For a long time, watermelon has been taken for granted as a sweet, tasty summertime fruit, made of sugar and water, and nothing more. Over the past years, nutritionists, medical professionals, scientists and researchers have taken an interest to find out more about watermelon’s health benefits. As it turns out, watermelon is incredibly healthy! The Watermelon Board is proud to say that watermelon is the Lycopene Leader among fresh produce. In addition to its healthy properties and effects on women, children, men and pregnant women, watermelon is an important part of a healthy diet.
Nutritionists have long appreciated the health benefits watermelon provides. Watermelon not only boosts your “health esteem,” but it is has excellent levels of vitamins A and C and a good level of vitamin B6.
Vitamin A found in watermelon is important for optimal eye health and boosts immunity by enhancing the infection-fighting actions of white blood cells called lymphocytes.
Vitamin B6 found in watermelon helps the immune system produce antibodies. Antibodies are needed to fight many diseases. Vitamin B6 helps maintain normal nerve function and form red blood cells. The body uses it to help break down proteins. The more protein you eat, the more vitamin B6 you need.
Vitamin C in watermelon can help to bolster the immune system’s defenses against infections and viruses and can protect a body from harmful free radicals that can accelerate aging and conditions such as cataracts.
A two-cup serving of watermelon is also a source of potassium, a mineral necessary for water balance and found inside of every cell.
3 cups chopped watermelon
1/2 cup green peppers
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon green onions
2 tablespoons jalapeno peppers
Combine ingredients, mix well and cover. Refrigerate 1 hour or more.
Servings: Makes 3 cups.
Recipe credit: National Watermelon Promotion Board