Watermelon

Despite popular belief that watermelon is made up of only water and sugar, watermelon is actually considered a nutrient dense food, a food that provides a high amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for a low amount of calories. Wonderfully delicious and juicy melons are the great source of much-needed water and electrolytes to tame tropical summer temperatures.

Watermelon is a large, sprawling annual plant with coarse, hairy pinnately-lobed leaves and white to yellow flowers. Botanically, the fruit belongs to the family of Cucurbitaceae, in the genus: citrullus, and is related to the other same family members such as cantaloupe,squash and pumpkin that run as vines on the ground surface. Small or young growth is densely woolly with yellowish-brown hairs which disappear as the plant ages. The plant has branching tendrils. It is widely grown across many tropical countries where it is one of the major commercial fruit crops. It is originally from southern Africa. 

As its name suggests, watermelon is an excellent way to hydrate in the morning. The amazing health benefits of watermelon cover everything from your brain all the way to the cells in your feet. What's less well known is this juicy fruit is among the best sources of lycopene—a nutrient found in red fruits and vegetables that's important for vision, heart health, and cancer prevention. Diets rich in lycopene may help protect against heart diseases also. With 92% of water content, watermelon stands as the most refreshing, hydrating and cooling fruit that one can relish to beat summer heat, especially in tropical countries like India. Watermelon is called an immune boosting food because it contains a host of vitamins — vitamin B6,B1 and C and is also rich in minerals like manganese that are required in several cycles involved in immune system. Being rich in flavonoids it protects the cellular DNA from free radical damage, preventing cancer. To retain the most antioxidants in this delicious superfood, store your watermelon at room temperature before slicing. Watermelon is a natural diuretic which helps increase the flow of urine, but does not strain the kidneys (unlike alcohol and caffeine). Watermelons helps the liver process ammonia (waste from protein digestion) which eases strain on the kidneys while getting rid of excess fluids. Drinking watermelon juice can actually be quite soothing after a grueling workout. Athletes who consumed a little more than 16 ounces an hour before exercise had less muscle soreness and a lower heart rate within a day. It is also a good source of Potassium which is very good and useful for our bodies. It helps controlling the heart rate and blood pressure. Watermelon has been shown to reduce the accumulation of fat in our fat cells. It is also great for your skin because it contains vitamin A, a nutrient required for sebum production that keeps hair moisturized. Vitamin A is also necessary for the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair. Watermelon rinds are also edible, but most people avoid eating them due to their unappealing flavor. They are used for making pickles, and sometimes used as a vegetable. The rind is stir-fried, stewed or more often pickled. Its juice can be made into wine or blended with other fruit juices. An alcoholic treat called a "hard watermelon" is made by pouring liquor into a hole in the rind of a whole fruit, and then eating the alcohol-permeated flesh. I love watermelon juice very much. It is a delectable thirst-quencher. When they are in season, I regularly take two glasses of watermelon juice, one in breakfast and one in the afternoon. One cannot keep its juice for more than twenty four hours even in the refrigerator. It is so refreshing and cooling. You can enjoy with a sprig of mint or sometimes ginger too because its good for our health. Its too good. Most of the people like a  dash of rose syrup in it, some people like to add black salt but I don't. I like with hint of mint in it. Its nice cool summer drink. It’s high in vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium. It’s about 92% water, so it’s plenty hydrating. Sometimes the juice in itself is so sweet that I love a zing of lemon in it sometimes. I like my juice straight , I mean not the extracted one. I love that feel in my mouth and I don't add any ice cubes in it. I have made Popsicle too of it and they are so yum!!. I love to serve them to kids and they enjoy them like anything. I enjoy making lemon and watermelon sorbet. It is so tasty and so creamy. I love it and I am sure everybody will love it too.  Watermelon is a low acid fruit. Your taste buds taste the relationship of sugar to acid. In the case of orange juice (a high acid fruit) you need a lot of natural sugar to make the acid palatable. Watermelon juice tastes sweeter because of its lower acidic content. 

This juicy red fruit is a natural astringent that enhances the appearance of our skin by acting as a natural toner. For the best results, massage your skin with a fresh watermelon slice or blend it with honey. If you have oily skin, you can add hazelnut powder to watermelon juice extract and apply it on your face and neck to keep it well-hydrated. If your skin is prone to acne or pimples, simply massage your skin with watermelon juice every day. Dehydration can make our skin appear dry and dull. If you have dry skin, you can apply watermelon with honey to keep it properly moisturized and hydrated. This fruit must also be included in your diet for a supple skin.  It reduces the size of the skin pores and minimizes the oil secreted by the sebaceous glands. It is very good for treating sun burnt or sun-damaged skin. All you have to do is soak cotton pads with fresh watermelon juice and apply to any sunburned areas. Let the juice sit on your skin for 15 minutes before rinsing off with cool water.

