Summer Solstice 2018 . . . Celebrate with Watermelon !

The summer solstice – the annual moment when the sun is at its highest point in the sky – occurs Thursday at 6:07 a.m. EDT. That marks the beginning of astronomical summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
Many people around the world celebrate the summer solstice with music and festivities. In England, hundreds of people travel to the ancient site Stonehenge to celebrate the first day of summer.
Solstice celebrations there have been going on for thousands of years. 
Since a celebration seems to in order .. think Watermelon!
It is very healthy . . .abundantly available  and can be used in many ways.

Can you say Watermelon Martini?

Following are a few of the heath benefits of consuming watermelon:

      – Helps You Hydrate

Drinking water is an important way to keep your body hydrated.However, eating foods that have a high water content can also help. Interestingly, watermelon is 92% water (1).A high water content is one of the reasons that fruits and vegetables help you feel full. The combination of water and fiber means you’re eating a good volume of food without a lot of calories.

   – Contains Nutrients and Beneficial Plant Compounds – 

  • As far as fruits go, watermelon is one of the lowest in calories — only 46 calories per cup. That’s lower than even “low-sugar” fruits such as berries (2).A cup (154 grams) of watermelon has many other nutrients as well, including these vitamins and minerals:.
  • Vitamin C:21% of the RDI
  • Vitamin A:18% of the RDI
  • Potassium:5% of the RDI
  • Magnesium:4% of the RDI
  • Vitamins B1, B5 and B6:3% of the RDI
  • Watermelon is also high in carotenoids, including beta-carotene and lycopene. Plus, it has citrulline, an important amino acid.– Contains Compounds That May Help Prevent CancerResearchers have studied lycopene and other individual plant compounds in watermelon for their anti-cancer effects. Although lycopene intake is linked to a lower risk of some types of cancer, the results are mixed. The strongest link so far seems to be between lycopene and cancers of the digestive system (1). Lycopene appears to reduce cancer risk by lowering insulin-like growth factor (IGF), a protein involved
  •  May Improve Heart Health          Heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide  Lifestyle factors, including diet, may lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes by reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels  Several nutrients in watermelon have specific benefits for heart health. Studies suggest that lycopene may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It can also help prevent oxidative damage to cholesterol (1).  According to studies in obese postmenopausal women and Finnish men, lycopene may also help reduce the stiffness and thickness of artery wa

 May Lower Inflammation and Oxidative Stress

Inflammation is a key driver of many chronic diseases  Watermelon may help lower inflammation and oxidative damage, since it’s rich in the anti-inflammatory antioxidants lycopene and vitamin C . In a 2015 study, lab rats were fed watermelon powder to supplement an unhealthy diet. Compared with the control group, they developed lower levels of C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation) and less oxidative stress. In an earlier study, humans were given lycopene-rich tomato juice with added vitamin C. Overall, their markers of inflammation went down and antioxidants went up. Watermelon has both lycopene and vitamin C

 May Help Relieve Muscle Soreness

Citrulline, an amino acid in watermelon, may reduce muscle soreness. Interestingly, watermelon juice appears to enhance the bio-availability of citrulline. One small study gave athletes plain watermelon juice, watermelon juice mixed with citrulline or a citrulline drink. Both watermelon drinks led to less muscle soreness and quicker heart rate recovery, compared to citrulline on its own  The researchers also conducted a test-tube experiment, investigating the absorption of citrulline. Their findings suggest that citrulline absorption is most effective when it’s consumed as a component of watermelon juice. Other research has also looked at citrulline’s potential to improve exercise endurance and performance. So far, citrulline doesn’t seem to improve exercise performance in the amounts studied, but it’s still an area of research interest

Is Good for Skin and Hair 

Two vitamins in watermelon — A and C — are important for skin and hair health. Vitamin C helps your body make collagen, a protein that keeps your skin supple and your hair strong. Vitamin A is also important for healthy skin since it helps create and repair skin cells. Without enough vitamin A, your skin can look dry and flaky. Both lycopene and beta-carotene may also help protect your skin from sunburn.

Succulent watermelon in the shape of Great State of Texas!

 

Thirst quenching watermelon in the shape of Texas star