Besides the high temperatures, summer offers a rich diversity of all sorts of fruits. Undoubtedly, one of the favorites of young and old alike is a juicy and aromatic watermelon.
Regardless of whether you prefer to consume it on its own, with feta cheese, or fresh squeezed, this fruit can provide you much more than just a tasty pleasure.
You've probably heard that tomatoes are healthy because of the prized antioxidant lycopene, that they contain. The latest studies are categorical that watermelon contains twice the lycopene of tomatoes.
Some experts theorize that this substance has a preventative function in the development of cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer.
A different study, done in Spain, revealed that watermelon juice can be exceptionally good for athletes since it alleviates muscle pains and stiffness.
This is entirely owed to the amino acid L-citrulline, found in watermelon, which the body processes into L-arginine. In turn, this amino acid helps relax blood vessels and improves blood circulation.
As well, arginine has a positive effect on the nervous system. As such, watermelon acts as one of the most potent antidepressants. The fact is that the greatest amounts of citrulline are found in the rind and white part below the rind in watermelons, but you can save these for watermelon rind jam.
The significant amounts of vitamins A, B6 and C, iron and high quantity of water make watermelon a healthy part of any breastfeeding mother's diet. The soft cellulose of watermelon and the magnesium regulate intestinal peristalsis and digestion, which helps in overcoming chronic constipation.
The juicy fruit quenches thirst but also restores precious minerals lost in the heat. As opposed to other beverages, besides water it contains easily digestible sugars, pectic substances and minerals. Watermelon is rich in potassium, even though less so than apricots and bananas which are significantly more caloric.
Thanks to its unique ability to remove alkaline urine from the body, watermelon is considered one of the best kidney "cleansers".
Watermelons can remain fresh at room temperature up to 2 to 3 weeks but store cut watermelon in the refrigerator only. The optimal weight is about 13 lb (6 kg), so avoid watermelons that are too small or gigantic.