Maybe it’s not quite the official watermelon season, and some of my sustainable friends might give me grief, but those little ‘personal’ watermelons are in stores and are very tasty at this time of year. (I prefer to call them snack size since I consider any watermelon my ‘personal’ watermelon … size matters not!)
Watermelon is my favorite food and I have gone without for months. No longer! Sweet, crisp and cold it is my idea of perfection. Don’t take my word for it; here are some facts about this amazing green striped orb:
- Watermelon has more lycopene than tomatoes; 20mg per six cup serving. Why do you care? Lycopene is an incredible antioxidant! Researchers have found evidence that shows by including it in your diet you can positively impact heart disease, cancer (most notably lung, stomach, breast, cervix and prostate), diabetes and osteoporosis. Toss in a side of anti-aging support and watermelon is a big winner!
- By watermelon’s antioxidants corralling a bunch of free radicals it reduces the damage they can cause. Damage that includes the inflammation of arthritis, severity of asthma attacks and the stickiness of cholesterol which leads to atherosclerosis
- One serving increases free arginine, supporting lower blood pressure and insulin sensitivity.
- Watermelon is loaded with Vitamin A, C, B6, B1, potassium and magnesium offering strong support for your immune system.
- The amino acid compound, citrulline works in conjunction with the arginine it forms to relax blood vessels causing watermelon to be known as a natural choice over Viagra for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
- It is a vegetable that belongs to the same family as pumpkin, cucumber and squash … who knew?
- Due to its high water content (92% water) explorers used watermelon as a canteen. (Okay, this created a cartoon in my head of a bunch of people in khaki, walking single file through the rain forest, each carrying a big watermelon. Sorry.)
Watermelon is gaining a reputation for its versatility as well; add it to salads or smoothies, create frozen summer treats or, if you’re like me, just eat it cold and crisp from the fridge! Whatever you do, don’t try to freeze it … you’ll end up with a disgusting, slimy red mess.
In today’s world of instant gratification, watermelon is something that you have to get while you can. Enjoy it knowing that you are getting crazy good health benefits!
Nancy Oglesby, the Practical Health Coach
Simplifying Healthy Lifestyle Choices