Joelle Reizes - July 23, 2013
Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that has many health benefits, including protecting the heart and blood vessels. Higher levels of lycopene have been shown to protect against heart attack as well as general cardiovascular disease development.
This recipe for Tomato-Watermelon Salad is packed full of lycopene, because both tomatoes and watermelons contain the antioxidant. In fact, watermelon contains the highest concentration of lycopene of any fresh fruit or vegetable.
Watermelon is also loaded with vitamin A, which maintains eye health, vitamin C, which strengthens the body’s immune system, heals wounds, prevents cell damage and promotes healthy teeth and gums, and vitamin B6, which helps with brain function and converting protein into energy. Other healthy nutrients in watermelon include amino acids and arginine, which both help maintain the arteries, blood flow and cardiovascular function.
Tomatoes not only contain high amounts of lycopene, they’re also packed full of vitamins and nutrients that help ward off cancer, prevent DNA damage, lower inflammation and protect against thrombosis. High levels of vitamin C, A, B6, niacin, folate, and fiber help to promote these health benefits.
Another bonus? There are just 22 calories in one medium tomato, and 44 calories in one cup of watermelon. What’s not to love? Check out this delicious recipe for tomato-watermelon salad from My Recipes – it’s not only heart-healthy, it’s perfect for summertime.
Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings
- 5 cups (3/4-inch) seeded watermelon cubes
- 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 small red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Romaine lettuce leaves (optional)
- Cracked black pepper to taste
1. Combine watermelon and tomatoes in a large bowl; sprinkle with sugar and salt, tossing to coat. Let stand 15 minutes.
2. Stir in onion, vinegar, and oil. Cover and chill 2 hours. Serve chilled with lettuce leaves, if desired. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper to taste.