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Eat Healthy : What a melon!

Eat Healthy : What a melon!
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Watermelon is not only great on a hot summer day, but this delectable thirst quencher may also help reduce the inflammation that contributes to...

Watermelon is not only great on a hot summer day, but this delectable thirst quencher may also help reduce the inflammation that contributes to conditions like asthama, atheroscierosis, diabetes, arthritis and colon cancer eat2 eat3No other fruit says summer like the subtly crunchy sweet and juicy watermelon. Although watermelons can be found throughout the year, the summer is when they are the sweetest and of the best quality. Watermelon is not only great on a hot summer's day, but this delectable thirst quencher may also help reduce the inflammation that contributes to conditions like asthama, atheroscierosis, diabetes, arthritis and colon cancer. Did you know that the first thing marathon runners reach for after intense training is the delicious watermelon? Sweet, juicy watermelon is actually packed with some of the most important antioxidants in nature. Watermelon is an excellent source of Vitamin A, notably through its concentration of Beta-carotene. Pink watermelon is also a source of the potent carotenoid antioxidant, lycopene. These powerful antioxidants through the body neutralising free radicals. Free radicals are substances in the body that can cause a great deal of damage. They are able to oxidise cholesterol, making it stick to blood vessel walls where it can lead to heart attack or stroke. They can add to the severity of asthama attacks by causing airways to clamp down and close. They can increase the inflammation that occurs in osteoarthritis and cause most of the joint damage that occurs in these conditions, and they can damage cells lining the colon, turning them into cancer cells. But watermelon with all its goodness can offset free radical damage and is excellent for cancer patients. Apart from fighting a variety of cancers, watermelons can combat skin problems and even improve eyesight with its antioxidant properties. Watermelons are zero in fat, and very high in water content. A Chinese herbal book claims that water melons cool fevers and moisten the lungs. In addition, the seeds will clear phlegm and benefit the intestines. Watermelons are also prescribed to relieve tuberculosis cough and constipation. For a tooth ache caused by wind and heat, take six grams of melon skin, add water and steam till cooked. When cool, use as a mouth rinse. Eat them on their own or they may cause gas. So sit down to a nice bowl of freshly chopped watermelon, or eat an entire smile-shaped wedge � which is, I feel, the most fun way to eat it! (The writer is a Mumbai based nutritionist, obesity and health consultant)
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