Spa cuisine and healthy diet > Watermelon: A Healthy Treat that’s Fun to Eat!
Watermelon has long been such a favorite at picnics and summer activities. But, watermelon is a great ingredient anytime/anywhere for its nutritional benefits. Here are some watermelon health facts that many people don’t know.
• is the lycopene leader among fresh fruits and vegetables.
• contains more lycopene than fresh tomatoes.
• contains 15 to 20 mg of lycopene per 2-cup serving.
• gets its red color from lycopene, an antioxidant.
• is cholesterol free.
• is virtually fat free.
• is very low in sodium.
• is an excellent source of vitamins A, B6 and C.
• is a natural hydrator. Watermelon is 92 percent water and a great way to make sure everyone is getting enough fluids. Water plays a vital role in regulating body temperature, transporting nutrients and oxygen to cells, removing waste, cushioning joints and protecting organs and tissues.
• Watermelon is an excellent source of an important amino acid, citrulline. The human body uses citrulline to make another important amino acid – arginine – which plays a key role in cell division, wound healing and the removal of ammonia. Watermelon’s citrulline stores are not only abundant but they’re also readily usable by the body. Watermelon is one of the few foods that contain high levels of cittrulline.
• A diet containing foods high in potassium and low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure, a risk factor for stroke and heart disease. Watermelon is low in sodium and a source of potassium.
• Watermelon is a good source of the following (per 250 mL or one-cup serving):
>Vitamin C – a factor in the development and maintenance of bones, cartilage, teeth and gums
>Thiamine (vitamin B1) – releases energy from carbohydrates and aids in normal growth
>Vitamin B6 (also a source of pantothenic acid and magnesium) – a factor in energy metabolism and tissue formation
>And a source of vitamin A – aids in normal bone and tooth development, maintaining the health of the skin and membranes
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