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This Fruit Could Be Your Diet’s Best Friend

Raise your hand if you have ever dug into a cool and juicy slice of watermelon just to cool off on a hot summer day. Anyone?
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Also known as: Melon or varietal names, like Pixie, Little Baby Flower, Yellow Doll, Crimson Sweet, Extazy

Likes: Summer, summer and summer

Dislikes: The sun is shining and everyone is on vacation and happy, what’s there to dislike?

Hobbies: Cooling and hydrating

Find Him: Clutched in sticky fingers (big and small) during hot summer months, tossed in salads with other fruit or creamy and pungent cheeses, blended into refreshingly cold sorbets, granitas and popsicles

Raise your hand if you have ever dug into a cool and juicy slice of watermelon just to cool off on a hot summer day. Anyone? Watermelon is pretty sure that almost every hand in the house is raised (OK, it’s hot out, please put your arms down). If any fruit or vegetable embodies summer, it is Watermelon! Sure, there’s Tomato and Peach and all those other nutritious and flavorful choices right now, but Watermelon’s high water content (92%!), sweet and fresh flavor, and messy juiciness best enjoyed outside make him a crowd-pleasing favorite in the summer months.

Watermelon, a member of the squash family, has made his way from the heat of Africa and the tombs of Pharaohs in the Nile Valley across the seas to the Mediterranean, China and Europe, and finally to the Americas, to help quench your thirst. It’s been a long journey, but a fruit (or veggie, depending on whom you ask) this good just has to be shared—on back porches with family, at the lake with friends, at the company picnic with co-workers, on restaurant menus, and anywhere else you can take a few minutes to sit down and savor a sweet and healthy treat.

We all love Watermelon, a summer staple, but here are a few more reasons to keep him on the menu as long as possible:

Vitamins A & C – Good for the eyes and good for the skin, over the years, these vitamins have also been linked to such potential health benefits as improved mood and boosted immunity. Watermelon and Mango see eye to eye about the powerful health benefits of these vitamins.

Lycopene – Watermelon knows you may only think of Tomato when it comes to this much talked about antioxidant, but he can pack a lycopene punch of his own. Lycopene may help prevent certain types of cancer—and what a delicious way to fight for your health.

Potassium – Get added potassium from Watermelon, which may help lower blood pressure. So even if your summer isn’t as relaxing and restful as it could be, you can still keep your blood pressure under control.
Water, water, water – You may be trying to lose weight or just working on staying hydrated. Either way, Watermelon can help with that high water content and few calories! One cup of diced watermelon contains only about 50 calories and can be cut up and stored for an easy-to-grab snack, side or even dessert.

How do you include Watermelon in your diet? For ideas, try these recipes or order one of these Healthy Dining choices featuring Watermelon:

Appetizer: Fresh Watermelon and Feta Salad at BJ's Restaurants
(60 calories, 3.5 g fat, 180 mg sodium)
Located in AZ, CA, CO, FL, IN, KY, LA, NV, OH, OK, OR, TX, WA

Watermelon Sherbet (Single Scoop) at Friendly’s
(80 calories, 1 g fat, 15 mg sodium)
Located in the Eastern U.S.

Strawberry Watermelon Chiller (32 oz.) at Frullati
(190 calories, 0 g fat, 15 mg sodium)
Located in AR, FL, IN, IL, MI, OH, OK, TN, TX

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