Vietnamese legend says that the watermelon originated there in answer to the prayer of an exiled prince, but later was popularly cultivated where ever it travelled. Watermelon seeds were found in Tutankhamens’s tomb, North African traders brought it to Europe by the 13th century and it appears to have been adopted by native Americans early in the history of their contact with Europeans.
As captured in its name, watermelon is mostly water, making it refreshing treat and somewhat portable source of hydration. A watermelon contains about 6% sugar and 92% water by weight. It provides vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, folic acid and other Vitamin B. Watermelon is also rich source of lycopene, which is a phytochemical found in some red fruits and vegetables. Watermelon rinds are significant source of citrulline, which helps lower blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels.
Health benefits of watermelon can be attributed to high water content and various minerals and vitamins. Health benefits of watermelon includes its acting as coolant, rehydrating agent, anti-inflammatory agent, anti-oxidant and other.
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Eat Watermelon for Better Health!
Health benefits of watermelon and its medicinal value
- Cooling effect – With more than 90% water content, Watermelon has special cooling effect which helps fight the effect of heat. In summer season, watermelon acts as a coolant. This is the reason why they are sold widely in summer season.
- Rehydration : Rich in electrolytes and 90% water so it’s a healthy alternative to any energy drink.
- Bladder Problems –Watermelon contains almost 92% of water, it thus acts as a natural diuretic that cleanses your kidney and bladder. Again, the diuretic effect of watermelon can eliminate water retention. It is especially recommended for women who retain fluids during menstruation or pregnancy.
- Constipation – Watermelon helps promote digestion. A glass of watermelon juice can naturally eliminate waste and considered helpful on constipation.
- Increased energy. Truckloads (!) of Vitamin B contribute to increased energy production. Some food experts recommend watermelon for Vitamin B1, B6 and magnesium deficiencies.
- Athlete Performance – Researchers at Technical University of Cartagena in Spain has found that watermelon juice contains an amino acid – L-citrulline – which cuts athlete’s recovery time and boost their performance. Drinking watermelon juice thus can relive muscle soreness after exercise.
- Blood Pressure – Watermelon is a great source of potassium, which helps muscle and nerve function, helps maintain the body’s proper electrolyte and acid-base balance, and hence helps lower the risk of high blood pressure.
- Asthma – Watermelon contains antioxidants, such as Citrulline, a α-amino acid, which reduces toxins in the body which are believed to trigger asthma attacks. It help ease the patient of asthma
- Arthritis – Rich in Vitamin C and Beta-Carotenes, both of which have anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve the symptoms of arthritis.
- High Cholesterol –Watermelon have cleansing properties which may help reduce the risk of clogged arteries. The fruit is also believed to increase HDL (good cholesterol levels).
- Heart Disease and Cancer – Lycopene, a carotenoid is found in watermelon which is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight heart disease and several types of cancer — prostate cancer in particular. Watermelon, however, has the highest concentrations of lycopene of any fresh fruit or vegetable. Watermelon also contain folic acid and citruline which works along with other essential vitamins to reduce the risk of a heart attack, stroke and colon cancer.
- Itchy Skin – By cleansing our body, watermelon cleanses your system by flushing out the toxic waste that causes itchiness.
- Blemishes – Watermelon acts as a beauty aid to reduce skin blemishes. Simply by rubbing your skin with a small piece of watermelon. Leave the juice on for 10 minutes before rinsing.
- Viagra effect – Many Scientists say that watermelon works similar to Viagra by relaxing the blood vessels and thereby prevent erectile dysfunction.
- Health benefits of watermelon seeds – Watermelon seeds are believed to be a great source of protein, as well as magnesium, calcium and potassium. In some parts of the world, salted and roasted watermelon seeds are consumed as a snack. The protein in watermelon seeds consists of several amino acids, one of which is arginine. Read more about health benefits of watermelon seeds here.
- Health benefits of watermelon seed oil – Watermelon seed oil is excellent for your skin and hair. It contains long chain linolenic acid which have health benefits. Watermelon seed oil also acts against worms in intestine. Read more about health benefits of watermelon seed oil here.
- Other health benefits of watermelon– Watermelons are an excellent source of several vitamins: vitamin A, which helps maintain eye health and is an antioxidant; vitamin C, which helps strengthen immunity, heal wounds, prevent cell damage, promote healthy teeth and gums; and vitamin B6, which helps brain function and helps convert protein to energy.
Available in more than 1200 varieties ranging in size from less than a pound, to more than two hundred pounds, with flesh that is red, orange, yellow or white, watermelon tastes great as a juice, and is incredibly refreshing . To enjoy it eat this refreshing fruit alone or in a fruit salad. Then start experimenting with other innovative recipes
Watermelon Agua Fresh Splash
- 4 cups cubed, seeded watermelon
- 2 cups water
- juice from 3-4 limes
- natural sweetner, to taste
In a blender, puree the watermelon, then strain it through a fine sieve. In a pitcher, mix the strained juice with water. Add lime juice and natural sweetener to taste. Serve chille
Water melon salad with mint and lime dressing
- 1 (5- to 6-pound) ripe seedless watermelon (8 to 10 cups), cut into bite-size pieces
- Sea salt, to taste
- 1/4 cup(s) fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
- 1/2 cup(s) mint chiffonade
- 1/2 cup(s) crumbled feta (optional)
In a bowl, toss together all ingredients except cheese. Chill until a few minutes before serving; then sprinkle with feta, if desired. Serve immediately.
Whether You’re Eating, Juicing Watermelon or consuming it in any form, make sure you enjoy it!
How to buy a watermelon?
Looking at the flesh you can choose a good and tasty watermelon: the flesh should be deep in color (the deeper the more nutritious the melon will be), absent from white streaks, and with deep-colored seeds.
However, at times if you are not able to check out the flesh then ensure that you choose a watermelon that’s pretty heavy for its size, with a rind that’s neither too shiny, nor too opaque.
Naturally ripened watermelons are the best in nutritional value and health benefits. To check whether its ripened naturally or artificially by the vendors, check the yellow/creamy spot, called the “underbelly”, which is the place where the plant was resting on the ground. The underbelly is a good sign, since it means the plant has ripened naturally, on the plant. Absence of an underbelly usually means the melon has been picked prematurely and ripened artificially, which usually results in watermelons with a milder taste and less nutritious flesh.
So check out for yourself which watermelon is the best….so that you can enjoy it the most!!!
How to store Watermelon?
Some interesting facts about storing watermelon and preserving health benefits of watermelon. NEVER store watermelon in the fridge, if you want more of its nutritious value because storing watermelon at the room temperature may double its nutritional value and health benefits.
However, this applies only to uncut watermelon. If you cut one and want to store it, of course you should store it in fridge. But if you want to store an uncut melon, better put it at room temperature. If you have left the watermelon for a few days at room temperature, it is then OK to place it in the fridge to cool it down before you eat it.
Article – Health Benefits of Watermelon – contributed by Grace