When I think of hot summer days and fun, relaxing picnics, watermelon always comes to mind. Cold and refreshing on a hot day, it's a seasonal favorite of mine. Discovering the many ways watermelon adds to our health and well-being, however, makes this amazing fruit far more than just picnic food!
Some fun facts about watermelon...
- Watermelon has been referred to as 'Natures Viagra'. The arginine produced by eating watermelon relaxes the blood vessels, which, in short, is the same basic concept of how Viagra works. The zinc contained in the rind also works to fight impotency.
- Watermelon protects the skin from sunburn - some research shows it reduces risk of sunburn by 40%. It also feeds and nourishes the skin, preventing wrinkles and keeping the skin younger.
- Watermelon is loaded with electrolytes and vitamin C; and it helps decrease the risk of certain certain cancers.
- Watermelon is rich in lycopene, which is known for preventing plaque build up in blood vessels.
- Watermelon has been shown to promote weight loss.
- Watermelon is an excellent diuretic and is extremely beneficial to the kidneys.
Watermelon and Your Kidneys
When I hear something is good for the kidneys, I like to think about what that actually means. Just stopping to ponder how hard my kidneys work in the body, motivates me to protect and take care of them. Although the kidneys' big job is to remove waste and excess fluid from the body, they do a great deal more than some people may realize. For example, the kidneys produce a hormone that stimulates red blood cell production. They also produce hormones that regulate blood pressure and control the metabolism of calcium. In other words, if you clean the kidneys and improve how they function, you're doing a tremendous amount of good for the rest of your body as well.
Juicing the watermelon with the rind offers tremendous benefits. The watermelon rind oxygenates the cells by releasing a free-radical scavenger, which in turn acts as an anti-aging agent. The watermelon rind is loaded with provitamin A, potassium, and zinc. Ninety-five percent of the food value in watermelon is actually found in the rind.
One of my favorite cleanses to do is a watermelon fast. Sometimes I simply put the watermelon in a blender with ice and drink that several times a day. Other times I may just eat watermelon throughout the day or even juice the rind along with the rest of the fruit. Whichever way I choose, I have found it to be one of the easiest ways to cleanse or fast because it is so filling!
Go out and get some watermelon! (If it's in season!)
Whether eaten throughout the day or used as part of a cleanse, watermelon is a wonderful fruit to enjoy all summer long. I'm heading out at the end of this sentence to get some watermelon and so should you!
The National Kidney Foundation
The Everything Juicing Book by Carole Jacobs
Heinerman's Encyclopedia of Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs
The Power of Juicing by Jay Kordich
Dr. Christopher's Herbal Lectures