What is in your mind when you are asked about the nutritional benefits of watermelon? Water is a prominent part of its name. Watermelon is 92 percent water. What else do you really know?
Watermelon is a good source of vitamin A. Vitamin A helps maintain normal vision and helps keep skin and hair glossy. It also promotes growth.
Aside from vitamin A, watermelon is also a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts the body’s ability to fight infection and helps keep gums healthy. It is an antioxidant, protecting body cells from damage by free radicals.
One cup or one slice of watermelon that is about 140 grams gives 140 micrograms of betacarotene and 9.8 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C. This is 13 percent of the Recommended Energy and Nutrient Intakes (RENI) of a normal adult.
It is low in calories, yet gives the feeling of fullness. One cup or a slice of watermelon has only 43 kilocalories.
Recent studies also indicated that watermelon contains lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that appears to help prevent heart disease. Lycopene is also found in tomatoes and pink grapefruit.
Remember, watermelon is not only refreshing but it is also good for your health.
According to Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos 2000 developed by the Technical Working Group headed by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute-Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST), you should eat more vegetables, fruits, and rootcrops.
Written by Ma. Idelia G. Glorioso, RUMD of FNRI-DOST