Monday, June 27, 2011

Slave Food: Watermelon

What Watermelons Have to Offer

Besides tasting great and being low in calories because watermelon is mostly water, it is an excellent source of Vitamin C, which a major antioxidant. It has a high beta carotene concentration, thus offering a fair amount of vitamin A as well. Both beta carotene with vitamin A help support good eyesight and prevent glaucoma. [Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in African Americans. African Americans ages 45-65 are 14 to 17 times more likely to go blind from glaucoma than Caucasians with glaucoma in the same age group.]

High intakes of combined beta-carotene and vitamin C have demonstrated, through clinical and scientific studies:
  • Warding off various cancers: [African Americans have the highest mortality rate of any racial and ethnic group for all cancers ]
  • Warding off heart disease: [African American adults are more likely to be diagnosed with coronary heart disease, and they are more likely to die from heart disease];
  • Reducing arthritis symptoms:[Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States, causing handicap to nearly 19 million adults aged 18 years and older.]
  • Minimizing asthmatic breathing problems [African American Women have the highest asthma mortality rate].

A surprise nutrient is vitamin B, especially B1(thiamine)and B6(pyridoxine). Thiamine is important for maintaining electrolytes and nervous system signal transmissions throughout the body. Pyridoxine is essential for enzymatic functions that convert food into cellular energy.

The meat or pulp of watermelons is usually pink or red. Those colors indicate the highest content oflycopene, an antioxidant lauded for its ability to greatly minimize cancer risks . From theWorlds' Healthiest Foods website , "... lycopene has been repeatedly studied in humans and found to be protective against a growing list of cancers. These cancers now include prostate cancer, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, lung cancer and colorectal cancers."

Then there are the minerals of potassium and magnesium, which watermelons also offer abundantly. Potassium is important for cardiovascular health and brain health and helps the kidneys eliminate kidney stone forming calcium as well as assists with the body's fluid retention.
Magnesium is considered the master mineral. It is involved with over 300 cellular metabolic functions. It happens to be lacking in our diets because of our depleted topsoils. Magnesium deficiencies are directly or indirectly related to most of our population's poor health issues. Obvious symptoms are irritability, tension, sleep disorders, and muscular cramping. After that, it's heart attacks and other serious illnesses.

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