Watermelon is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, and is related to the cantaloupe, squash and pumpkin, other plants that also grow on vines on the ground. Watermelons can be round, oblong or spherical in shape and feature thick green rinds that are often spotted or striped. They range in size from a few pounds to upward of ninety pounds.
Around 5,000 BC the first watermelons were cultivated in the area of ancient Egypt and western Asia and it was spread very fast across central Asia and India until it finally reached China as well as southern Russia. First just cultivated in hot and dry, tropical regions and in the area around the Mediterranean Sea, it is presently cultivated in sub tropic regions as well.
Watermelon is not only a delicious summer treat, it is also very good for you. Watermelon has several anti-aging qualities and the flesh, the rind and the seeds can all be used to enhance your health.
Citrulline is an amino acid that has anti-inflammatory effects. It has been shown to relax blood vessels and is sold as a performance enhancing athletic supplement due to its ability to reduce muscle fatigue. Watermelon, particularly yellow fleshed watermelon, is a natural source of citrulline, which is most concentrated in the rind (which can be eaten fried or pickled as a vegetable).
The Seeds are Nutritious
Watermelon seeds are not often purposefully consumed in Western cultures, but are roasted and eaten in Eastern cultures. They are a rich source of protein and unsaturated fats, as well as most essential amino acids. They are also a good source of B vitamins, iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium as well as other minerals. Maintaining good levels of these nutrients is essential to good skin and high energy levels. However, simply swallowing the seeds is not enough, as they will pass through the digestive system intact if the tough outer shell is not broken. Many Asian supermarkets sell roasted watermelon seeds, or you can try roasting them yourself.
Is a Source of Lycopene
Lycopene is a potent antioxidant and is responsible for the red color of red-fleshed watermelon. Lycopene can help to eliminate free radicals from the body. Free radicals are thought to exaggerate many of the visible signs of aging such as wrinkles and lines on the skin. Lycopene may also help to guard against conditions such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Watermelon is a mild diuretic and so can help to gently flush out toxins from the body. This is assisted by the fact that watermelon consists of around 92% water. So, eating watermelon will help keep you hydrated in a way that might be more palatable than drinking plain water. Keeping yourself hydrated helps to maintain collagen production, which promotes firm, youthful skin and a healthy body.
Low in Calories
Watermelon is an ideal snack food for a healthy eating plan as it is very filling and nutritious, but contains very few calories (approximately 30 calories per 100 grams). So, eating watermelon can help you to lose weight and have a healthy lifestyle which in turn will keep you feeling and looking young.
For an in-depth look click on the following link “Nutritional Data”
How to Select
When choosing a whole watermelon, look for one that is heavy for its size with a rind that is relatively smooth and that is neither overly shiny nor overly dull. In addition, one side of the melon should have an area that is distinct in color from the rest of the rind, displaying a yellowish or creamy tone. This is the underbelly, the place that was resting on the ground during ripening, and if the fruit does not have this marking, it may have been harvested prematurely, which will negatively affect its taste, texture and juiciness.
If you are purchasing a cut standard melon, look for bright red flesh with mature dark brown or black seeds. Unless it is a seedless variety, an abundance of white seeds means it was picked before its prime. Avoid those with white streaks through the flesh and those pieces where the flesh is mealy, dry, and/or separating from the seeds.
- God’s Healing Plants is not licensed as, or designed to be, a healthcare facility; therefore we do not diagnose conditions, offer medical advice, or prescribe or administer medication.
- The nutrition and health information resented at the God’s Healing Plants Web Site is based on Scripture, research and personal experience, and is offered for educational purposes only.
- There can be risks involved when changing diet and lifestyle; therefore, as each guest chooses to make these types of changes, we at God’s Healing Plants cannot be held responsible or liable for any adverse effects or consequences that may result from your personal choices.