Watermelon Health Benefits
When most people think of watermelon, they either think ‘summer’ or ‘diet’! However, there is much more to the humble watermelon than a tasty snack option.
The fact is there are watermelon health benefits which can help combat high blood pressure; fight heart disease, protect against certain forms of cancer and lower the risk of age related loss of vision.
Watermelons have been around a long time as has the knowledge of watermelon nutrition. They were first cultivated in Egypt where the fruit was held in such high esteem that it was placed in the tombs of many Egyptian Pharaohs. Since then watermelons have played an important role throughout the world in countries where water is in short supply as people in these areas could rely on watermelon for its thirst-quenching properties – it consists of 92% water and 8% sugar.
So exactly what does watermelon contain that promotes so many health benefits?
Watermelon health benefits include it being an excellent source of several vitamins. Vitamin A which helps to sustain eye health as well as being an antioxidant; vitamin C which helps to boost the immune system and prevent cell damage and vitamin B6 which helps to boost energy.
Watermelon contains a high concentration of lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant known to help fight heart disease and certain types of cancer – most notably prostate cancer.
Watermelon contains an amino acid called arganine which helps to lower blood pressure
Watermelon is a good source of potassium which helps muscle and nerve function
Watermelon is effective in reducing your body temperature. Many people in tropical countries eat the fruit daily during the summer, particularly in the afternoon to protect themselves from heat stroke.
Watermelon is fat free, and extremely low in calories which makes it ideal to eat on a diet.
Apart from the very obvious watermelon health benefits, it is also a delicious and refreshing snack which can be enjoyed in several mouth-watering ways: On its own either sliced, cubed or scooped into balls; in a fruit salad; as sorbet or jam; in a summer salad, mixed with red onion, salt and black pepper...the list goes on and on. Also, be sure and don't forgot the fantastic juicing benefits that are a great source of nutrients in almost all fruit.
Even better, the benefits doesn’t stop with the juicy flesh. In Arabic countries, salted and roasted watermelon seeds are consumed as a snack or ground up into cereal and used to make bread.
Of course, unless you’re sharing, it is difficult to finish a whole watermelon in one sitting! If you wish to save some for later, cover the uneaten portion with plastic cling film and keep refrigerated where it can last for 5 or 6 days. Try to avoid cutting into it as this will help to preserve all those many watermelon health benefits. You can also freeze pureed watermelon in ice cube trays which children especially will love, particularly on a hot day.
Lastly, it should be noted that watermelons grow resting on the ground so you are advised to clean your watermelon thoroughly before you cut it. This will also prevent the transfer of bacteria from the knife onto the flesh.