(BeWellBuzz) Some of the best pleasures in life are the simplest and don’t really cost much. A warm hug, a good nap or the first bites of a cool watermelon on an unforgiving summer’s day are to name a few. Watermelon is a very popular fruit because of the vibrancy in its appearance and its ability to pacify hunger and thirst too. And, as good as it tastes, it is better in health benefits than any other fruit. In fact, the large red flesh of a ripe watermelon contains some wonderful juicy secrets!
How Is Watermelon Grown?
Watermelons are not very fussy plants, but they do need some basic help from nature to grow and ripen. They require the sun, water and bees. The bees are necessary to pollinate the seeds of the yellow watermelon blossom.
To test if a watermelon is ripe enough to be picked; one should notice a small pale-yellow patch at the bottom.
What Is Nutritional Value Of Watermelon?
Watermelons are more than just sugary water as most people had previously assumed. They have a variety of other compounds that make watermelons a very healthy fruit for children and adults alike.
- Vitamin A: This is required to maintain healthy eyes and it boosts immunity by increasing the effects of white blood cells or lymphocytes.
- Vitamin B6: This is imperative for the production of antibodies. It is also needed for the normal functioning of nerve cells and red blood cells. Besides this B6 is required for the breakdown of proteins.
- Vitamin C: This helps support the body’s defence systems and helps eliminate free radicals that are responsible for tissue damage.
- Potassium: Watermelons are also a great source of potassium. Potassium is required to maintain the normal water balance in cells. Lack of water in cells or dehydration can cause cramps in muscles.
What Are The Benefits Of Watermelon?
For a fruit that is packed with healthy goodness, it is an ideal diet for those who watch the entry of every calorie into their body. It is completely fat free! Besides this, there are several other health benefits of the watermelon.
- The Philippines’ Food and Nutrition Research Institute have determined that watermelon is rich in lycopene which is an antioxidant. These substances neutralize the highly reactive free radicals that react with tissues and cause damage.
- According to researcher AJ Edwards, consumption of watermelon juice increases plasma concentrations of lycopene and beta carotene. The study was carried out on healthy nonsmoking adults over specified periods of time. Beta carotene is the pigment or the coloring agent that is found in Vitamin A, which is a great support to the body’s defence system.
- According to Science Daily, a study reported by the University of Texas A and M reported that watermelon also has a Viagra-like effect! It is said that consumption of watermelon helps boost the libido. The study was overseen by Dr Bhimu Patil, the director of the Texas A&M’s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center.
- According to a study done at the University of Kentucky by Dr Sibu Saha, watermelon juice helps to reduce atherosclerosis. A study with conducted with mice given a high cholesterol diet. After a specific period of time, one group was given watermelon juice and the control group was given water. The former group showed a decrease in weight due to loss of fat. This reduction in cholesterol in the plasma is related to the alleviation of atherosclerosis.
- Watermelon is rich in citrulline according to ARS South Central Agricultural Research Laboratory, Lane, Okla. Citrulline is the primary amino acid that is used to make yet another amino acid namely arginine, that helps speed up cell division. Because of this, watermelon has healing powers! It helps revive tissues from damage and also helps to eliminate ammonia from the system.
- FSU Assistant Professor Arturo Figueroa and Professor Bahram H. Arjmandi from the Florida State University found that watermelon juice helps reduce blood pressure. Hypertension is a precursor to cardiovascular diseases. This study was performed on humans who were given watermelon juice for 6 weeks after which certain tests determined lower blood pressure.
- Even rejected, over ripe watermelons don’t lose heart! These watermelons are used to form ethanol which is then used as a renewable energy source, a biofuel. Wayne Fish who works with USDA-Agricultural Research Service’s South Central Agricultural Research Laboratory in Lane, Oklahoma found fermentable sugars.
Taste Bud Teaser!
Watermelons are not only beautiful and delicious but are very versatile and can be used in a variety of salads and juices. But, kids are going to love this one!
Frozen Smoothie Pops
- Watermelon pieces
- Strawberry shake
- Paper cups and
- Popsicle sticks.
The strawberry shake is blended with watermelon that have been seeded prior to the blending. This is then poured in paper cups with popsicle sticks and frozen cold.
What could be better! Beat the summer with the melon burst!