The watermelon is synonymous with summer, sun, sea and barbecues. It ushers in the beginning of the hottest season, while quenching the terrible heat with the sweet cool taste of its red meaty core.
The watermelon may contain high levels of fructose, and yet it is still considered to be one of the healthiest and most beneficial natural foods of the season. In fact, although 92% of it is made of water, the watermelon is a very nutrient-dense food which provides a high amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, while being low in calories. One cup of diced watermelon, in fact, contains only 43 calories, none of which are fat.
Not only are watermelons a naturally sweet dessert with a low-calorie intake, but various studies also suggest that they are optimal in helping you divest yourself of excess body weight. This is because watermelons contain a high amount of citrulline which creates a diuretic effect, causing harmful toxins and excess water retained in the body to be flushed away.
Because of its high content of water, the watermelon is a big aide when it comes to promoting a healthy digestive system, as well as preventing constipation. Watermelons are also high in dietary fibre, which helps to cleanse the colon. It also contains glutathione, which improves liver function and is one of the body’s most powerful antioxidants. Since cellulite and similar skin conditions occur when water accumulates in our skin and body, detoxing periodically is very important in order to prevent such conditions.
Here are some interesting facts about watermelons which you might perhaps not be aware of:
The watermelon is officially considered as being both a fruit and a vegetable. This is because it is the product of a seed-producing plant and has a sweet taste, but its origins also trace back to the vegetable family known as the Cucurbitaceae, like the squash, the pumpkin, and the cucumber.
Watermelon is also great for your skin because it contains Vitamin A, a nutrient required for sebum production that keeps hair moisturised, and which is optimal for the regeneration of skin body tissues. It also contains Vitamin C which is needed for the building and maintenance of collagen, which provides structure to skin and hair. Watermelon also contributes to skin hydration, since it’s mostly made up of water.
A study published in the American Journal of Hypertension stated that watermelon supplements reduced blood pressure and aided arterial function because of the presence of citrulline. In fact, its ability to relax the blood vessels led Texas A&M University researchers to maintain that watermelon may even increase the libido, as well as prevent erectile dysfunction.
Normally, people do not eat the rind of the watermelon, however, it is actually edible and in fact contains many more nutrients, in particular citrulline, than the pink flesh itself.
Watermelon juice has been known to reduce muscle soreness and improve recovery time in athletes. It is believed that this is a by-product of the amino acids contained in watermelons.
Why not try some watermelon juice this summer? Slide some slices of fresh watermelon into a blender together with fresh lime and a sprig of mint. And if you want to transform your juice into a watermelon cocktail, simply add some vodka, grenadine and crushed ice to the mix.