Aug 07 2016

Healthy Benefits from Fresh Summer Fruits

Published by at 10:49 am under probiotic supplements

Summer’s fresh fruits bring a bounty of health benefits.
Among summer’s fruits that bring supreme nutritional benefits is… watermelon!

It’s the best time of year for fruits and vegetables as crops ripen and are in abundance at the grocery store and farmers markets. Cherries, peaches, apricots, strawberries, plums and watermelon are just a few. Organic fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.. One, in particular—watermelon —  provides an especially high value, despite prior beliefs that is only water and sugar, with “…impressive concentrations of phenolic antioxidants, flavonoids, lycopene, and vitamin C…”1*

In the past, watermelon had a bit of a bad rap as it was thought to be just water and sugar. But researchers are discovering it is much more than that. Watermelon has become a focus of recent research because next to tomatoes, it has one of the highest levels of lycopene. Lycopene, a carotenoid phytonutrient, is important for cardiovascular health and possibly even for bone health. Other important sources for lycopene are pink grapefruit and guava. 2*

Researchers have also found that the lycopene content of watermelon remains stable when refrigerated for a period of time. Watermelon cut into two-inch cubes and stored at 36°F (2°C) for over 48 hours had virtually no deterioration in lycopene content. (1,2)*

Another attribute of watermelon that interests scientists is that it contains citrulline. “…Citrulline is an amino acid that is commonly converted by our kidneys and other organ systems into arginine (another amino acid). The flesh of a watermelon contains about 250 millligrams of citrulline per cup. When our body absorbs this citrulline, one of the steps it can take is conversion of citrulline into arginine. Particularly if a person’s body is not making enough arginine, higher levels of arginine can help improve blood flow and other aspects of our cardiovascular health. There’s also some preliminary evidence from animal studies that greater conversion of citrulline into arginine may help prevent excess accumulation of fat in fat cells due to blocked activity of an enzyme called tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase, or TNAP…”2*

Watermelon is also a great source for both Vitamin C and other antioxidants which help prevent the formation of free radicals, so important in cancer prevention. It is also a good source of beta carotene which is great for our skin and hair! “…Watermelon also contains thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, choline, lycopene and betaine…”(1,2*)

In order to get the maximum nutritional benefits from watermelon, it needs to be eaten when it is fully ripened, as its  biggest increase in lycopene content and beta carotene occurs when the flesh of the watermelon goes from white-pink to pink. As it continues to ripen, and the color changes from pink to red, these nutrients become even more concentrated. Like lycopene and beta-carotene, total phenolic antioxidants in a watermelon also increase consistently during ripening, all the way up until the appearance of fully red flesh. The bottom line: eating a fully ripe watermelon can really pay off in terms of nutrient benefits. 2*

Lastly, and certainly not least, watermelon is an excellent source for both soluble and insoluble fiber, which feeds the friendly microbes in our gut. Just as BODY BIOTICSâ„¢ Bio Identical SBO Probiotics Consortiaâ„¢ contains both probiotics and prebiotics, it is so important to consume both good microbes and the food they eat. Watermelon is not a super concentrated source of fiber, but it is usually consumed in large amounts, so for a low amount of calories, it can be a good source. It is also great for hydration due to its high water content, which additionally helps with digestion.(1,2)*

In one cup of watermelon, there is only 46 calories, and the following:

Vitamin C 16%

Pantothenic acid 7%

Copper 7%

Vitamin A 5%

Potassium 5%

Biotin 5%

Magnesium 4%

Vitamin B6 4%

Vitamin B1 4%2*

 

So indulge in this delicious fruit and all the gifts of nature we are given this time of year. If you can grow it yourself, pick it fresh from the vine or a tree, even better. Happy summer!

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

 

www.bodybiotics.com

 

 

Resources:

  1. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266886.php
  2. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=31

 

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