Wonderful Watermelon

When I was little I loved watermelon gum. And, to this day, if I am stuck in line at the grocery store, I will pick a pack and take whiff. It still smells awesome...even if I no longer relish the taste.

Real watermelon, on the other hand, has never been as appealing to me. I know so many people who really love a slice in the summer, but I unfortunately am not among them. To me it doesn't really taste at all. It is just...watery I guess.

And yet, I am drawn to watermelon in a weird way. It is big, and therefore hard to miss piled high at the grocery store. It is colorful...hot pink and green is an eye catching combo. And, I just like the name. Watermelon.

What's even more appealing about this BBW (big beautiful watermelon, in this instance), is that it's beauty is much more than skin deep. Watermelon is incredibly good for you! Like, really good for you. So good, that it would be easier to tell you what's NOT good about it.

First of all, lycopene. A few years ago, we started hearing all about lycopene. It is good for you and you should consume it. Vitamin commercials praised it, and pretty soon ketchup bottles jumped on the bandwagon since lycopene is most notably found in tomatoes. The truth is, the jury is still out on the actual verdict, but there is some evidence which link the antioxident effects of lycopene to decreases in things like cancer & cardiovascular disease. And, even though tomotoes get most of the credit, watermelon may actually be a better source since the high water content makes it easier for your body to absorb it.

Next up, vitamins.

Vitamin A in watermelon helps prevent night blindness and macular degeneration (AKA your eyes getting bad as you age) and boosts immunity by enhancing infection-fighting action in lymphocytes.

Vitamin B6 found in watermelons is extremely useful in manufacturing brain chemicals (neurotransmitters), such as serotonin, melatonin and dopamine, which preliminary research shows may help the body cope with anxiety and panic.

Vitamin C is also instrumental in boosting the body immune system and also deters aging and conditions such as cataract.

Watermelon also provides minimal amount of Potassium, which reduces muscle cramps and helps fight osteoporosis, kidney stones, high blood pressure, and strokes.

Finally, as the name would indicate, water. Watermelons by weight are about 92% water. So they are a filling and hydrating snack. And, we all know by now how important water is to our bodies, especially during hot summer months.

There are more than 1200 varieties of watermelon ranging in size from less than a pound, to more than 200 pounds with flesh that is red, orange, yellow, or white. It is believed to have originated in southern Africa, and watermelon seeds were even found in the tomb of the Pharoah Tutankhamun. Today the seeds are roasted and used as a healthy snack in many Arab countries because they are high in protein and fiber.

You can check out the National Watermelon Promotion Board for more information than you ever dreamed possible on watermelons. How to choose a good one, festivals in your area, tons of recipes, and LOTS more. I am pretty anxious to try the summer melon soup myself.

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