Slice it, dice it, seeded, seedless, take your pick...nothing says summertime like biting into a refreshing piece of watermelon. But did you know that this juicy summer favorite has several major health benefits?
-It can prevent cancer. Watermelon is packed with lycopene, an antioxidant responsible for watermelon’s bright pink color. This powerful antioxidant has been linked to a lowered risk for several types of cancer and has also been associated with a reduced risk of heart attacks according to Caitlin Doutt, Registered Dietician at .
- It can boost your immune system. In addition to its heart-protecting and cancer-fighting abilities, watermelon is also full of vitamin C. In need of an immune system boost and sick of turning to your morning orange juice? Just one cup of watermelon provides 25 percent of your daily recommended dose of vitamin C.
Tips for choosing watermelon: Look for a watermelon that is a bright shade of green, with the bottom having a patch of yellow, not white, says Kenny Bowers, a farmer in Millersville who brings his fresh herbicide-free produce to Columbia’s local farmers’ markets. Also, give your watermelon a small knock. “You want to be sure to hear a good echo, not a thump,” says Bowers.
Tips for enjoying it: Try adding more watermelon to your fruit salad, enjoying it alone as a snack or even try freezing cubes for a cold treat on a hot summer day.