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Here's Why You Should Start Eating More Watermelon

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Channel: Mashed
Categories: Cooking   |   Fine Arts   |   Health  
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Nothing screams summer like a big, red, juicy slice of watermelon. Its very mention almost inspires relaxation. Resplendent in thoughts of picnics, sunbathing, and backyard barbecues, watermelons are a signal to slow down and enjoy family gatherings. Mark Twain wrote of the watermelon,

"It is chief of this world's luxuries, king by grace of God over all the fruits of the earth."

We couldn't agree more. Watermelon not only conjures up good vibes, but it is also oozing with incredible nutritional and health benefits. If you aren't snacking on this superfood, especially during the summer months when it is in peak season and at its sweetest, you might want to reconsider.

Watermelon hails from Africa, where Egyptians feasted on it more than 5,000 years ago. Today, there are 1,200 varieties of watermelon, with the U.S. and Mexico growing between 200 and 300 different kinds of this fruit.

The most popular kinds of watermelon are seeded, seedless, mini, yellow, and orange flesh, and one of the many things that make all of these varieties so incredible is their composition. The watermelon is 92 percent water, contains only 46 calories per cup, and has zero fat. But that's just where all the goodness of watermelons begins. This fruit is so rich in antioxidants, you aren't going to want to go without ever again.

Because watermelon is mostly water, it can play an important role in keeping you hydrated. We know that proper hydration keeps our wheels running, as it helps to regulate our body temperature, cushions our joints, and moves waste out of our bodies. At least 20 percent of our water intake actually comes from the food we consume, and eating watermelon not only keeps you hydrated, but that high water content also helps your body feel full.

As a bonus, it can also help alleviate morning sickness in pregnant women by restoring lost hydration, while at the same time serving as a natural aid for easing heartburn and reducing swelling.

And, according to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry, if you drink watermelon juice which is just watermelon that has been put in a blender before a strenuous workout, it can help reduce your heart rate and aid in recovery by relieving muscle soreness the following day. This is largely due to the fact watermelon is full of the amino acids that aid in improving circulation.

We're not done yet! Watermelon is also an incredible source of two powerful antioxidants: beta-carotene and lycopene. Lycopene has long been touted for the role it places in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, and while tomatoes generally take center stage when we talk about lycopene, just one cup of watermelon actually contains the same amount of lycopene as two medium tomatoes. And while tomatoes need to be cooked to realize the optimal amount of this rich antioxidant, watermelon does not, making it easily accessible. Lycopene may help in keeping your eyes healthy, warding off macular degeneration.

Also? Watermelon contains large amounts of vitamins C and A, which play a critical role in the health of your hair and skin. And who doesn't want good hair and skin? Vitamin C is needed for your body to make collagen , which is an essential protein for keeping your hair strong and your skin smooth and soft. Vitamin A aids in skin cell repair, too, which all leads to better skin.

But eating watermelon isn't just good for you, it's good for our beautiful earth and for your pocketbook. How so? It's truly a no-waste food.

Watermelon seeds are also full of nutritional value. The thought of eating them might be scary, especially if you remember the old wives' tale about how if you swallow the seeds, a watermelon tree will start growing inside of you.

First, just in case there are still some believers, that's not true. Secondly, watermelon seeds are rich in magnesium, iron, and zinc, and provide plenty of health benefits in addition to the flesh, which means you're getting some serious bang for your buck. And as for the rind, that's edible, too: if you've never made watermelon rind pickles, you absolutely need to. Watermelon flesh, seeds, rind, and all is a superfood that is not only good to eat, but it's also good for you.

Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Mashed videos about your favorite foods are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the bell so you don't miss a single one.

Watch the full video for more info, because here's why you should start eating more watermelon.

#Watermelon #Summer #Fruit

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