If you think watermelon is nice but is only worth eating once in a while, take note! Watermelon is quite amazing. Here are five things we bet you probably don’t know about watermelon. Read on.
1. Rich in antioxidants
Watermelon is full of antioxidants and other useful nutrients, including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, choline and betaine. Woof. What a mighty nutritious fruit!
There are phenolic compounds in watermelon, like flavonoids, carotenoids and triterpenoids. What does this mean for you, oh lovely watermelon eater? It means that you’re getting some great natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant health benefits when you help yourself to a slice.
Watermelons contain more lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable! Lycopene is one of the carotenoids found in watermelon when it’s super ripe, so buy your melons ready to eat, or leave them in the sun if they don’t seem to be ripe yet. If you can see the inside, choose pink and reddish flesh over lighter colours. Lycopene is a nice inhibitor of many inflammatory processes, so it works with your body to fight diseases, and aids healing.
When stored in the fridge at 2 degrees for 48 hours, studies showed that there is no deterioration in the lycopene, so keep it like this up to seven days for best results.
Watermelon also contains a nice whack of vitamin C, which is of course great for your skin, your general health, and your energy levels. It’s anti-aging, too.
Citrulline is one of the amino acids found in this wonderful fruit. It’s getting a lot attention at the moment by scientists because it’s converted into arginine in the kidneys, which nourishes the body and lowers blood pressure, and improves erectile dysfunction! Citrulline may also improve the deposition of fat in the body, which helps prevent obesity and overweight. Excellent stuff.
2. Satisfies you
The high water content of watermelon, and it’s subtle flavour means that you can polish off quite a lot of watermelon but it’s extremely filling! The body drinks in all that great, energised water and puts it to work immediately. It flushes out your bladder and kidneys, and will give you a wonderful glow. You might find you’re going to loo more often, though, as well as some welcome water retention-reducing effects.
3. Great for pregnant women
Yes, if you’re pregnant, watermelon makes the perfect breakfast for you and your baby. Eating melons on an empty stomach is a good idea, as they digest best on their own and more quickly too, which is great if you have a little less room than normal in your belly. Snack on a few slices whenever you desire, 2 or 3 hours after meals or first thing, and be smugly confident that your baby is getting some wonderful love from above!
4. Prevents cramps
Watermelon – and cucumbers – have been shown to reduce menstrual cramps. Since both of these foods are diuretics, they flush out toxins and waste products from muscle tissues, so you’ll wake up less often with a cramp in the night.
5. Good for your heart
New research suggests that watermelon can reduce the risk of heart problems. In a study in 2014, overweight adults were given watermelon to eat every day and their blood pressure fell considerably as a result. The findings suggest that watermelon supports the heart when people are exposed to stressful situations.
The citrulline is the amino acid that is blamed for these wonderful effects. It helps convert toxic ammonia into urea. Nitric oxide is also produced from arginine, helping us maintain healthy vascular tone and blood pressure. Lycopene, vitamin C and A provide the antioxidants needed to get rid of harmful free radicals. It’s a heart’s dream come true, and the perfect thing to add to the dietary regime of people of all ages!
To find the best watermelon, look for organic, fresh, fully ripe watermelon. This is said to contain as much as 250 mg of citrulline per cupful. The flesh should be dark red to ensure a high lycopene content and from the outside, the melon should be firm smooth, with a yellowy “ground spot”, from where the melon was sat on the ground while it grew.
While your watermelon is whole, keep it in a dry, cool place. Once open, keep it in the fridge, as mentioned, in a sealed container, and eat some every day!!