It's summer, and hotter than heck most everywhere in this country, so what better time to bring out some luscious, juicy watermelon. Most people think of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) as a wonderful and refreshing fruit to add to picnics and bbqs, but guess what, it's actually considered a vegetable, akin to cucumbers, squash and pumpkins.
You know what else? It has some amazing health benefits.
Chock-full of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, lycopene, beta-carotene (and a myriad of other minerals and nutrients) it can help protect the body from viruses, bacteria and parasites. Because of the potassium component, it has been known to help control blood pressure, and possibly prevent kidney stones. The vitamin C and beta-carotene are helpful in preventing cancer and heart disease.
The lycopene is good for prostate, breast, colon and lung health, reducing the risk of cancer. And all the antioxidants are also helpful with asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation and prevention of macular degeneration.
This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how good watermelon is for the human body, and why most anyone would benefit from enjoying a slice or two.
Although it is high in sugar, it's mostly water and fiber and is still considered a low-calorie, fat free, great-for-dieting kind of food.
So cut some up and enjoy! I know I will.
This article on Care2 has a slew of interesting information on watermelon, including how to pick a good one.
And though it has nothing to do with eating watermelons, per se, read what I wrote about Wally Amos' inspiring " Watermelon Credo ".
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