Watermelon: A Guilt-Free Summer Treat

This nutritional wonder contains less than 50 calories per cup

WatermelonThis article originally appeared on Live in the Now.

Nothing beats a big slice of ripe, icy cold watermelon on a hot summer afternoon. And you may just be surprised by the numerous health benefits of watermelon.

It’s one of the best food sources of glutathione, an antioxidant important for liver detoxification. It’s also a great source of lycopene, which reduces risk of prostate and other cancers.

And it contains citrulline, an amino acid that converts to arginine, which helps to dilate blood vessels and may help blood pressure. It’s also a decent source of potassium, vitamin C and beta-carotene.

And it has only 46 calories per cup!

Peak watermelon season is mid-June to late August. A ripe watermelon will sound hollow when you rap on it, and the rind will look slightly waxy, not dull. The bottom should be yellowish, a sign that it’s been allowed to ripen in the field.

When buying cut watermelon, look for the reddest, firmest flesh. Paleness is a sign of unripe fruit, and mealiness signals over-ripeness.

It’s hard to improve on perfection. Watermelon is great just the way it is, but it’s also wonderful in fruit salads and salsa.

The bottom line: There are many reasons for including colorful fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Not only do they provide a wide array of powerful health-promoting nutrients, they also taste amazing.

Be sure to eat deeply colored, antioxidant -rich fruits and vegetables like watermelon on a daily basis, or take an antioxidant-rich supplement to make up for any deficiencies in your diet.

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