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Surprising Health Benefits of Watermelon

Surprising Health Benefits of Watermelon

Some foods are fun to eat, and watermelon is definitely one of them.  That triangular wedge of bright red/white/green, sweet juiciness forbids us to take life too seriously and shouts, “SUMMER!!!” As if that weren’t enough, watermelon is packed full of nutrition, hydrates and is low-fat. While many of us think of watermelon as a great snack option, when you tally up its nutritive value, you might consider making this all-star a feature player in your cuisine.

Watermelons are an excellent source of several vitamins: vitamin A, which helps maintain eye health and is an antioxidant; vitamin C, which helps strengthen immunity, heal wounds, prevent cell damage, promote healthy teeth and gums; and vitamin B6, which helps brain function and helps convert protein to energy.

Tomatoes have been highly touted as a great source for lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps fight heart disease and several types of cancer — prostate cancer in particular.  Watermelon, however, has the highest concentrations of lycopene of any fresh fruit or vegetable.

If your little ones don’t dig into their swiss chard, lima beans or spinach — all great sources of potassium — consider offering them a serving of watermelon instead.  It is a great source of potassium, which helps muscle and nerve function, helps maintain the body’s proper electrolyte and acid-base balance, and helps lower the risk of high blood pressure.

Watermelon also contains the amino acids citrulline and arginine, which can help maintain arteries, blood flow and overall cardiovascular function.

Alone or in a fruit salad are the most common ways many of us eat watermelon. While eating the meat of the fruit is the best way to take advantage of all of its nutrients, this is one of my favorite bits of summer refreshment. I get a version of this from my local burrito truck. The key to making this great: don’t oversweeten it. With just a touch of sweetness, it’s heavenly.

Watermelon Agua Fresca (Fresh Water)

  • 3 cups cubed, seeded watermelon
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • juice from 2-3 limes
  • natural sweetner, to taste

In a blender, puree the watermelon, then strain it through a fine sieve. In a pitcher, mix the strained juice with water. Add lime juice and natural sweetener to taste. Serve cold over ice.

Related:
Watermelon Mint Smoothie
Watermelon Rose-Punch
Secrets of Cutting a Watermelon

Read more: All recipes, Appetizers & Snacks, Basics, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, General Health, Health, Raw, Vegan, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Terri Hall

Terri Hall lives in the Hudson Valley with her family. In addition to writing, Terri works with public television and radio stations/networks in the area of new media, and leads workshops on authentic and empowered living.

273 comments

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11:15PM PST on Jan 15, 2014

the fresh water sounds delicious

4:28AM PDT on Aug 5, 2013

Love Watermelon :)

11:22PM PDT on Jul 5, 2013

Watermelons are the perfect summer fruit, I wish they were in season all year round!

9:49PM PDT on May 28, 2013

Can't wait for the watermelon to come into season here.

11:03AM PDT on May 16, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

11:33PM PDT on Apr 10, 2013

ty

5:45AM PDT on Mar 16, 2013

Love watermelon! Watermelon/muddled mint juice makes a refreshing drink.

12:26AM PDT on Mar 16, 2013

thanks for sharing

2:38AM PST on Dec 19, 2012

love watermelons - and they have a low glycemic load

8:01AM PST on Nov 26, 2012

thanks.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

No way would any of my cats lay still for this. Maybe the bunny.....

LOvely and lazy beautiful. dog! *_*

Thanks for sharing.

yup these are all the thing my grandma (born 1906) taught me . thanks for reminding the community

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