Christeena Haynes, MS, RD, LD, former Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Dallas County, University of Missouri Extension
There is nothing better than eating a juicy slice of watermelon on a hot summer day — not only is watermelon a delicious treat, but it is also nutritious.
Watermelon is 92 percent water so it will keep you hydrated. It is high in lycopene, an antioxidant that may prevent some types of cancer and cardiovascular disease. A 2-cup serving of watermelon is an excellent source of vitamins A and C. Vitamin A keeps the eyes healthy, while vitamin C aids with faster healing. Watermelon is also a good source of vitamin B6, which helps boost the immune system, maintain regular nerve function and produce red blood cells. It also contains potassium, a mineral that assists with blood pressure regulation. In addition to these health benefits, watermelon is one of the fruits with the least amount of pesticide residues, according to the Environmental Working Group.
For tips on how to select and store a high quality watermelon, see the full version of this article at http://missourifamilies.org/