Lucky for us, watermelon is beneficial for more than just our taste buds. It is a good source of vitamin C as well as lycopene, a nutrient with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Lycopene gives watermelon its red color, so the riper a watermelon is, the more nutrition it has. (Also, the sweeter it is!) When buying a whole watermelon, its ripeness can be judged by its weight; the water content increases with ripening, so a heavier melon is more nutritious. With cut watermelons, look for ones with more of a rich red hue than lighter pink.
Watermelon is also a great source of citrulline, an amino acid that our bodies use to produce a compound that can relax muscles and lower blood pressure. In one study, athletes who drank watermelon juice before working out had reduced heart rates and a reduction in muscle soreness the next day.
Even the rind and seeds of watermelon are beneficial, despite being cut out, spat out, or never even there if a seedless melon is bought. The seeds are a good source of protein as well as essential minerals including iron and magnesium. Just an ounce of them can provide between 10 and 35% of each of these nutrients and other minerals. It might take quite a few pieces of watermelon to eat this many seeds, but seeds can also be dried or roasted and eaten as a separate snack.
Interesting Facts: Watermelon as a Kidney Cleanse
Watermelon is one of the best natural remedies known for kidney stones mostly because they contain the highest water content (92%) of any food. Watermelons are also diuretic, meaning they help to increase urine flow, which helps flush kidneys when dealing with kidney stones. Watermelons are also extremely high in potassium which assists your body in dissolving kidney stones. Potassium can also help lower blood pressure, essential for kidney health. Watermelons are also high in nitric oxide and lycopene (as mentioned earlier) which aid in maintaining kidney health.
It’s not just the watermelon fruit that supports your kidneys; the black seeds of watermelon are also useful for cleansing both the bladder and the kidneys helping remove stones.
Revitalive uses organic watermelon (flesh, rind, and seeds!) in its Minty Melon juice. Try some today to kick off this Fourth of July weekend!
If you have already experienced kidney stones, or are otherwise at risk due to dietary choices, eating watermelons regularly can help prevent the formation of stones. Drinking watermelon juice several times a week is a great way to prevent stones without any side effects. Also, if you are ever experiencing a tight, painful sensation in the kidneys, even just subtle, you may be experiencing kidney stress. Watermelon juice is a great remedy even if the sensation is mild, in order to bring things back into balance.
Did you know that watermelons are the best foods to juice, since there is so much juice yielded per fruit? At Revitalive we add both limes and mint to increase both the taste and the cleansing benefits of the juice.
Vitamin C, lycopene, citrulline, potassium, protein, minerals, and more… watermelon is more nutritious than you thought! But that’s not what you were wondering about, was it? You knew it probably had some good stuff in there – it’s a fruit! Your real questions have still gone unanswered. What about the sugar content? It’s so deliciously sweet that the sugar must cancel out the benefits! And is watermelon a GMO? You’ll be happy to hear the answers:
Q: Since watermelon is so sweet, am I eating a lot of sugar?
A: Despite watermelon being so sweet, a regular serving size would not have that much sugar. Because watermelon has such a high water content (over 90%), you’ll probably start feeling full (or will be going back for a second hamburger/veggie burger) long before that point.
Q: Are seedless watermelons genetically modified?
A: Seedless watermelons are actually not genetically modified; a genetically modified organism (GMO) is a plant or animal that has been crossbred with the DNA of bacteria, viruses, or a different species. Seedless watermelons, on the other hand, are a cross between two types of watermelon plants. This is called hybridization.
Watermelon photo: http://blogs.kcrw.com/goodfood/2013/06/vegetarian-recipe-2/
Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/riva-greenberg/gl-and-gi_b_863126.html
National Geographic: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/08/130820-watermelon-nutrition-health-food-science/
Non GMO Project: http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/
Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/31/AR2010083102643.html?sid=ST2010083102729
World’s Heathiest Foods: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=31