It’s officially watermelon season. The presence of this melon at summer events, like BBQs has always been a joy for me. It has a subtle but sweet flavor and it is pleasantly hydrating. Watermelon is a flowering plant and it is originally from southern Africa. Watermelon is such a powerful part of African history that its seeds were even found inside the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun. Although native to southern Africa, watermelon has been cultivated in China since the 10th century.
Interestingly, most watermelon today is produced in China. There are many varieties of the melon and as such, the flesh of the melon, which we normally recognize as red or pink, can also be yellow, orange, or white.
We all know watermelon is delicious, but did you know it’s filled with health benefits, too?
I’ve always loved this fruit for the obvious reasons, but perhaps my body has been telling me to eat it for other reasons: it’s responsible for all kinds of health benefits! So eat up this summer while enjoying some of these amazing health benefits:
1. Lycopene. Lycopene, which is also found in tomatoes, is a carotenoid phytonutrient that gives a major boost to cardiovascular health while enhancing bone health, as well.
2. Citrulline. Citrulline is an amino acid that our bodies can convert into arginine. Increased levels of arginine have been associated with enhanced cardiovascular health and improved blood flow. Higher levels of arginine might be able to prevent excess fat storage. Arginine has also been associated with better kidney function, enhanced wound healing, health immune and hormone function, and it might even help with erectile dysfunction
3. Vitamin C. Did you know that there are approximately 23.2mg of vitamin C in each wedge of this melon? Benefits of vitamin C are plentiful and might include prevention of immune deficiency, cardiovascular disease, eye disease, wrinkles, and more.
4. Chloline. Choline, which is found in this delicious fruit, helps our bodies to fight inflammation. It also helps us to sleep better, improve our memory and learning, and enhance muscle movement.
5. Fiber. Because watermelon is filled with both fiber and water, it does wonders for our digestive system by helping to keep us regular without obstruction.
6. Vitamin A. Watermelon contains vitamin A, which helps us to maintain healthy skin and hair, among other things.
7. Low Calorie. Many people incorrectly assume that watermelon is low in calories because it’s just water and sugar. This is false! While watermelon is indeed low in calories, it is filled with numerous nutrients that help to keep us healthy – all while keeping us hydrated and within a healthy calorie intake range for the day.
Watermelon is a wonderfully refreshing fruit that is also a miracle food for our health. The fruit has incredible healing and preventative power, so make sure to take advantage of watermelon season while it’s here! You can eat watermelon by itself, but you can also consider using your watermelon to make watermelon salads, watermelon sorbet/ice pops/slush, juice, watermelon salsa, preserves, smoothies, lemonade, sangria, gazpacho, pie, and more.