3 Surprising Facts About Watermelon

WatermelonSummertime always means watermelon time at our home. I am sure many of you have the memories of the backyard cookouts followed by a few slices of watermelon, one is just never enough. The good news is in the US, July is not only the month we celebrate our nations independence, but it is National Watermelon Month. Rightly so, since it is the most eaten melon in the US.

3 Surprising Facts About Watermelon

1. Watermelon Is A Fruit And A Vegetable

It is a seed producing plant that is sweet and the rind is entirely edible. Most people eat the red flesh of the melon, leaving behind the white rind along with the green skin. But did you know that the white rind contains more nutrients than the red flesh, like chlorophyll, which helps promote health and build blood. Add to that the amino acid citrulline that which the body uses to help maintain heart health.

2. Watermelon Is Loaded In Lycopene & Antioxidants

A carotenoid antioxidant, lycopene is what gives fruit and vegetables their pink or red color. For example, this is what gives tomatoes their red color, but watermelon contains even more lycopene. Lycopene is very important for heart health, bone health and specifically in men, prostate cancer prevention. Antioxidants help the body to remove the free-radicals from the blood stream. We will talk more about these two important items in a minute.

3. Watermelon Juice Can Relieve Muscle Soreness And Help Hydrate

Get sore after working in the yard or working out? Consuming a big glass of watermelon juice before a workout may just give you that edge to get through the workout and miss some of that soreness afterwards. One study showed that drinking raw watermelon juice prior to a workout resulted in reduced muscle soreness 24 hours later.

Make Fermented Food At Home – Easily

Lycopene = Awesome In Watermelon

Talk about a great source of lycopene, a half cup of watermelon contains 6,500 mg in the red flesh of the watermelon. Storing the watermelon in the fridge for a couple of days after it is cut has little affect on the amount of lycopene. Some studies have shown it takes about a week of storage to lower the lycopene in the cut watermelon by 11%

Lycopene has a powerful antioxidant activity that is greater than other carotenoids like beta-carotene. These antioxidants have been shown to lower stroke risk factors and it has been found that men with the highest levels of lycopene in their blood where over 50% less likely to have a stroke when compared to others with low levels.

In women studies have shown that lycopene can protect against ovarian caner in postmenopausal women. The antioxidant properties of lycopene in men and women has been shown to have anti-cancer properties.

Watermelon Lowers Blood Pressure

Watermelon is very high in lycopene and lycopene is converted into L-arginine in the kidneys, which is a precursor to nitric oxide. If your body has correct levels of nitric oxide it allows your blood vessels to stay relaxed and open for blood flow and thus keep your blood pressure lower. Don’t be concerned that if you eat too much watermelon your blood pressure with go too low, since your body will just not convert the extra L-arginine to nitric oxide if it is not needed.

I have personally seen watermelon lower blood pressure with some of my clients. They have reported to me that after eating or juicing watermelon they have noticed a drop in their blood pressure to around normal levels for a day or so.

Watermelon, An Anti-inflammatory

Watermelon contains natural anti-inflammatory agents in the form of antioxidants lycopene, cucurbitacin E, and tripterpenoid. These antioxidants help reduce inflammation naturally in a way similar to NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen.

When you add to this that watermelon contains other great nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin A and magnesium you get the idea this is a great food to eat much more than just in the backyard with a cookout.

Watermelon Juice & Sliced

Tips for Choosing the Best Watermelon

Picking out a good watermelon is not as hard as you think. I have tried the thumping method but did not have overwhelming success.

Here is the method I’ve found that works best.

  1. Pick a watermelon that has a yellow belly. If the belly is pale, or white, it means that it was picked before it was ripe.
  2. Try to get a watermelon that has a nice deep green color.
  3. Look for watermelons that have the most continuous “unbroken” stripes running end to end.
  4. Make sure the ends of the watermelon, both blossom and stem end, are firm and do not give when pressed.

If you try to get a watermelon that has the above four attributes then you stand a very good chance of getting a really nice tasting one. During the summer we usually get a watermelon a week to juice and most of the time we end up with a sweet, dark red fleshed. juicy melon by following these steps.

This Slow Juicer Extracts The Most Juice

Ways to Eat Watermelon

Watermelon Margarita MocktailMany people just slice up their watermelon and eat it slightly chilled. You can also make some great drinks out of the watermelon to enjoy in the evening or after being out in the sun.

Shannon came up with a great “mocktail” which uses watermelon.

This watermelon margarita “mocktail” tastes similar to the real thing, but is non-alcoholic…so even the kids can enjoy it (and definitely will 🙂 ). It is a very refreshing drink and perfect for those hot summer days. For a more authentic margarita style drink, rub lime on edge of glass and dip in sea salt (you may want to skip this step for the kiddies).

Another idea to use the rind and get lots of great extra nutrients would be a smoothie.

Watermelon Rind Smoothie

Remove the green skin, as it can unsettle the stomach in some people.

Blend the white rind, along with some of the red flesh and a little water in a blender until smooth. Add some lime juice and/or fresh mint leaves to taste and enjoy. Caution – don’t use the “Turbo” setting on a VitaMix or you will destroy large amounts of the anti-oxidants, the same is true if you are using other super high-powered blenders.

Additional Add-ins – berries for flavor and sweetness.

The way we usually consume our watermelon is as a juice. We use a slow juicer that preserves the nutrients and extracts the most juice. From a good size watermelon we usually get around 2+ gallons of juice, which easily lasts for a few days in the fridge without any significant loss of nutrition. This raw watermelon juice makes a great drink to enjoy in the summer months to help stay hydrated.

Tribest Slowstar Vertical Slow Juicer

Please Note: This post may contain sponsor, affiliate, and/or referral links.

Disclaimer: The information in this post is meant for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.


About Jeff

Jeff Pearce is a board certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant and has coached hundreds of people in the Dallas/Fort Worth to help them achieve their health goals. If you would like more information about his services view the Health Consultations section. For those not in the physical area Distance Coaching is an option. A 15 minute "No Cost" informational consult is available, by phone, to chat and answer questions about services. To schedule your no cost informational consultation please contact us .

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