The health benefits of a favorite summertime snack are as big as a watermelon, and this favorite summertime snack is, in fact, a watermelon! Happy Summer to you!
Question; what is one time you GO on red and STOP on green? Question; the average American eats over fifteen lbs. of what each year? Question; China accounts for over half of the world’s production of what fruit per year? The answer to all of these questions is the same, and it may surprise you; it’s watermelon.
You may find it of interest to know that the average watermelon is about 92% water and a small amount of fiber, which explains why it is so effective as a thirst quencher and hydrator. Surprisingly, there are between 600 and 1200 varieties of watermelon worldwide. They are generally believed to have originated in Africa thousands of years ago, and migrated globally, arriving in North America with the early European colonizers. Contrary to common opinion, seedless watermelons are not genetically modified but are a result of hybridization or the cross pollination of two different naturally occurring varieties, which is a natural and healthy process. Watermelon is generally very hypoallergenic.
Besides the high water content, watermelon is low in fat and absolutely packed with health-giving nutrients. One cup only has about 45 calories. It has Vitamin C, A, B6, potassium, magnesium, flavonoids, antioxidants, beta-carotene, iron, zinc, and amino acids, all in a bio-available form. It has twice the lycopene as tomatoes, which accounts for the red/pink color of the flesh. It is high in citrulline, which is an amino-acid that the body converts into arginine. Arginine is a precursor of nitric oxide, which relaxes smooth muscle. The white pulp or rind is also very nutritious.
(NOTE: Watermelon can help boost your energy and keep you hydrated. If you like watermelon and it's energy boosting powers, check out our some other foods that can help right here.)
Watermelon has the highest lycopene content of any fruit or vegetable which helps hydrate the skin and protects it from sun damage. It also improves the health picture of the prostate, eyes, and cardiovascular system.
Watermelon is low in fat and cholesterol, yet rich in antioxidants. This makes it effective in fighting free radicals, as well as protecting the arteries from hardening while maintaining their elasticity.
Watermelon is an efficient diuretic that works like shampoo for the kidneys, cleansing away deposits of inorganic salts, metals, and toxins, while combating the formation of kidney stones. It also reduces the concentration of uric acid in the blood, which makes it great for fighting gout.
Watermelon is beneficial for many inflammations and infections in the body. It helps with eye health and regulates blood sugar levels by naturally increasing insulin secretion.
Years ago, I read some of the research of a biochemist, Paul Bragg, Ph.D. He felt like Virchow, the famous German physician and Father of Modern Pathology, who said that “a man is as old as his arteries.” He extensively experimented with all kinds of fruits and vegetables to see which had the greatest power to dissolve and eliminate inorganic pollutants from the body. He was surprised to discover that watermelon had the ability to flush out inorganic minerals, chemicals, and toxins and cleanse them down to the cellular level.
He developed the watermelon flush program where he recommended one or more times per year to go 5 to 7 days consuming watermelon exclusively and its juice to “shampoo” your internal body for a clean start. It displayed dramatic positive effects on blood pressure and pulse rate. He called it “good health insurance.”
One of the biggest questions about watermelon is “How do you pick a good one?” Because a fully ripened watermelon is over 90% water, it should feel heavy for its size. “Thumping” should produce a deeper, almost hollow sound as opposed to a shallow, solid thud. The part of the watermelon that was in touch with the ground as it grew is called the underbelly and in a fully ripe melon is yellow in color. If this area is green or even white, it usually indicates it is not ripe yet. Of course, a cut or sectioned melon allows you to view the flesh, looking for the vibrant red or pink color.
Watermelon is one of Nature’s great gifts for our pleasure and our health. So remember: go on red, and stop on green, and enjoy your fifteen or more pounds of fresh, nutrient-packed melon this year.