Fruit of the Summer

Today, as the temperature peaked at 90 degrees Fahrenheit, I decided to juice an entire watermelon. Between summer barbeques and fireworks, watermelon has pretty much become a staple of the summer. There is nothing more refreshing on a hot day than biting into a slice of the juicy fruit.

But beyond the obvious benefit of instant hydration, what other health benefits do these melons hold?

Surprising, despite consisting mainly of water, watermelon is packed with vitamins A, B6 and C and plenty of antioxidants and amino acids, which means great news for your health.

Watermelon has high levels of lycopene, a powerful anti-inflammatory phytonutrient. Lycopene has been linked to prostate cancer prevention, heart health, and healthy joints.

Lycopene prevents free radical damage and inhibits various inflammatory processes. The phytonutrient is so effective in protecting cells from damage that, according to a study at Purdue University, the extract was found to help reduce hypertension and lower blood pressure.

Watermelon has several anti-aging properties. The fruit can also boost collagen production which can lead to a younger looking face.

Watermelon is high in vitamin A. Vitamin A helps your body have healthy hair and skin and promotes the growth of elastin cells. Additionally, the fruit has high concentrations of vitamin C, which promotes skin health.

The white part of the melon, near the rind, contains the amino acid citrulline. In the body, citrulline converts to the amino acid arginine. Arginine promotes good blood flow which improves circulation and cardiovascular health.

And don’t be so quick to spit out the seeds. Watermelon seeds, especially when sprouted, are very nutritious. Watermelon seeds are high in protein, magnesium, vitamin B and healthy fats.

And if you are thinking of slimming down for the summer, watermelon is great for dieters. The snack is fat-free, low-sodium and low-calorie, promoting a slimmer waistline.

Thinking about eating more watermelon? Keep the fruit chilled in a refrigerator and be sure to wash the outside before cutting. Cut watermelon lasts about a week in the fridge in an air-tight container.

Advertisements