The Hidden Benefits of Watermelon

Watermelon lovers rejoice – your favorite refreshing snack is also great for you! While these melons often have a bad rap (think: 92% water and lots of sugar), they are actually considered a nutrient dense food – rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants while remaining extremely low in calories. Check out these four amazing benefits of watermelon below!

  1. Lycopene leader. You’ve been hearing it since you were a little kid: strive to fill your plate with a variety of colorful fruits and veggies! Lycopene is the pigment that gives produce a vibrant red color. While tomatoes often come to mind first, fresh watermelon actually contains more lycopene than a fresh tomato! Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant linked to health promotion, decreased risk of disease, and anti-inflammatory properties. You can increase absorption of this fat-soluble compound by adding a healthy fat to your next watermelon dish, such as a drizzle of olive oil or a fresh avocado!
  2. Hydrate in a sweeter way. Drinking enough water to stay hydrated throughout the hot summer months can be hard. Bringing along fresh watermelon to your next outdoor adventure will provide you with a tastier way to stay hydrated! Watermelon is high in water content, hence the name, and also provides electrolytes that prevent dehydration. A two-cup serving of watermelon also provides a source of potassium – a crucial mineral for water balance.
  3. Nourish your hair and skin. Just one cup of diced watermelon provides almost a quarter of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin A! Vitamin A functions to moisturize hair and skin, while also promoting healthy growth of all body tissues. Watermelon also provides a healthy dose of Vitamin C, which promotes the building of collagen – a necessary structural component of hair and skin.
  4. Boost your immune system.  Vitamin B6 found in watermelon helps to increase production of antibodies which are needed to fight disease. It also serves to maintain normal nerve function and form red blood cells. Coupled with vitamin A and vitamin C mentioned above, watermelon provides a boost of immunity for only 40 calories a cup!

 

Ready to add this wonderful fruit to your next meal? Check out some of my favorite watermelon recipes!

Grilled Watermelon and Mint Salad via MJ and HungryMan:

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Watermelon Cake with Coconut Flour Frosting via Imma Eat That:

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Tara is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition, fitness, and health promotion and is quoted in a variety of media including television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and websites.

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