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Posted Jul 26 2008 10:04am

    A cool wedge of watermelon on a hot summer day? Refreshing, for sure.

    But watermelon is more than just a seasonal treat. Here are three great health reasons to dig into this juicy fruit:

    1. It’s loaded with lycopene.Watermelon juice actually gave tomato juice a run for the money in a recent study of lycopene levels. That’s good news for your body, because early research suggests that lycopene may be a cancer crusher.(Here’s a trick for unleashing more lycopene from your tomatoes.)
    2. It can make your skin pretty.Watermelon is loaded with a key compound credited with helping skin’s healing and regenerative processes. Say no more — bring on the melon!(Find out what other foods support youthful skin.)
    3. It’s practicallycalorie-free.With fewer than 50 calories in every cup, watermelon is one smart way to satisfy a sweet tooth. And with a whopping 141 grams of water per cubed cup, watermelon will keep you hydrated, too.(Here are 10 more low-calorie treats to try.)

    Which is better for your watermelon — chilled or room temp?

    RealAge Benefit:Eating a diverse diet that is low in calories and high in nutrients can make your RealAge as much as 4 years younger.
    ReferencesPublished on07/21/2008.

    Consumption of watermelon juice increases plasma concentrations of lycopene and beta-carotene in humans. Edwards, A. J. et al.,Journal of Nutrition2003 Apr;133(4):1043-1050.

    Watermelon consumption increases plasma arginine concentrations in adults. Collins, J. K. et al.,Nutrition2007 Mar;23(3):261-266.


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