Watermelon, It’s Healthy and Filled with Vitamins and Nutrients!

Keisha Fletcher  |  7/3/2019 1:01:25 AM

Slice of watermelon with a watermelon shake.

Watermelon, It’s Healthy and Filled with Vitamins and Nutrients!

July is National Watermelon Month! Washington Parish is known for our sweet, juicy and flavorful watermelons, but did you know the health benefits of this fruit and vegetable? Yes, watermelons are both a fruit and vegetable. Below are the health benefits of consuming watermelons-that helps reduce the risks of chronic diseases including: cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Low-Calorie Snack

Watermelon has only 46 calories per cup. Eaten by itself, blended into a smoothie, or toppings on a salad…..you will not feel guilty about eating SWEETS! Consuming 2 cups per day, will complete the recommended daily serving of fruit, with less than 100 calories. Go to Choose My Plate to learn more about the fruit group and daily intake suggestions.

Digestion

Watermelon contains 12% fiber which helps with the digestive system supporting a healthy digestive tract can help reduce the risks of colon cancer.

Hydration

Watermelon contains 92% water, high in water content, you can eat or drink it to stay hydrated. It helps quench your thirst on hot summer days. But, don’t forget to drink water!

Heart Health

Fresh watermelon is heart-friendly, certified by the American Heart Association, as a “heart check mark”, it is “low in saturated fat and cholesterol, containing amino acid citrulline, which maintains blood flow within the heart and cardiovascular function.” Also, containing Vitamin C -- a great immune booster that is great for the heart, because it helps prevent the hardening of arteries, decreases inflammation, can help prevent high blood pressure, and reduces risks of heart disease.

Eye Health

Watermelon is full of Vitamin A which supports healthy eyes.

Replenishes Fluids

Our bodies loses electrolytes when we exercise and sweat; watermelon contains magnesium and potassium and supports restoring electrolytes lost after exercising and helps balance in the body and reduce muscle cramps.

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Lycopene

According The Watermelon Board, watermelon contains highest quantity of lycopene among fruits and vegetables-a carotenoid, the red pigment inside of watermelon, is plentiful in antioxidants, containing “15 to 20 mg per 2 cups of serving”, combined with a healthy diet and physical activity is healthy to eat and disease preventative. Additionally, consuming lycopene can protect men from prostate cancer, helps reduce inflammation, which can help reduce arthritis.

Consuming watermelon during the Summer is a great way to stay hydrated, while incorporating important vitamins and nutrients that are beneficial to your health while combating the Summer heat.

Try this recipe!

Watermelon Gazpacho

Makes: 4 Servings

Prep time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

4 cups cubed, seeded watermelon (divided)

1 cucumber (peeled, coarsely chopped, divided)

1 clove garlic (minced)

2 tablespoons chopped onion

2 teaspoons lime juice

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)

Directions

1. In a small bowl, mix 1 cup of cubed watermelon and 1/2 of chopped cucumber; set aside.

2. Process remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender until puréed.

3. Transfer all ingredients to a large bowl and stir.

4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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