Why We Should Happily Feed Our Grandchildren Healthy Watermelon and Enjoy It Ourselves

watermelon-granitaI love watermelon.  It is the best summer treat.  I always thought it was full of calories and little else, lacking any nutrition.  As a grandma, I always feed my grandchildren watermelon.  I am not that concerned about nutrition, as we grandmas are all joy and no responsibility.  On twitter recently, was a WebMd tweet, called, “8 Reasons to Love Watermelon,” by Katherine Brooking, MS, RD, a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s Degree in Nutrition Education from Columbia University. After reading and learning all about the health benefits of watermelon, I call it, “Why We Should Happily Feed Our Grandchildren Healthy Watermelon and Enjoy It Ourselves.”

Ms. Brooking lets us know that watermelon is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, and potassium, which we know contribute to good health.   I always thought we needed to eat bananas for potassium.  And the calorie count is very low, with two cups, and who can eat so much, only 80 calories.  Of course, keeping the grandchildren hydrated in the summer is a problem, and watermelon, according to Ms. Brooking, is 92% water.

Next, Ms. Brooking says it is healthy because of its color, because watermelon is loaded with something called lycopene:

“Lycopene gives watermelon (as well as tomatoes, pink grapefruit and guava) its red color – and  strong antioxidant properties. Some studies suggest lycopene can help prevent cardiovascular disease, while others show that it may help protect against certain cancers as well as cataracts. For the most lycopene, make sure your watermelon has a deep pink color, rather than a white-pink hue.”

And something else called citrulline:

“Among all of the produce picks, watermelon is the best source of citrulline. Citrulline is an amino acid that our bodies convert to arginine, an essential amino acid that plays a key role in relaxing blood vessels, helping to improve blood flow. The potassium in this fruit also helps lower blood pressure.”

This is definitely something we should share with the parents of our grandchildren.   Read her entire article on WebMd.

Now that we grandmas know the value of watermelon in our diet, we can eat as much as we want and fill ourselves up with water and little calories.  There are lots of fun recipes we can make for and with our grandchildren.  Check out Super Healthy Kids.

There is even a Watermelon website, with activities to do with kids with watermelon, as well as recipes. Our grandchildren demand seedless watermelon and wonder why it still has seeds.  We can learn more about the science of watermelon with our grandchildren on the watermelon site as well.

Now, we have to remember red is good.  There are even tips on how to pick a sweet watermelon to share with our grandchildren.

 

Such joy,

Mema

 

 

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