5 Things You Didn’t Know About Watermelon

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Watermelon

No other produce screams summer quite like watermelon. It could be its refreshing sweetness or even the burst of color that adds a bit of brightness to your plate.

Thing is, there’s more to watermelon than just its flavor: It boasts some powerful health benefits, too. At 46 calories per cup, watermelon offers 20% of your daily intake of vitamin C and 17% vitamin A, according to the USDA. That’s not all.

“Watermelon contains dietary fiber for digestive health as well as potassium, a mineral that helps keep blood pressure capped,” says Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, Health‘s contributing nutrition editor.

No wonder there’s a month-long holiday dedicated to it—July is National Watermelon Month. Here are some other fun facts to celebrate watermelon’s big month:

It has more lycopene than raw tomatoes
In just one cup, watermelon has 1.5 times the stuff than a large fresh tomato, 6 milligrams compared to 4 milligrams, according to the USDA. That matters because lycopene is thought to act as a super antioxidant, stopping free radicals from damaging your cells and messing with your immune system. Some research even suggests that lycopene, typically found in red fruits and vegetables, may help fight heart disease and several types of cancer. Pro tip: “To retain the most antioxidants in this delicious superfood, store your watermelon at room temperature before slicing,” Sass says.

The juice can relieve muscle soreness
A Spanish study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that 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.

That may be because watermelon contains a natural substance called citrulline that’s been tied to improved artery function and lower blood pressure. In fact, its ability to relax the blood vessels led Texas A&M University researchers to say watermelon has Viagra-like effects. But you’ll need to look beyond the pink flesh if you really want to load up on citrulline—it’s concentrated most in the rind. If that’s not your thing, you can always save it for pickling or preserving later, Sass says.

It’s a fruit AND a vegetable
Talk about an overachiever. Like most fruits, watermelon is the product of a seed-producing plant and has a signature sweet taste. But it can be traced back to the squash, pumpkin, and cucumber family known as Cucurbitaceae. Remember how you can eat the rind? The dual nature of watermelon makes it all edible, so there’s no excuse to leave any part behind.

It’s packed with, well, water
Now this is a food with some serious hydration power. Watermelon is 91.5% water, according to the USDA. That’s a big deal seeing as how being dehydrated is bad for your health. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that women with even mild dehydration experienced headaches, poor concentration, fatigue, and worse moods. More reason to whip up some watermelon recipes, stat.

There’s a yellow variety
It’s hard to believe there’s a watermelon that’s NOT pink on the inside, but there’s another variety, known as Yellow Crimson, has a sunny interior and the flesh has a sweeter, honey-like taste. Thing is, the two are nearly identical on the outside, so unless you’re reading the signs at your grocery store or farmers’ market, it can be hard to tell which is which. If you want the regular pink watermelon, ask for a Crimson Sweet.

Just keep in mind that no one really knows what, if any, nutritional value the yellow variety offers. Most research has been done on the pink kind, Sass says, so best to stick with that or round up a good mix of both

Source: health

Watermelon can improve sex life too!

Watermelon can improve sex life too

The summer just got hotter. The humble watermelon in your neighbourhood fruit market not only helps you shed weight, improve circulation or lower blood pressure, it can also boost your sex drive!

According to a recent study by Italian researchers, citrulline amino acid in watermelons improve blood flow and can alleviate erectile dysfunction.

Our bodies use citrulline to make yet another amino acid called arginine, which has viagra-like effect. Arginine boosts nitric oxide which relaxes blood vessels – the same basic effect that viagra has.

Extra nitric oxide can also help treat angina, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems, the study noted.

The juicy fruit is 92% water, 8% sugar, a great source of vitamin C and only 71 calories per serving.

Source: hindustan times

10 foods you must eat to stay healthy this summer

It’s summer time, that time of the year when there is abundance of fresh, healthy and delicious choices of food. Be it a slice of watermelon, or a handful of berries, these are all classic summertime foods and as it turns out, also great choices to keep you healthy.

Here are 10 food items you should stock this summer.

1. Watermelon: One often feels dehydrated and weak in summers. Watermelon keeps your body cool during hot months. It not only keeps you hydrated but also keeps your memory sharp and mood stable. It also delivers more nutrients per calorie, as it is very water-dense.

2. Tomatoes: Many studies claim that tomatoes contain lycopene, the carotenoid that makes tomatoes red. This component helps in protecting skin from sunburn. Other studies suggest that in Japan, a compound in tomatoes can help break down lipids in the bloodstream, reducing the risk of vascular diseases.

3. Blueberries: These berries, one of the few foods that are naturally blue, have sky-high levels of antioxidants, which combat the damage done by inflammation. Anthocyanins, the natural plant compounds that give blueberries their deep color, may have antidiabetic effects as well.

4. Peaches: Summer’s favorite stone fruit, peaches are rich in betacarotene, which promotes eye health. Vitamin A and C make peaches a great natural moisturizer. These are often used in cosmetics. These vitamins can help regenerate skin tissue. Peaches are often referred to as the ‘Fruit of Calmness’ in Hungary. It’s a healthy stress reliever that helps reduce anxiety.

5. Cherries: Tart cherries have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. Sweet cherries have cancer-preventive components including fiber, Vitamin C and carotenoids, according to the USDA. Cherries are also an excellent source of potassium, which helps lower blood pressure by getting rid of the excess sodium in our body.

6. Cucumbers: This water-packed vegetable easily bulks up salads without adding calories and contributes to your daily hydration needs. Cucumbers contain high amounts of dietary fibre. These are extremely rich in Vitamin Bs, which help regulate the functioning of your adrenal glands and counters the harmful effects that stress can have on your body.

7. Zucchini: Thanks to relatively high water content, zucchini can be used as a healthy, low-calorie baking substitute. Regular intake of zucchinis can reduce painful symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Phosphorus and magnesium found in zucchini are useful in maintaining healthy bones. It helps women to keep osteoporosis at bay.

8. Yellow squash (summer squash): Summer squash and other members of the squash family are high in beta-carotene and antioxidants. Like most vegetables, yellow squash contains little fat and no measurable cholesterol. It’s also abundant in antioxidants that keep free radicals at bay

9. Sugar snap peas: It contains many vitamins that benefit the entire body. They are a source of Vitamin K, which activates osteocalcin and helps keep calcium in bones.

10. Corn: It is very high in fibre, which helps you fight digestive problems like constipation. Fibre also helps lower cholesterol levels, reduces the risk of colon cancer and is also useful in helping to lower blood sugar levels in diabetics.

Source: Khaleej times