Watermelon is that sweet, tasty summertime fruit that we all know and love. For many years it was thought of as simply a fruit made of sugar and water, and nothing more. Through recent research, it turns out that watermelon is very healthy!
The National Watermelon Promotion Board is pleased to promote watermelon as the Lycopene Leaderamong fresh produce, and promotes watermelon as being an important part of a healthy diet. Watermelon has excellent levels of vitamins A and C and a good level of vitamin B6.
Vitamin A found in watermelon is important for optimal eye health and boosts immunity by enhancing the infection-fighting actions of white blood cells called lymphocytes.
Vitamin B6 found in watermelon helps the immune system produce antibodies. These Antibodies are needed to fight many diseases. Vitamin B6 also helps to maintain normal nerve function and form red blood cells. The body uses it to help break down proteins. The more protein you eat, the more vitamin B6 you need as part of your diet.
Vitamin C in watermelon can help to bolster the immune system’s defenses against infections and viruses, and can protect a body from harmful free radicals that can accelerate aging and conditions such as cataracts.
Potassium in a two-cup serving of watermelon is also beneficial. Potassium is a mineral necessary for water balance and found inside of every cell. People with low potassium levels can experience muscle cramps.
Watermelon also is low or free of cholesterol, fat, and sodium. It is great in its original form as slices or cubes, and is also delicious in salads and smoothies. Double up your serving size to heap you reach your fruit and vegetable intake of 8 servings for the day.
Anna Ford, MBA, RD
Nutrition Services Director
As the Nutrition Services Director, I am responsible for managing all aspects of dining services for both the Health Care Center and Assisted Living for Lakewood, as well as fulfilling all responsibilities as a Registered Dietitian for the Health Care Center, Assisted Living, and Memory support. Independent Living residents are also provided RD services upon request from our onsite clinic.
I have a BS degree in Nutrition and Food Science from Auburn University, and have a MBA from Averett University. Prior to joining the Lakewood Team, I worked in Nutrition Operations, and Clinical Operations for hospitals throughout the Richmond area, and have also worked as an RD in Outpatient Counseling and Long Term Care settings. I am married to my wonderful husband, Chris, and we have two Rat Terrier/Chihuahua mixes named Scooter and Recee.