On a scorching, hot day, there is nothing more refreshing than a large slice of juicy watermelon. The burst of sweetness and bright red color is both uplifting and delicious.
This vine-like flowering plant is actually native to Southern Africa, where many wild varieties grow in abundance and range from super sweet to bitter.
Watermelon is both a fruit and a vegetable and the rind, flesh and seeds, can be consumed in various ways from soup to pickles.
Watermelon can be served with a pinch of sea salt which helps to balance the potassium and high wáter content. It can actually make the watermelon taste even sweeter.
Watermelon has a long list of health benefits as a result of its unique nutrients. These include high levels of vitamin A and C, calcium, magnesium, fiber, protein, and a significant amount of potassium. It also contains a wide variety of carotenoids and phytonutrients, including lycopene.
Here are some of the amazing benefits of this delicious veg/fruit
Watermelon contains a rich supply of the amino acid, citrulline which can help artery function, reduce muscle soreness, and relax blood vessels. Citrulline also provides other cardiovascular benefits such as increased blood flow and a drop in blood pressure.
It is good for weight management as it helps you to feel full for longer and is very low in calories, containing less than a gram of fat per slice. The citrulline in watermelon has been shown to reduce the accumulation of fat in the fat cells.
Watermelon is at least 90% wáter which is perfect for staying hydrated in hot weather. It is also good for lowering body temperature, and preventing heat stroke. The high wáter content and anti-oxidants in the fruit slow down the aging process especially wrinkles and age spots.
Watermelon is rich in phenolic compounds like flavonoids, carotenoids, and triterpenoids which makes it a wonderful choice for antioxidant and anti inflammatory health. Choose a lovely, ripe fruit because then the levels are even higher.
The high levels of the antioxidant, lycopene, makes watermelon a great choice for building stronger bones. The high potassium levels, which help to retain calcium in the body, are also nourishing for the bones and joints.
Watermelon is a good source of vitamin C which is vital for immune health and healing in general.
It is is a natural diuretic and is helpful for washing out any toxic deposits in the kidneys. It can also help to lower the concentration of uric acid in the blood. The fruit contains glutathione which can improve liver function and help lower colesterol.
It is alkaline forming which keeps the immune strong and reduce the risk of illness. Munching on a few pieces of watermelon can also help with heartburn.
The lovely rich ,red color of the fruit means it is high in beta carotine which converts to Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is super nourishing to the eyes, skin, teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, and mucus membranes.
Watermelons can be good for diabetes as the mild, sweet taste is very satisfying and gives few calories. At least ninety percent of its total weight comes from water and roughage. The potassium and magnesium content aid in the proper functioning of insulin in the body, thus helping to keep blood sugar levels down.
The high wáter and fiber in the fruit is great for colon health as it helps the elimination process. A common problem for people with colon issues is dehydration. Incorporating more liquids into the daily diet is key in achieving a cleaner colon, and smooth digestion. Watermelon helps to lubricate digested food and provides hydration to help break it down.
A watermelon fast a wonderful and simple way to cleanse and detox the body during summer months. This fast is a great way to get started with a healthy eating plan as it resets your appetite, and eliminates cravings for unhealthy foods.
It is super easy and all you do is consume a large bowl of freshly cut watermelon, nothing else, for 3-4 meals throughout the day. You can fast for one day or few if your health allows. You can also make a delicious juice from watermelon, including the rind. This part has a high concentration of minerals and makes balance with the sweetness of the flesh.
I decided to post this article here as it has lots of great information. I actually wrote it for the SHA magazine in 2016