METRO PLUS

The complete drink

A SLICE of watermelon is the closest thing to heaven for a parched throat in summer. A watermelon may weigh even up to 20 kg. The flesh comes in three colours — the familiar red, white and yellow. It is rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that gives the tomato its luscious colour.

Lycopene prevents heart disease and cancer by mopping up free radicals, which contain highly reactive molecules that attack DNA and the inner lining of blood vessels. Cells with damaged DNA can turn cancerous. Blood vessels with damaged inner linings are prime targets for the build-up of vessel-narrowing plaques and cholesterol deposits.

A diet rich in antioxidants like lycopene can lower risk of such diseases, besides slowing the aging process.

The juicy flesh is also rich in Vitamin A and contains some Vitamin C.

Vitamin A is essential for vision, reproduction, growth and for maintaining healthy skin.

The fruit pulp is low in sodium and is good for heart patients on a low salt diet. 100 grams of juicy watermelon flesh contains 32 calories.

Although this makes it an excellent low-calorie snack, its high water content makes it easy to overeat without feeling sated.

A few slice on a hot day, and bingo, you are in the custard apple calorie bracket. It gets worse if you add sugar to the juice or ice cream. No low-calorie food comes with an eat-all-you-want licence.

M. RAJIV

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