When was the last time you had some slices of watermelon? Not just when you were really thirsty with no water around, I hope. Basically, even the mere thought of having a rich slice of watermelon in your mouth can cool you down in an extremely hot weather. This is because watermelons are made up of nearly 90% of liquid that serves for rehydration. However, apart from this rather obvious benefit, it has a plethora of other health benefits you can savor in a single, hoppy bite. But, first of all, do you really know what watermelons are?
What Are Watermelons?
Big, green, round and juicy!—that`s the ready description that comes to mind when we talk about watermelons. But, did you know that watermelons are actually vine fruits that botanically belong to the family: Cucurbitaceae? Well, now you do. Think about summer and the one thing that comes to mind is a big, green watermelon. This is because watermelons are actually tropical fruits that were originally cultivated in the southern part of Africa.
Are They just Red?
Certainly not! Even though the most popular types are red, watermelons come in different colors—talk about variety! Generally, cultivators identify five common varieties of watermelons. These are the seeded type, the seedless type, mini, yellow and orange. Yellow watermelons lack lycopene; the antioxidant that gives many species of watermelons their characteristic red color.
Just how Long Have They Been Around?
These round wonders have been on the planet for quite some time. In fact, their cultivation can be traced back to Ancient Egypt. Watermelons were planted in the Nile River Valley thousands of years ago. You may simply imagine an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh sitting on his throne; presiding over state affairs with a slice of watermelon in his hand. Pretty cool right? Their cultivation has also been traced to ancient China and some parts of India.
Why Should You Eat Them?
So much has been said about what watermelons are. Now, the real question is: Why should you eat them? Here are five reasons you should not miss a bite of watermelon.
A Healthier Skin
Forget cosmetics, eating watermelons is one of the surest paths to a healthy and glowing skin. Watermelons are natural sources of vitamins C, D, and B6; all of which are essential for a healthy skin. Watermelons contain an antioxidant known as LYCOPENE which is responsible for the red color that is popular with many species of watermelon. In addition, the fruit is replete with essential vitamins and minerals like vitamins C, B, D and A. Vitamins D and A, especially, help your skin remain strong and healthy so that you do not lose water as a result of abnormal skin functions. The vitamin A contained in watermelons aid the growth of collagen and elastin cells. Still, about your skin, watermelon is a powerful anti-aging agent as it slows down the rate of skin wrinkling. Eating watermelons can keep your skin young, smooth, hydrated and supple.
A Happy Heart
Your heart is one of the most important organs in your body. Apart from being the dwelling place for your loved ones, your heart is also responsible for oxygen and blood circulation. Needless to say, it is important that you keep your heart healthy. Sadly, many Americans die from a number of cardiac-related diseases; many of which could have been cured by a slice or two of juicy watermelons. Eating watermelons reduce your risk of having heart diseases. Watermelons help to prevent magnesium deficiency and also raise your body’s potassium levels. Healthy magnesium and body potassium levels help to regulate the body’s blood pressure and lower your risk of cardiovascular infections. Lycopene and other antioxidants contained in watermelons help to lower body cholesterol levels and blood pressure. In addition, they prevent oxidative damage to the body cells. Watermelons also contain an amino acid called citrulline. This amino acid is remarkably important as it helps to increase your body’s nitric acid levels. Nitric acid is great for regulating your body’s blood pressure levels. So, if you want to remain young at heart, try a slice or two of watermelon in your next meal.
The Anti Cancer Fruit
The antioxidant contained in watermelons has been proven to reduce the risks of having breast, prostate and colon cancers. Lycopene contained in watermelon reduces the rate of body cell mutation and also the multiplication of malignant cells. It also has the ability to fight free radicals that damage body cells In addition; eating watermelon can make cancer treatment drugs more effective in your body system. It also prevents the formation of cancer tumors in the body and helps to maintain your cells’ DNA structures by preventing harmful mutation.
Research shows that lycopene helps to strengthen the cell membrane and protects the cells from body toxins that can cause cell death and mutation. The vitamin A contained in watermelons helps in preventing skin cancer.
The fiber contained in watermelon helps to free your bowels. In addition, its high water content reduces your risk of constipation. It also ensures that the digestive tract works more effectively. It is a great body detoxifier and helps to relieve the body of excess water that can lead to bloating and swelling.
Nearly 90% of the fruit itself is liquid. Eating watermelons can help your body hydrate more in the warm season. Watermelons help to maintain your body fluid balance. This is because they contain a number of electrolytes like potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus which serve to balance body fluid levels. Research shows that watermelon provides adult women with nearly 11% of their daily fluid requirements. For adult males, the fruit gives them nearly 8% of their daily fluid requirements.
Incorporating Watermelons into Your Diet
Now that you know the different ways in which a slice of watermelons can make you healthier, it is important to know the different ways this multi-dimensional fruit can be consumed. The good thing is you can consume watermelons in more ways than one. Try the following combinations for a healthy diet.
The seeds of watermelon can be roasted and eaten as a snack. You can also add a little salt to taste.
Watermelons can be added to your salad. Spice up a tiresome plate of fruit salad by adding some diced watermelons for a great taste.
Smoothies are a good way to consume watermelon. Their high water content makes them have a light consistency and they can be ready to drink in seconds plus they are really easy to prepare.
So, the next time you visit the groceries, remember to add one or more of these big, green gift of nature to your shopping cart. You will be glad you did!