Watermelon; A Fruit Filled With Healthy Benefits

The healthy or beneficial effects of watermelon are mainly derived from its unique nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and organic compounds.

These include significant amounts of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, fiber, protein, and a large amount of potassium. Furthermore, they contain vitamin A, vitamin B6, niacin, thiamin, and a wide variety of carotenoids and phytonutrients, including lycopene.

Did you know that Watermelon is effective in reducing both your body temperature and blood pressure?

Many people in tropical regions eat Watermelon on a daily basis during the summer to protect themselves from heat stroke. The high amount of water found in watermelons also helps in preventing dehydration.  At only 46 calories per cup, it is a beneficial fruit to add into the daily diet, especially during the hot summer weather, before/after a workout and when a patient is being treated for a G.I. diagnosis, such
as a C. difficile infection, that can cause a fluid shift and loss of body fluids.

According to a new study in the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry, drinking watermelon juice before a hard workout helped reduce athletes’ heart rate and next-day muscle soreness. That’s because watermelon is rich in an amino acid called L-citrulline, which the body converts to L-arginine, an essential amino acid that helps relax blood vessels and improve circulation.

The study’s seven participants, all men, were given 17 ounces (500 mL) of either natural watermelon juice, watermelon juice enriched with additional citrulline, or a placebo drink an hour before their workouts. Interestingly, the natural juice was just as effective as the enriched juice. The researchers also determined that intestinal cells can absorb more citrulline from watermelon juice than from citrulline supplements, especially when the juice is unpasteurized.

In just one cup, watermelon has 1.5 times the stuff than a large fresh tomato, 6 milligrams compared to 4 milligrams, according to the USDA. That matters because lycopene is thought to act as a super antioxidant, stopping free radicals from damaging your cells and messing with your immune system.

 

Watermelon can prevent dehydration. Watermelon is 91.5% water, according to the USDA. That’s a big deal seeing as how being dehydrated is bad for your health. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that individuals with even mild dehydration experienced headaches, poor concentration, fatigue, and worse moods.

Here are a few cooling and refreshing melon recipes:

Cantaloupe Sherbet
For less than 100 calories, you can enjoy a refreshing dessert. Cantaloupe adds a natural sweetness to the sherbet plus a luscious peach color.

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 large ripe cantaloupe, peeled and finely chopped (about 5 cups)
  • 1/3 cup “measures-like-sugar” calorie-free sweetener
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 (8-ounce) carton vanilla fat-free yogurt sweetened with aspartame
  • Cantaloupe wedge (optional)

HOW to prepare:

  • Combine cantaloupe, and lemon juice in a blender of choice or food processor; process until smooth. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl.
  • Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a small saucepan; let stand 1 minute. Cook over low heat, stirring until gelatin dissolves, about 4 minutes. Add to cantaloupe mixture, stirring well. Add yogurt, stirring until smooth.
  • Pour mixture into an 8-inch square pan; freeze until almost firm.
  • Transfer mixture to a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until fluffy. Spoon mixture back into pan; freeze until firm.

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Watermelon Smoothie

Just 25 calories a 8 ounce serving.

 

 

Ingredients:

  • cup watermelon (cut into cubes)
  • cucumber (peeled and sliced)
  • mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup ice

HOW to prepare:

Place cubed watermelon, one cucumber thinly sliced, two min leaves and 1/2 cup of ice

into blender of choice with 1/4 cup of water.  Blend until smooth.

Pour into glasses and serve.

Freeze remainder of beverage for a refreshing frozen treat.

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Watermelon and Ginger-Ale Smoothie

Just 100 calories per 8 ounce serving.

 

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 3 1/2 cups watermelon (cut into cubes and de-seeded)
  • lime
  • 1 1/2 cups ginger ale
  • cups ice

 

HOW to prepare:

Place cubed watermelon, ginger-ale and ice into blender of choice or a food processor.

Blend well and serve.  Garnish with a slice of lemon or lime.

Freeze the remainder beverage for a tasty treat in a freezer safe container.

 

References:

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/08/130820-watermelon-nutrition-health-food-science/