6 Healthy Reasons To Eat Watermelon
Big or small, seedless or not, red or yellow, nothing says summer like a big, juicy watermelon (or a seed-spitting contest off the deck). But there is a lot more to this melon than water. Turns out it's packed with phytonutrients, vitamins A, C, and a good hit of potassium, plus some B6 and thiamine -- everything except fat, sodium and calories. Cool.
Stay healthier Watermelon has lots of lycopene, a key plant antioxidant that is famous for fighting heart disease and prostate cancer. Tomatoes are usually considered the lycopene all-stars, but you have to cook them in a little oil to release it. Watermelon not only needs no cooking to unleash its lycopene but, cup for cup, it has 40 percent more than tomatoes.
Get your C A big slice of watermelon (about two cups) fills almost half your vitamin C quota.
Fight infection Two cups of the juicy red melon also supply nearly a quarter of your daily beta carotene, which your body uses to make vitamin A. Running low on beta c can leave you vulnerable to viral infections and vision trouble.
Heal faster Watermelon (especially yellow-orange varieties) is one of the rare food sources of citrulline, an amino acid used in wound healing and cell division. Slurp up the juice but bite down too: There's extra citrulline in the white and green part that most people toss. Pickled rinds anyone?
Sooth stress Watermelon is a good source of potassium, which helps control blood pressure -- making it the perfect snack for stressful family reunions.
Quench cravings There are only 96 calories in two fill-you-up cups of sweet watermelon, and its high liquid content makes you feel full. So start your dessert course with a wedge and you're less likely to go overboard on Aunt Edith's brownies.
Leftovers? Make these the next day.
EASY WATERMELON SLUSHIES
3 cups diced watermelon
2 Tbs. lime juice
1 Tbs. sugar
1 cup crushed ice
Ĺ cup water
Dash of black pepper or cayenne -- optional flavor twist for heat-lovers
Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend into a frosty slush.
SPACE-SAVING TIP FOR SMALL FRIDGES
Store uncut watermelons at room temperature. They continue to develop nutrients after picking and refrigeration halts the process.
What we do in life echoes in eternity.