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3 ways watermelon keeps you

Watermelon is a healthy food choice no matter where you live. It’s low in calories - only about 51 per cup - and it will give you a nutritious dose of vitamins A and C, potassium, and the antioxidant lycopene.

 

* PROVIDES PROSTATE PROTECTION - Watermelon is the fresh food champ when it comes to lycopene - even beating out fresh tomatoes. This naturally occurring chemical gives many fruits and vegetables their red color and is known to fight prostate cancer. But most people associate it with tomatoes. Although canned tomato products are highest in lycopene, watermelon beat out all other fresh fruits or vegetables. So enjoy a slice whenever you can for super prostate protection.

* ENHANCES HEART HEALTH - Watermelon has earned the American Heart Association’s “heart check” seal of approval. This certification program was developed to help shoppers easily identify foods that are part of a heart healthy diet. To qualify, a food must be low in total and saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. It also must contain at least 10 percent of the daily value of one or more key nutrients - protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, or dietary fiber.

Watermelon not only meets, but exceeds these requirements. It also contains lycopene to help fight cholesterol, and potassium, a mineral that battles high blood pressure and stroke. All that adds up to first-rate heart protection.

* WATCHES YOUR WEIGHT - If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, fill yourself up, and stay on your diet, slice up a watermelon. Experts know foods with a high water content help you lose weight, and watermelon is a staggering 92 percent water. What’s more, one slice contains only a single gram of fat. So don’t pass up dessert just because you’re watching your weight - make for the melon.

* HOW TO PICK THE PERFECT WATERMELON - Picking out the perfect melon is easy, according to the National Watermelon Promotion Board. First, choose one that is symmetrical and firm, without bruises, cuts, or dents. Next, pick it up. You’re looking for one that’s heavy for its size. Finally, turn it over. If you see a yellow area, the watermelon rested on the ground while it ripened in the sun, which means you’ll get a sweeter, juicier melon.

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