knows what angels eat” ~ Mark Twain
Not only is watermelon thirst-quenching on a hot summers day, it is also the new kid on the block when it comes to high-lycopene rich foods which is a powerful antioxidant. It has been found to be helpful in reducing the risk of prostate, breast, and endometrial cancers, as well as lung and colon cancer. Lycopene’s ability to neutralize singlet oxygen radicals was better then the antioxidant abilities of beta-carotene and vitamin E.
Other health benefits include:
Watermelon is extremely alkaline-forming in the body which helps to reduce inflammation which can contribute to conditions like asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer, and arthritis.
Watermelon’s diuretic action helps us cleanse more by promoting the kidney’s to do their job, that leaves us feeling less swollen and helps anyone with high blood pressure too!
3. MUSCLES & NERVES
Watermelon is a very good source of potassium; it helps muscle and nerve function.
Yes watermelon does have natural sugar ( 10 grams per cup) and is higher on the glycemic index, but pair it with a little protein first and that will do the trick. Definitely better than a candy bar for that sweet tooth
Now when eating watermelon, don’t keep the white rind as it contains as an added bonus citrulline, which is an amino acid that early research is showing may help prevent excess accumulation of fat in fat cells. So make this simple treat for the kid in you and
Watermelon Nutrition Facts:
• Excellent source of vitamin C.
• Very good source of vitamin A.
• Good source of potassium and magnesium.
• Small amounts of most of the B vitamins.
• Trace amounts of vitamin K and pantothenic acid.
• Lots of trace amount minerals (copper, iron, manganese, selenium and zinc)
• Over 6888 mcg of lycopene.
• Supplies 2 percent of daily fiber needs.
• Only 45 calories per cup, so it is an ideal diet food.
• Fat free. Well, almost: 1 cup of diced watermelon has .23 grams of fat.
• Only .02 grams of saturated fat in 1 cup of diced watermelon.
• No cholesterol, caffeine or alcohol (I find it funny that this info is included in the breakdown).
• Low sodium: 1.52 mg in 1 cup of diced watermelon.
• There is even 1 gram of protein in 1 cup of diced watermelon.
Is it a fruit or a vegetable?
Watermelon is considered a vegetable by some. It is related to the squash and pumpkin family and is grown as a vegetable crop, using vegetable production systems.
“Watermelon is the fruit of a plant originally from a vine of southern Africa. Like the pepper, tomato and pumpkin, it is the ripened ovary of a seed plant and its contents, which, botanically speaking, make it fruit.” Calgary Herald
In China, watermelon is stir-fried, stewed and often pickled and used as a vegetable.
Either way watermelon tastes great and is a wonderful summer fix on those hot days!
Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics. (1989).
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