Does a Serving of Watermelon a Day Keep the Cardiologist Away?
Watermelon is a delicious summer treat. Plus it’s a nutritious superfood that deserves a little recognition!
Watermelon contains the highest level of lycopene of any fresh fruit or vegetable. Lycopene is a carotenoid (a pigment created by a plant to give it color) with strong antioxidant powers. This antioxidant power is likely why higher lycopene intake has been linked to reduced risk for cardiovascular disease. In addition to reducing disease risk, lycopene may be helpful in protecting skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Trying to exercise more to help with heart health? Watermelon can help with this as well. At 92% water, and with 7% of your daily potassium needs a serving of watermelon can help keep you hydrated and avoid muscle cramps.
Being overweight is a strong risk factor for cardiovascular disease. With only 90 calories per 2 cups watermelon can be a great addition to the diet for weight loss or maintenance. A 2-cup serving does contain 22 gm of carbohydrate so you can have too much, especially for those with blood sugar issues.
To make sure you get the most delicious and nutritious watermelon follow these three steps:
- Look it over. The rind should be firm and free of soft spots or bruises
- Lift it up. You want the heaviest one
- Turn it over. A creamy yellow spot on the underside of the melon indicates it has been given enough time to ripen in the sun