Deliciously refreshing and packed with vitamins and minerals: This article details the excellent nutritional value and health benefits of watermelon.
Watermelon is 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 lighter mottling stripes.
Its succulent flesh is commonly bright red in color but there are also other varieties with dark brown, orange, yellow, pink and even white flesh.
Watermelon is another of my all-time favorite fruit. Not only is it cooling for the body, it is alkalizing, excellent for flushing out the kidney and bladder, and aids the excretion of waste materials.
I usually juice watermelon 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!
Nutritional Benefits of Watermelon
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.
The Health Benefits of Watermelon
Watermelon is very cleansing, alkalizing, diuretic and mineralizing. It is very effective in promoting intestinal elimination and keeping the body free from toxic wastes.
The juice is easily digested and provides loads of vitamins and minerals.
Drawing from the rich antioxidant and beta-carotene, the health benefits of watermelon are immense.
Alkalizing: The key to fighting and preventing diseases is to create an alkaline environment in your body. Watermelons are rich in nutrients that are alkaline-forming in the body, neutralizing the toxic condition of the body resulting from excessive intake of acid-forming foods.
Anti-Inflammatory: Recent studies have discovered that watermelons have 1.5x the lycopene content of tomato when compared in the same volume. Lycopene is a super antioxidant that is anti-inflammatory that help prevent inflammation that can lead to cancer.
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. Drinking juice of watermelon rind may also help to break down kidney stones for elimination.
Constipation: Drink a big jumbo glass of watermelon juice to relieve constipation. It is very effective in aiding the elimination of wastes.
Electrolytes: Watermelon juice is rich in various minerals and provide electrolytes to replenish electrolytes lost after a good workout. At the same time, it also helps reduce muscle soreness and healing of muscle cramps.
Eye health: Watermelons contain high levels of beta-carotene that is converted in your body into vitamin A. This nutrient protects the eyes from age-related macular degeneration and night blindness.
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 high antioxidants, lycopene and the other essential vitamins in this fruit plays an important role in reducing the risks of heart attacks and strokes.
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.
Watermelon Consumption Tips
- Watermelons grow on the ground so wash thoroughly before cutting to avoid contamination.
- If you cannot finish a whole watermelon wrap it up with a cling wrap and keep refrigerated to preserve its freshness and prevent it from drying out. This also prevents it absorbing odors from other foods.
- Watermelon can be 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! You could try a watermelon and kiwi popsicle.
- Watermelon rind contains 95% of the nutritional benefits and can be juiced along with the seeds.