I bought my first watermelon of the season yesterday. Yum! So tasty! I love this time of the year when fresh, yummy watermelon begins to appear in the grocery stores. I grew up in the South and cold watermelon was a nightly treat on those hot summer nights. As a kid, I just knew that they tasted good. Now as an adult, I realize the serious health benefits that ripe, red flesh can bring.
Even though watermelons are almost 92% water, they are still loaded with vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. It is a fat-free, low sodium, 40 calories per cup hydration promoting treat. That bright red color we all crave in watermelon comes from the anti oxidant lycopene. Lycopene has been linked with heart health, bone health, prostate cancer prevention and is anti-inflammatory.
The red flesh of the watermelon is not the only healthy part. The white rind is loaded with the amino acid citrulline which promotes blood flow, leading to cardiovascular health and improved circulation. The rind also has blood-building chlorophyll and many find that eating the rind can help with the swelling of the bodies extremities that often comes with the summer heat.
A cup of watermelon contains nearly one-quarter of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin A to help keep skin and hair moisturized, and it also encourages healthy growth of new collagen and elastin cells for younger looking skin.
If all these benefits aren’t enough, drinking watermelon juice before an intense workout can lessen next-day muscle soreness. With all the hard workouts we live through at The Refinery, this seems like an amazing benefit.
With Summer just starting and all these health benefits, it seems there are many more nights of cold watermelon eating in my future.
Photo from Flickr.