The watermelon, a member of the Cucurbitaceae family which comprises fruits like cantaloupe, pumpkin and similar plants that grow on vines on the ground.
Watermelons can be round, oblong or spherical in shape; light to dark green in color, with white mottling stripes.
Its flesh is commonly bright red in color but there are also other varieties where its flesh is dark brown, orange, yellow, pink or even white.
Watermelon is another of my all-time favorite fruit. Not only is it cooling for the body in our tropical climate, it is alkalizing, and excellent for flushing out the kidney and bladder, aiding in excretion of waste materials.
I usually juice watermelon with the rind as well. Rind is the whitish green part of the watermelon, between the skin and the red flesh. This part of the fruit contains the highest level of quality minerals and chlorophyll, and should not be discarded. In fact, the rind is beneficial for dissolving kidney stones!
The water content in watermelon is extremely high at 92%. It is rich in beta-carotene, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B5 and smaller amounts of B1, B2, B3 and B6.
This big fruit is a rich source of essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and smaller amounts of copper, iron and zinc.
As in tomatoes, watermelon is loaded with lycopene, the red carotenoid pigment that gives it the red color. This important anti-oxidant is powerful in neutralizing harmful free radicals in our body.
Watermelon is basically very cleansing, alkalizing, diuretic and mineralizing. It is very effective in promoting intestinal elimination, keeping the body free from toxic wastes.
Its juice is easily digestible and are completely absorbed for all its minerals, providing much needed nutrients to the body.
The alkalizing effect maintains the acid-alkaline balance in the body, neutralizing the toxic condition of the body resulting from excessive intake of acid-forming foods.
Drawing from the rich antioxidant and beta-carotene, the health effects of watermelon juice are immense.
Asthma: The powerful antioxidant in watermelon reduces toxic matters in the body, that in turn reduces asthma attacks.
Arthritis: The rich beta-carotene and vitamin C content in this big fruit do wonders in quenching inflammation that contributes to conditions like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
Bladder problems: Its cleansing and natural diuretic effect is totally healing for kidney and bladder problems
Cholesterol: Watermelon juice is healthful in preventing cholesterol from clogging arteries and can increase HDL, the good cholesterol, reducing the risks of cardiovascular diseases.
Constipation: Drink a big jumbo glass of watermelon juice to relieve constipation. It is very effective in aiding the elimination of wastes.
Fluid retention: Its diuretic action helps to eliminate excess fluids from the body, reducing water retention, especially for women during their monthly menstruation cycle and in pregnant women.
Heart attack: The combination of folate and the other essential vitamins in this fruit plays an important role in reducing the risks of heart attacks, strokes and colon cancer.
Itchiness: As watermelon juice cleanses the body of toxic wastes, it also greatly reduces itchiness that result from toxicity of acidosis.
Prostate Cancer: Lycopene (from red watermelons) has been extensively researched for its anti-oxidant and cancer-preventing properties. It is reported to be especially protective against prostate cancer.
Skin Blemish: Use watermelon externally by applying a small piece liberally on your face. Leave for ten minutes, then wash off with warm water, followed by a splash of cold water.
If you cannot finish a whole watermelon and wish to keep it for later, wrap it up with a cling wrap to prevent it from drying out. This also prevents it from absorbing the odors of other foods. Keep refrigerated to best preserve its freshness, taste and juiciness.
Watermelon is best eaten on its own, in fruit salads, or juiced. You may also freeze pureed watermelon in ice cube trays. Kids love this, especially on a hot day! See tips for making popsicles.
As watermelons grow resting on the ground, make sure to thoroughly wash it before cutting to avoid food contamination.