Watermelon: The Summer Treat That's Good for You
By Paul Rothbart
At a picnic, or cookout, or even on the beach, watermelon is a great way to finish a summertime meal. You can put it in a fruit salad, grill, or use it in a cocktail. It's sweet and refreshing and seedless watermelon is also available. It is fun, though, to munch on a slice and spit the seeds out. Like most fruits, and melons in particular, watermelon is also very healthy. Here are some of the ways that watermelon is good for you.
It's Good for Weight Management
Watermelon is an excellent food for losing and maintaining weight. One cup contains just 40 calories, is fat-free, and low in sodium. Watermelon is also 92 percent water, so it hydrates you and fills you up. That can help manage cravings. For those times that you do need a little snack between meals, watermelon is an excellent choice.
Lycopene is a phytochemical that gives watermelon its red color. Watermelon has one of the highest concentrations of lycopene of any type of produce, containing 15-20 milligrams in one serving. An antioxidant, lycopene functions as an anti-inflammatory. It has also been found to boost bone and heart health.
A fully ripe watermelon contains high levels of beta-carotene. This antioxidant is very good for skin health and can reduce the risk of cancer. It is also very good for eye health, lowering the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. People who already have eye issues should consider adding watermelon to their diet.
Vitamin A is another nutrient that contributes to eye health. It also helps the body produce whit blood cells which gives an immune system boost. Vitamin A is also good for the bones, skin, and red blood cells. A single serving of watermelon contains 30 percent of the recommended daily allowance of this essential vitamin.
Watermelon also contains a fair amount of Vitamin B6. This vitamin is also good for the immune system as it helps the body produce antibodies. Nerve function and the formation of red blood cells are also aided by Vitamin B6. It helps to break down protein and is especially essential to those who eat a lot of meat.
An antioxidant that is very important in fighting illness, Vitamin C also fights free radicals in the body that can attack cells and cause chronic disease. A serving of watermelon contains 25 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C. With the assistance Vitamin C provides in fighting cold and flu, watermelon is also a good food to eat in the winter.
Watermelon is delicious and easy and fun to eat. It's great for summertime fun but with all of the healthy benefits it provides, it's an excellent food to include in your diet year-round.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sacramento, Calif.