Health Benefits of Watermelon

Watermelon is not only delicious, but extremely healthy, as well.

In fact, most melons are rich in potassium, a nutrient that may help control blood pressure, regulate heart beat, and possibly prevent strokes. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines state that a potassium-rich diet helps keep salt from raising blood pressure and may also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and possibly age-related bone loss. The guidelines encourage adults to consume 4,700 milligrams per day (while keeping sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams per day, which is one teaspoon of salt).

Watermelon has lycopene, which can
help reduce the risk of several cancers.

Melons are also abundant in vitamin C, one arm of the now-famous disease-fighting antioxidant trio. Another arm that's well represented is beta-carotene.

Researchers believe that beta-carotene and vitamin C are capable of preventing heart disease, cancer, and other chronic conditions. No matter which way you cut them, when it comes to nutrition, melons are number one.

Watermelon is a valuable source of lycopene, one of the carotenoids that have actually been studied in humans. Research indicates that lycopene is helpful in reducing the risk of prostate, breast, and endometrial cancers, as well as lung and colon cancer.

Whether you choose watermelons for their health benefits or simply for their good flavor, they can be an excellent snack, summer dish -- or gardening project.

Nutritional Values of Watermelon
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories 46
Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 g
Carbohydrate 11 g
Protein 1 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
2 mg
Vitamin A
865 IU
<1 mg
Pantothenic Acid <1 mg
<1 mg
Vitamin B6
<1 mg
Vitamin C
12 mg
11 mg
15 mg
170 mg
Carotenoids 7,481 micrograms

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