National Watermelon Day!

  |  in General, Healthy Recipes, Nutrition TipsNo Comments

Today, August 3rd, 2011, is National Watermelon Day! Watermelon is a delicious fruit that is great to snack on. Watermelon is 92% water, and has many beneficial qualities:

  • Vitamin A found in watermelon is important for optimal eye health, can help prevent night-blindness, and boosts immunity by enhancing the infection-fighting actions of white blood cells called lymphocytes.
  • Vitamin B6 found in watermelon helps the immune system produce antibodies. Antibodies are needed to fight many diseases. Vitamin B6 helps maintain normal nerve function and form red blood cells. The body uses it to help break down proteins. The more protein you eat, the more vitamin B6 you need.
  • Vitamin C in watermelon can help to bolster the immune system’s defenses against infections and viruses and can protect a body from harmful free radicals that can accelerate aging and conditions such as cataracts.
  • A two-cup serving of watermelon is also a source of potassium*, a mineral necessary for water balance and found inside of every cell. People with low potassium levels can experience muscle cramps.

Get Hydrated with Watermelon!

It’s no coincidence that the word water appears in watermelon. Thirst quenching watermelon can help to replenish body fluids: one cup of diced watermelon is about 92% water. Water is the most vital nutrient for life– over two-thirds of your body is made up of water.

Along with drinking plenty of water, eating watermelon will help to provide you with liquids your body needs for optimum health. Try refreshing watermelon juice, which is now sold in some supermarkets.

Or you can easily make watermelon juice yourself: Slice a chilled watermelon into 2 inch slices and place in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Press through a fine sieve, strain and discard seeds and pulp, pour the juice into a pitcher, chill and serve cold.

Watermelon and Weight Management:

With more than 60% of adults overweight or obese, over 97 million Americans are at risk to a host of chronic diseases. If you are trying to control your weight, watermelon is perfect because it has only 80 calories, no fat at all, and is full of satisfying flavor and important nutrients. A healthy food, 2 cups of watermelon chunks contain 25% of your daily vitamin A and 30% of your daily vitamin C. Watermelon also contains B6 (6%) as well as potassium (8%), phosphorus (4%) and magnesium (8%).
Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in calories and fat; many contain lots of water and fiber to give you a feeling of fullness. Combined with an active lifestyle and low-fat diet, eating greater amounts of fruits and vegetables and fewer high-calorie foods at meals can help you control your weight.

http://www.watermelon.org/HealthProfessionals/HealthProfessionals.aspx

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