Not Just a Summer Fruit

Tracey Cheek, Staff Writer

   Think about those glorious warm summer days – getting home from the beach, and throwing food on the grill. What’s better to top off a glorious summer day than a few juicy slices of watermelon? Don’t be fooled by its juicy sweetness, recent studies are showing more and more benefits from this fruit that is a favorite among many. Next time you’re at the grocery store, make sure to get a shopping cart so you can lug those twenty-pound watermelons right up to the register!
Many don’t think of watermelons as one of the most nutritious fruits since it is composed of 90 percent water.  However, it is extremely rich in vitamins and because it is basically all water, it is very low in calories. One slice of watermelon gives you about 1/3 of the recommended vitamin A and C servings.  So, by eating three slices of watermelon, which is just as easy said as it is done, you have fulfilled your servings for the day.
Watermelon is also proven to help heawatermelonrt health and combat cancer. Studies have shown that supplement with watermelon extract have helped improve high blood pressure. The potassium levels in watermelon are a pretty modest amount compared other fruits. Potassium is known to help soothe sore muscles, because people with low potassium levels often experience muscle cramps.
More recent studies refer to watermelon as a “natural Viagra.” Citrulline is a nutrient with the ability to relax blood vessels – much like Viagra does. Researchers are calling watermelon the more natural enhancer, and are looking to see if it does in fact increase libido in addition to relaxing blood vessels.  It is not as organ-targeted as Viagra, but it is all-natural and avoids any drug-related side effects.  Perhaps watermelon may be seen as more of a Valentines Day fruit instead of a summer-time snack.
Buying a watermelon can be a tricky process since they all look the same. Who’s to tell what the inside will look like? Well, when going for the best of the best, choose a watermelon that is firm and symmetrical. As with all fruits, avoid the ones with dents and bruises. A good watermelon is heavy because of all of the water in it. Lastly, the underside of the melon should have a yellow spot from where it was on the ground and has ripened in the sun.
Although watermelon isn’t the easiest of fruits to prepare, it clearly has benefits that go beyond its yummy taste. It’s obviously a fruit that will keep you cool in the dog days of summer, but you just can’t go wrong eating it all year round!

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