Yes, your BBQ has a side of watermelon, naturally. You know it is hydrating and has a surprisingly low sugar content? But did you know it is also packed with antioxidants?

You’ve heard the term anti-oxidant in the same sense as ‘good for you’  but do you realize the important role it has in our bodies? A quick few facts that will have you looking for these free-radicals ‘eaters”. Free radicals cause disease and damage to our bodies. Think prevention of diabetes, heart disease, and yep, even cancer. The body needs balance if the free radicals outnumber the antioxidants, the body goes into ‘oxidative stress’. Stress of almost any kind is not good. This state causes damage to tissues, and we become ill.

Lycopene gives watermelon its vibrant pink hues, it is a carotenoid that gives many fruits and vegetables a red color. It is both an antioxidant and an anti-cancer nutrient. It is the most powerful antioxidant in foods. Lycopene is in many cells, its presence in the skin literally protects against solar radiation damage. High lycopene foods include guavas, cooked tomatoes, watermelon, grapefruit, papaya, sweet red peppers, persimmon, asparagus, red cabbage, and mangos.

H. Sies studied micronutrient’s role in cancer prevention and we have him to thank for these important contributions. Watermelon can also help people who already have cancer, plus since it is 90% water helps with the common problem of dehydration.

Watermelon can be made into a drink, a salad with feta cheese and balsamic vinegar, look and ask around for healthy watermelon recipes.