It's hard to beat a slice of watermelon at a holiday picnic. One can almost taste the sweet red flesh and feel the fruit's succulent juices dripping down your chin.

Nutrition experts at UT Southwestern Medical Center say you shouldn't fret if your seed doesn't arc its way into the watermelon seed-spitting record books. The fleshy fruit is a nutritional award-winner on its own.

One 2-cup serving of diced watermelon contains loads of vitamins A and C, no fat and only 80 calories. It's also packed with lycopene, an antioxidant which may aid in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

"Watermelon is a great fruit to help you hydrate and cool down in the summer heat," said Lona Sandon, assistant professor of clinical nutrition at UT Southwestern and a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. "Also, since it's mostly made up of water, pureed watermelon makes a refreshing drink."

UT Southwestern Medical Center
5323 Harry Hines Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75390-9060
United States