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Watermelon Health Benefits

Posted by Lisa LaGrou June 27, 2012 Family Health

altI’ve had some great luck at the local farmers markets lately picking out watermelons. I love when the summer fruits hit their peak and this year has been great for watermelons.

Watermelon may be light and sweet but it’s packed full of health and nutritional benefits. Watermelon is great for hydration and is obviously low in fat. when you tally up its health benefits, you might consider making watermelon a feature player in your lunches, dinners and dessets.

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 of 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. Watermelon is a great source of potassium, which helps muscle and nerve function, helps maintain the body’s proper electrolyte and acid based balance, and helps lower 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 recipe is one of my favorite bits of summer refreshment. The key to making this great; don’t over sweeten it.

Easy Watermelon Recipe for summer:
Watermelon Agua Fresca (Fresh Water)

  • 3 cups cubed, seeded watermelon
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • Juice from 2-3 limes
  • Natural sweetener, 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 and natural sweetener to tase. Serve cold over ice.

Source: MNN/Care 2.com
This article was written with help from Greening Detroit.

altOCM Guest Columnist John Carlos, owner of GreeningDetroit.com. GreeningDetroit.com offers a unique directory designed for the Metro Detroit region providing sustainable solutions, products and services, green news and information, and tips for implementing greater environmental responsibility in homes and businesses.

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