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Refresh and refuel with watermelon

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

By: Betsy Hansen


Refresh and refuel with watermelon

 

Crunchy, sweet, and hydrating… watermelon plays double duty as dessert and a healthy snack.

 

Not only is watermelon low on the calorie scale (just 86 calories per slice!) but it’s packed with vitamins A and C. A significant amount of cancer-fighting lycopene also shows up in this super-fruit. Wait until the watermelon ripens – the best time to reap the benefits is when the flesh turns from the white-pink stage to the fully red stage.

 

Surprising benefits

 

What comes to mind when you think of heart healthy foods? Oatmeal. Almonds. Salmon. What about watermelon? Studies have shown a watermelon supplement has improved ankle blood pressure in adults with hypertension.

 

An athlete’s go-to snack

 

Achy muscles be gone! A natural chemical found in watermelon speeds up lactic acid removal, the chemical that makes muscles ache after exercise. And in turn, athletes can quickly get back to their workouts without muscle pain. It can even boost performance. The amino acid L-citrulline widens the blood vessels and increases glucose transport throughout muscles. This will keep athletes’ endurance consistent throughout their workout.

 

Watermelon season

 

Now is the ideal time to incorporate more watermelon into your daily diet. Pair it with fish, create a unique salad, and of course, watermelon is a perfect ingredient in a refreshing summer drink! Here are a few ideas:

 

Grilled grouper with watermelon salsa

 

Watermelon-lime cooler

 

Arugula salad with watermelon and feta

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BayCare Clinic, baycare.net, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.