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:


Living in the antibiotic-resistant future?

staphlyococcus epidermisAntibiotics and similar drugs, together called antimicrobial agents, have been used for the last 70 years to treat patients who have infectious diseases. Since the 1940s, these drugs have greatly reduced illness and death from infectious diseases. However, these drugs have been used so widely and for so long that the infectious organisms the antibiotics are designed to kill have adapted to them, making the drugs less effective.

We read an interesting blog post this morning on The Incidental Economist.  He makes the point about antibiotic resistance becoming a problem in the future.

In a recent Lancet series on superbugs, researchers found that human antibiotic misuse and overuse was one of the single biggest contributors to antibiotic resistance. It was followed only by the abuse of antibiotics in agriculture.

Use Antibiotics the Right Way:   Read More

There’s a Gaping Hole in the Scientific Case for Moderate Drinking

Past studies missed one big reason non-drinkers didn’t live as long as people who imbibed a bit.

It’s an irresistible headline: People who drink alcohol in moderation actually live longer than those who abstain entirely. Counterintuitive studies that show the purported benefits of a drink or two a day prompt flurries of bright news reports. You can hear the glasses clinking.
Buzzkill: It’s probably not true, according to a new analysis of existing research published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

It turns out many studies showing that moderate drinkers live longer than non-drinkers suffer from a big flaw: The “abstainers” category includes people who used to drink but have stopped, sometimes for health reasons. They may be inherently less healthy, as a group, than people who drink in moderation. That doesn’t mean that drinking in moderation causes people to live longer.


A Study on Fats That Doesn’t Fit the Story Line

A Decades-Old Study, Rediscovered, Challenges Advice on Saturated Fat

There was a lot of news this week about a study, published in the medical journal BMJ, that looked at how diet affects heart health. The results were unexpected because they challenged the conventional thinking on saturated fats.
See more on the NYTimes blog page



The Rogue Immune Cells That Wreck the Brain

Solving a mystery behind brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia.


brain cell oligodendrocyte

A type of brain cell known as an oligodendrocyte

Is it possible that many common brain disorders, despite their wide-ranging symptoms, are caused or at least worsened by the same culprit, a component of the immune system? If so, could many of these disorders be treated in a similar way—by stopping these rogue cells?

Beth Stevens thinks she has solved a mystery behind brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia.

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Intermittent fasting may reduce breast cancer recurrence

orange juice breakfastFindings in the Journal of the American Medical Association Oncology show that women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer may lower their risk of the recurrence of tumors if they extend their nighttime fasting to 13 hours or more.  “…may be a simple, non-pharmacological strategy for reducing a person’s risk of breast cancer recurrence and even other cancers” said lead author Catherine Marinac.


Our apple-rating:  5

five green apples rating bar




This is an older study;  and an observational study.  Also, lifestyle factors have not been taken into consideration.  Promising conclusion.  Adds to a number of other studies showing the benefit as stated in our article “Intermittent Fasting”.

For more from this article:

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New Section on Diets added

We have added a whole new section on diets, including information about the Paleo diet, the South Beach diet, and more. Start off with our “Introductions to Diets” and then explore the various diets. We have given definitions, specifics, background, research and studies for each one, plus our apple-rating.

Click here to go to the “Introduction to Diets” page