I Love Watermelon. Why You Should Too.

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Ah, watermelon.  So refreshing on hot summer days.  Love it.

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So, it’s great to know it’s jam-packed with health benefits, including reducing muscle soreness the day after a workout.  Fellow fitness enthusiasts rejoice.

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According to a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the amino acids citrulline and arginine in watermelon, help improve circulation. That’s not all.

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A prior study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology reports watermelon’s citrulline may also help improve your athletic performance.

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Study showed improved performance in high-intensity exercises like cycling & sprinting.

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It also contains amino acids, which you need to make protein function optimally.

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Watermelons are almost 100 percent water, and everyone knows I love H2O.

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Other nutrients worth noting are Vitamins C, B6, A, lycopene (the redder the watermelon, the more lycopene!), antioxidants, and potassium. Zero fat.

 

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Lycopene is tied to reducing prostate cancer cell proliferation.  Source: Nat’l Cancer Institute. 

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Good electrolytes help prevent heat stroke. Great choice when temps rise.

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Watermelon also contains choline. That helps lower chronic inflammation.

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A study published in the American Journal of Hypertension found watermelon lowers blood pressure in obese adults and helps reduce hypertension.  Stress can cause inflammation flareups in your body. Anti-inflammatory foods help reduce that.

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Just like exercise. Walking outdoors in nature (pollution also causes inflammation), preferably laughing with loved ones or friends is great for your health and well-being.

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When you lower stress, you lower inflammation and pain in your body.

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And there’s another benefit for your looks.

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According to Cleveland Clinic Vitamin A and C in watermelon are great for your hair and skin. It keeps it moisturized from the inside and promotes new collagen and elastin cells. Just one cup contains nearly one-quarter of your recommended daily intake.

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It increases blood flow, which is heart healthy. And fiber in it keeps you regular.

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And if that’s not enough, a study published in Menopause found postmenopausal women benefit from improved blood flow and reduce their accumulation of excess fat from the arginine and citrulline in watermelon.

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Women in the study who took watermelon extract for six weeks saw decreased blood pressure and arterial stiffness compared to those who did not take watermelon extract.

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Make sure the watermelon is ripe and red, which means higher concentrations of phenolic antioxidant, beta-carotene and lycopene.

Tomatoes, another favorite, are also high in lycopene.

One cup of cooked tomato contains almost 25 mg. One fresh tomato contains 3.7 mg. Again, lycopene reduces inflammation in your body and builds your immune system.

 

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These dessert options at get togethers keep family and friends healthy.

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Healthy choices make you feel your best. Select a variety of fruits & veggies.

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Disclosure:  I haven’t been paid to sell you watermelon.  I really do love it. Just to be fair, here are OTHER amazing hydrating foods.

Adults need one & 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit each day, so mix it up!

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Don’t forget too much watermelon will leave you feeling bloated.
So, stick with the recommended amount.

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Again,  that’s 2 cups of diced watermelon OR
a small 1-inch thick wedge of sliced melon.

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If you have Diabetes Medline.com did a terrific article called “Can I Eat Watermelon If I Have Diabetes?”  The following is an excerpt from it, but I highly recommend reading the full article at:

http://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/watermelon-and-diabetes

Although eating watermelon has its benefits, you should consider balancing your diet with fruits that have a lower GI. Be sure to pick up fresh fruit wherever possible, as it doesn’t have any added sugars.

If you want to buy canned or frozen fruit, remember to opt for canned fruits soaking in fruit juice over syrup. Be sure to read the label carefully and look for hidden sugars.

Dried fruit and fruit juice should be consumed less often than fresh fruit. This is due to calorie density, sugar concentration, and smaller recommended portion sizes.

What are other diabetes-friendly fruits?

Diabetes-friendly fruits with a low GI include:

  • plums: 2 whole plums have a GI of 24 and a GL of 4
  • grapefruit: 1 average size has a GI of 25 and a GL of 7
  • peaches: 1 large peach has a GI of 28 and a GL of 5
  • apricots: 5 whole apricots have a GI of 34 and a GL of 6
  • pears: 1 small pear has a GI of 37 and a GL of 2

And one more bonus. Kids love watermelon too.

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Stay healthy!

maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

 

 

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