According to recent studies, watermelon has beaten out tomatoes for its lycopene bounty. Lycopene is important for our cardiovascular health and watermelon now accounts for having more lycopene than any other fruit.
Benefits of Watermelon:
- Reduce the risk of skin damage and wrinkling
- Can improve sleep – the polysaccharide carbohydrates can increase the body’s output of serotonin.
- Supply of L-citrullin allows blood vessels to flow more freely
- Can be an energy boost because of vitamin B6
- Helpful amounts of iron and zinc
- In large amounts, a great benefit of fiber and protein
- Rich source of potassium which helps to enhance the muscular and nervous system
- An excellent source of water
When purchasing a watermelon for freshness, a fully ripened watermelon will feel heavy for its size. Watermelons develop a splotch where they rest on the ground. When the splotch is yellow, it is ripe. Tap the underbelly of a watermelon; if ripe, it will have a deep hollow sound.
Some studies suggest that watermelon is also a natural Viagra because L-citrullin does relax and dilate blood vessels much like the drug, but studies are still premature.
It can require a lot of watermelon to boost the blood levels needed.
Just this year, a study from the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry indicated that L-citrulline is an excellent candidate to reduce muscle soreness and again, watermelon was proven to be rich in this amino acid.
Watermelon is among the best dietary sources of lycopene, an antioxidant linked to both the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer, although scientists are still investigating the details of that connection.
My Recipes provides some great ideas in serving watermelon dishes, which can include a watermelon salad tossed with tomatoes; a surprisingly great combination. Chilled watermelon soup is popular served with lemon juice and mint. There is even such thing as watermelon gazpacho; a chilled chili sprinkled with dill and feta cheese.
Watermelon now accounts for having more lycopene than any other fruit and a new favorite now has a new reason for being eaten.
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