Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Health Benefits of Water Melon

Health Benefits of Water Melon

Everyone loves a big piece of thirst-quenching watermelon on a hot day; it is so refreshing.  I love watermelon and can easily eat a quarter of one in one sitting!

“When one has tasted watermelon, he knows what angels eat.” –Mark Twain

Did you know that is it also nutrition packed too? Yes, watermelon is 92 percent water, but that other 8 percent is filled with good nutrition and amazing health benefits; so many benefits that we consider it a powerfood and give weekend web Watermelon BootCamps with it.

Health Benefits of Watermelon:

1. Watermelon is extremely alkaline-forming in the body. There are a host of benefits to this.

2. Watermelon is the lycopene leader among fresh fruits and vegetables. Deep red varieties of watermelon have replaced the tomato as the lycopene king. The red pigment — also found in apricots, pink grapefruit, and papaya — is an important antioxidant. It has been found to be helpful in reducing the risk of prostate, breast, and endometrial cancers, as well as lung and colon cancer. Lycopene’s ability to neutralize singlet oxygen radicals was better then the antioxidant abilities of beta-carotene and vitamin E.  (Source: Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics in 1989)

3. Watermelon may have Viagra-like effect. It contains citrulline, which can trigger production of a compound in the body that helps relax the body’s blood vessels, in a way similar to what happens when a man takes Viagra, according to a Texas A&M study.

4. Watermelon is a diuretic and was a homeopathic treatment for kidney patients before dialysis became widespread.

5. Watermelon is a very good source of potassium; it helps muscle and nerve function. It can ease inflammation that contributes to conditions like asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer, and arthritis.

6. Watermelon is a certified heart healthy food by the American Heart Association.
I am so happy to know all the benefits to this favorite summer fruit of mine. Watermelon is often all I have for breakfast and it always amazes me that I feel full for hours afterwards.
It is also true that watermelon is high in sugar, with 10 grams per cup. But think about it, what is a better choice: a candy bar or a nutritious piece of watermelon?

  • Excellent source of vitamin C.
  • Very good source of vitamin A.
  • Good source of potassium and magnesium.
  • Small amounts of most of the B vitamins.
  • Trace amounts of vitamin K and pantothenic acid.
  • Lots of trace amount minerals (copper, iron, manganese, selenium and zinc)
  • Over 6888 mcg of lycopene.
  • Supplies 2 percent of daily fiber needs.
  • Only 45 calories per cup, so it is an ideal diet food.
  • Fat free. Well, almost: 1 cup of diced watermelon has .23 grams of fat.
  • Only .02 grams of saturated fat in 1 cup of diced watermelon.
  • No cholesterol, caffeine or alcohol (I find it funny that this info is included in the breakdown).
  • Low sodium: 1.52 mg in 1 cup of diced watermelon.
  • There is even 1 gram of protein in 1 cup of diced watermelon.
Is it a fruit or a vegetable?
Watermelon is considered a vegetable by some. It is related to the squash and pumpkin family and is grown as a vegetable crop, using vegetable production systems.
“Watermelon is the fruit of a plant originally from a vine of southern Africa. Like the pepper, tomato and pumpkin, it is the ripened ovary of a seed plant and its contents, which, botanically speaking, make it fruit.” Calgary Herald
In China, watermelon is stir-fried, stewed and often pickled and used as a vegetable.
Well whatever! It is a fruit as far as I am concerned.
So let’s have a little watermelon fun.

Watermelon Facts and Trivia:

  • 2012 US National Watermelon Queen Katelyn Kelly says: “Canadians love watermelon. This is where we export most of our watermelon.”
  • It was 5,000 years ago that the first recorded watermelon harvest occurred in Egypt and they shared them with the rest of civilization in the 10th century.
  • Over 1,200 varieties of watermelon are grown worldwide. About 200-300 varieties are grown in the U.S. and Mexico.
  • This fruit was held in such regard that it was placed in the tombs of many Egyptian kings.
  • The word watermelon first appeared in the English dictionary in 1615.
  • In China and Japan, watermelon is a popular gift to bring a host.
  • Watermelons come in many shapes and sizes; the newest shape is a square watermelon. The Japanese created them to save space; the watermelon are of exact dimensions of Japanese refrigerators, allowing a full grown watermelon to fit precisely.
  • Early explorers used watermelons as canteens.
  • After a watermelon was thrown at Roman Governor Demosthenes, he placed the watermelon on his head and thanked the thrower for giving him with a helmet to wear as he fought Philip of Macedonia.
  • U.S. ranks fourth in the world growing watermelons. It is grown in 44 states, mostly Florida, Texas, California, Georgia, and Arizona.  In 1999 over 4 billion pounds of watermelon were produced in the US.
  • Watermelon is grown in over 96 countries worldwide.
  • A giant watermelon weighing a watery 268.8 pounds was grown in Arkansas by Lloyd Bright, earning the Guinness World Record for heaviest watermelon in September of 2005. 

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