4 Reasons To Eat More Watermelon (Besides TheTaste!)

watermelonA summertime favorite, watermelon is more than just a refreshing afternoon snack – it has health benefits, too. Despite popular belief that watermelon is made up of only water and sugar, watermelon is actually considered a nutrient dense food, a food that provides a high amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for a low amount of calories.

 

Watermelon is:

  1. Low in calories
  2. Rich in antioxidants
  3. A good source of vitamins C, A, B6 and B1
  4. A good source of the carotenoid lycopene, which may help reduce the risk of prostate and other cancers
  5. A source of amino acid L-citrulline which can reduce muscle soreness in athletes.
  6. It is also versatile, lending its sweet flavor and crisp texture to everything from tomatoes to cheese.

When choosing, look for a hefty, symmetrical, unblemished melon. A creamy yellow spot on the bottom indicates ripeness. Add this colorful fruit to your summer menu for a healthy way to cool off – perfect for any hot day!

See this page for Dr. Weil’s Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Salad.

Just one cup of watermelon provides 21% of your daily Vitamin C.

Along with cantaloupe and honeydew, watermelons are a member of the botanical family Cucurbitaceae. There are five common types of watermelon: seeded, seedless, mini (also known as personal), yellow and orange.

Muscle soreness: Watermelon and watermelon juice have been shown to reduce muscle soreness and improve recovery time following exercise in athletes. Researchers believe this is likely do to the amino acid L-citrulline contained in watermelon.

 


Alzheimer’s Disease tied to infections

Alzheimer’s Disease and Infectious agents: a new line of research, and hope.

 

amyloid plaques in brain from salmonella infection

Salmonella bacteria, represented by the red spots, entrapped in a cage of proteins called beta amyloid, represented in green. (Credit Robert Moir and Rudolph Tanzi, Massachussets General Hospital and Harvard Medical School)

The possibility that Alzheimer’s disease is closely tied to infections that cause the development of amyloid plaques is BIG news indeed. Exactly what causes the plaques has proved to be elusive for many years. As reported in this NY Times piece, researchers at Harvard have found that when infectious agents cross the brain blood barrier in non-human animal subjects, their brains respond by enveloping them in plaques consistent with the ways in which they form in Alzheimer’s disease in humans. It’s “early days” yet, but this could prove to be a very fruitful line of inquiry.  Until an underlying cause, or set of causes for a disease is discovered, both treatment and prevention are severely restricted.

Read more here “Could Alzheimer’s Stem from Infections?  It Makes Sense, Experts Say” New York Times article here: