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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Enjoy Watermelon for a nutrition boost

What is summer or a backyard cookout without some watermelon?   How healthy is watermelon, what nutrition benefits does it offer?  As noted below, watermelon packs a lot of nutrition for few calories.
    National Geographic’s  Reasons to Eat Watermelon  and Medical News Today:  Watermelon:  Healthy Benefits and Nutritional Information:    
      1.   Soothes sore muscles – what does eating watermelon have to do with your muscles?  A research study found that “drinking watermelon juice before a hard work out” helped reduce muscle soreness the next day.  Watermelon also shortens recovery time.  Watermelon has the amino acid, L-citrulline which our bodies change to L-arginine, an amino acid that improves blood circulation and relaxes your blood vessels.    
     2.  Heart Health These same amino acids improve your heart health by helping to lower blood pressure.    
     3.  Watermelon is rich in vitamins and minerals – Although watermelon is 90% water, it also has many vitamins and minerals.  Some people don’t realize watermelon is a good source of vitamin C.   
       It also provide vitamin A and potassium.  Watermelon also provides the minerals iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, selenium.  Zinc and copper.  Besides A and C watermelon provides B-vitamins: thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B-6 and folate.  
     4.  Cancer fighting – watermelon provides the healthy antioxidant, lycopene.   Most people know lycopene is found in tomatoes but watermelon is also a good source.  The National Watermelon Promotion Board states that watermelon provides more lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable. 
     5.  Low calorie – one cup of diced watermelon has only 43 calories and no fat and almost no sodium
     6. Asthma prevention – those consuming high amounts of nutrients like the vitamin C in watermelon lessen their risk of developing asthma.   
     7.  Digestion – because watermelon has fiber and contains a lot of water, it aides in digestion.
     8. Hydration – a good way to help kids stay hydrated in the summer is to serve some watermelon.  Watermelon not only has water in it, it also offers electrolytes to help prevent dehydration.
     9.  Reduce Inflammation:  watermelon can help reduce inflammation because it contains choline.  
     10  Healthy Skin – watermelon promotes skin health because of the vitamin A it contains.  Vitamin A also promotes healthier hair.  The vitamin C in watermelon helps our skin build and maintain collagen.  The water in watermelon promotes skin hydration.

So enjoy some watermelon this summer and pack in some nutrition benefits. 
Sources:    Reasons to Eat Watermelon, Watermelon, Image source:  Watermelon

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