Interesting Health Benefits Watermelon
Who doesn’t love a thick chilled slice of watermelon, especially on those lazy hazy days of summer? And the best part is, the health benefits of this juicy treat are just as delicious as the fruit itself!
Watermelons contain Vitamin C, Beta-carotene and a high amount of lycopene, a phytonutrient that gives fruits and vegetables such as watermelon and tomatoes their red color. Lycopene is a well-known antioxidant and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. There are studies showing a correlation between lycopene and the prevention of some cancers such as prostate, lung, stomach, colon, and breast.
Studies have also shown a link between lycopene and a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease due to its ability to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Beta-carotene (Vitamin A) and Vitamin C are both powerful antioxidants that provide a boost to the immune system.
Did you know that watermelons are approximately 92% water and rich in electrolytes (especially potassium which helps control blood pressure)? This makes them a great option for keeping your body hydrated! In fact, a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2013 found that watermelon juice “helped to reduce recovery heart rate and muscle soreness” in athletes. In addition to helping you stay hydrated and maintain electrolyte balance during physical activity, watermelon also contains l-citrulline (an amino acid) which is known to reduce fatigue and improve endurance, as well as reduce exercise-induced pain.
And another thing that many people may not be aware of is that watermelon is also great for the digestive system because it contains about 1 gram of fiber per serving. You have to admit, that is a really nice bonus.
Of course, there is nothing like a slice (or two, okay three!) of watermelon, but if you are feeling like a change a pace how about giving grilled watermelon a try? I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Here’s what you do.
- Quarter of a medium-sized watermelon
- Handful of fresh basil
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of balsamic vinegar to a boil.
- Reduce heat and allow the balsamic to simmer until it has reduced to approximately 1/2 cup. Stir occasionally.
- Remove balsamic from the stove. Set aside.
- Slice basil into thin strips or coarsely chop.
- Slice the watermelon into 1″ thick slices. Do not remove outer rind. This should make 4 slices.
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
- Grill the watermelon slices 2-3 minutes per side or until you can see grill marks on each side.
- Remove watermelon from grill and put one piece of fruit on a plate.
- Top with basil and a drizzle of the balsamic glaze.