A 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.
- Low in calories
- Rich in antioxidants
- A good source of vitamins C, A, B6 and B1
- A good source of the carotenoid lycopene, which may help reduce the risk of prostate and other cancers
- A source of amino acid L-citrulline which can reduce muscle soreness in athletes.
- 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.