To make your skin look more youthful take one cup of watermelon pulp and apply it on your face and neck directly without adding anything to it. This revitalizing watermelon face pack will give your face a cool, clean and young look. Dirt and pollution close the pores of your skin and make it look dull. To regain your fresh look use watermelons in the frozen form. Simply rub watermelon and mint leaves frozen into ice cubes all over the face. This opens the pores makes your skin look fresh.

To have a glowing and softer skin mix 1 teaspoon watermelon juice with 1 teaspoon plain Greek Yogurt. You can use plain yogurt too, there is no hard and fast rule to use just Greek yogurt. The lactic acid and enzymes in the yogurt will help gently exfoliate and purify while the watermelon hydrates and heals. Apply the mask to your face and neck for 10 minutes before rinsing off.

You can try using it as a body scrub too by adding gram flour t it. Use grated watermelon with a pinch of gram flour. This is an amazing scrub for your skin. Apply this paste on your face for 15 minutes and all you get is beautiful glowing skin.

To beat aging, mix 1 teaspoon watermelon juice with 1 teaspoon of mashed avocado. The avocado is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which helps plump the skin, as well as vitamin C and vitamin E, which act as antioxidants for a powerful anti-aging combination. Apply to your face and let sit for 20 minutes before rinsing with warm water.

Watermelon is an excellent skin exfoliator as it is rich in malic acid. If you want to exfoliate your dead skin cells, simply rub watermelon pulp on your face and wash it off after 20 minutes.

 Watermelon contains abundant amount of a phytonutrients called citrulline. These help increase the level of arginine in the body. Arginine is an amino acid that improves blood circulation in the scalp, thus promoting hair growth.

Watermelon is one food which is very good for the pregnant women too. There are numerous fruits you can and cannot consume during pregnancy. Watermelon, fortunately, is one of the fruits you can and should consume. Watermelon is healthy, nutritious, refreshing and energizing too. Edema, or light swelling of the feet and hands, is very common during pregnancy. Watermelon has very high water content. It reduces the blockages in the veins and the muscles and helps prevent edema.  It is a good idea for a pregnant woman to start the day with a glass of fresh watermelon juice. It contains nutritional and energizing properties that prevent the occurrence of morning sickness. All pregnant women are advised to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. Dehydration can cause premature contractions and lead to a premature birth. Watermelon contains more than 90% water and eating it is a great way to stay hydrated. 

Watermelon seeds are low in calories and are nutrient dense. When roasted, they’re crispy and can easily take the place of other unhealthy snack options. Roasting watermelon seeds is easy. You can make the seeds taste even better by adding a little olive oil and salt, or sprinkling them with cinnamon and a light dusting of sugar. If you prefer more flavor, you can add lime juice and chili powder, or even cayenne pepper. Set your oven at 325°F and place the seeds on a baking sheet. It should only take about 15 minutes for them to roast, but you may want to stir them halfway through to ensure an even crispiness. They taste too good with salads. I have made feta cheese with little greens and some watermelon chunks as well as watermelon seeds, roasted. It is a beautiful tasty, healthy and satisfying salad. One ounce of watermelon seeds contains approximately 158 calories. A large handful of watermelon seeds weighs about 4 grams, which contains about 56 seeds and just 22 calories. Far less than a bag of potato chips! One of several minerals found in watermelon seeds is magnesium. In a 4 gram serving, you’ll get 21 mg of magnesium. Magnesium is essential for many of the body’s metabolic functions. It’s also required to maintain nerve and muscle function, as well as immune, heart, and bone health. They also have good fats, folate and iron. These fats are useful in protecting against heart attack and stroke, and lowering levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood. Watermelon seeds are very high in protein. The seeds consists of several amino acids and are also loaded with several of the B vitamins. The most prevalent B vitamin in watermelon seeds is niacin, with 1 cup of dried watermelon seeds containing 3.8mg, which is 19 percent of the daily value. Niacin is important for maintaining the nervous system, digestive system and skin health. Magnesium is the most abundant mineral, weighing in with 556mg, or 139 percent of the recommended daily value, in 1 cup of dried seeds. Roasted watermelon seeds nourish your hair and skin because of their copper content. You need copper to produce melanin -- the pigment that gives your skin and hair their color, and also helps protect you from the sun's harmful rays. It keeps your connective tissue strong and resistant to damage and promotes healthy nervous system function. Copper content also plays a role in iron transport, so it can be used to make hemoglobin.  Eat your roasted watermelon seeds in the same meal as fruits and vegetables, since vitamin C -- a nutrient found in many fruits and veggies -- helps your body better absorb the iron in the seeds. 

Refrences taken from :- medicalnews, health, dailymail, healthline, healthyeating, hort.purdue.edu, fruitsandveggiesmorematters, wikipedia.

(all pictures are sourced from internet)

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