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Watermelon Nutrition

Watermelon is one of the most popular of all summer fruits, and watermelon nutrition isn‘t as bad as one might think. It not only is refreshing and a favorite among children, one website even puts it in their top ten list of best fruits. Watermelons may be large, sticky, and hard to cut but these are barely even faults, given the positive contributions of the fruit.

Watermelon is full of antioxidants--vitamin C and vitamin A through beta-carotene. These are busy at work in the body neutralizing free radicals and stopping the damage they can do that can lead to heart attack, stroke or respiratory problems. Vitamin C and beta-carotene also help prevent joint damage, alleviate symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis and lessen the risk of colon cancer. One cup of watermelon contains 24.3% of our daily needs of vitamins C, and 11.1% of Vitamin A through beta-carotene.

One aspect of watermelon nutrition is that it has concentrated amounts of the carotenoid lycopene, more in fact, than any other fruit. Lycopene is known for its ability in lowering the risk of certain cancers, including prostate, rectum and colon. Research also suggests it has positive effects on other cancers such as those of the breast, cervix, oral cavity and esophagus.

Watermelons have no cholesterol and only a tiny amount of fat. A cup of watermelon has only 48 calories so it makes a delicious snack or dessert. Watermelon nutrition additionally consists of the presence of amino acids, arginine and citrulline, which help with cardiovascular functions. They aid in maintaining blood flow which is very important to heart health.

A two-cup serving of watermelon is a source of potassium, a mineral that is found in every cell in the body and that is necessary for water balance. Potassium also helps with muscle contraction.  The watermelon’s vitamin A content is good for healthy eyes. Watermelons even have vitamin B6, which is used by the body to manufacture serotonin, melatonin and dopamine, brain chemicals which are helpful with depression, anxiety and panic.

Watermelon does contain quite a bit of sugar--one cup diced watermelon has 50 calories, 44 which come from sugar. Watermelon is approximately 90% water. Being a fruit-type sugar, it is more healthy than eating processed simple sugars. We also need sugar to fuel our brains.

So, if you are watching sugar calories or counting carbos because you are a diabetic, don’t overdue it with watermelon. But if you take it easy, watermelon should have a place in your diet and you certainly can reap benefits from all the vitamins and minerals.


 

 


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