It is light, refreshing and delicious. It has a lot of beneficial properties for the heart, the prostate, the cells, the brain… Now that it is at its best, do you sign up for this "natural medicine"?
For more than 5,000 years, on the banks of the Nile, this fruit has been cultivated and has spread throughout all the regions bathed by the Mediterranean. In Spain, this "incandescent carmine", as defined by the modernist poet from Malaga Salvador Rueda, came in the eighth century, during the period of Arab domination. And its original name (sandiyah in classical Arabic) already denotes its origin.
Round, intensely incarnated inside if it is at its optimum point of maturation, crunchy, sweet and watery, watermelon is today one of the most widespread fruits throughout the world. And our country is one of the main producers: of the more than 2,700 million kilos that are produced each year in Spain, twenty percent (about 525), are dedicated to export.
The evolution of time, just as it has extended its radius of action, has also made the fruit evolve.
The first watermelons that were raised wild in the African desert of the Kalahari, were small, bitter and unappetizing, and little by little gave way, through the selection of sweetened species, to the fruit that we know today. And that is now, in summer, when it is at its best. And although it is rich, has few calories and lots of water, which makes it ideal for summer, watermelon hides other properties, and many of them are beneficial for the heart. Watermelon citrulline, for example, helps relax blood vessels and improves circulation. Watermelon extract supplements, according to a University of Florida study, help postmenopausal women improve their cardiovascular health. Those same supplements, taken for six weeks, help to relieve blood pressure in obese middle-aged adults. And according to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry, taking a glass of watermelon juice before training helps reduce the heart rate of athletes and muscle pain the next day.
Still not convinced? Here are the…
8 amazing health benefits of watermelon
- It is highly diuretic: Watermelon is 93% water, which makes it ideal for weight loss diets and recommended in kidney patients.
- Provides few calories: One hundred grams of watermelon only have 20.3 calories. That, added to its large amount of water, causes satiety.
- It is depurative: Its high alkalizing power favors the elimination of acids harmful to the body. Its fiber content (0.3 g) also favors the correct intestinal transit.
- Protects cells: Its content in beta carotene helps good visual health, prevents the appearance of certain types of cancers and prevents cell ageing by overexposure to the sun.
- It is good for the brain: It has high levels of potassium and magnesium, minerals necessary for the transmission and generation of nervous and muscle activity.
- Avoid infections: Its characteristic red color is due to lycopene, an antioxidant that prevents against certain cancers, cardiovascular problems and inflammation of the prostate.
- Protects the heart: It is rich in citrulline, a substance that by becoming an amino acid called arginine protects the heart, the circulatory system and the immune system.
- It is ideal for children: Due to its high water content (93%), its low caloric content and its content in calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamins C, A, B1, B2 and B6, it is ideal for them.
It has so many benefits, so what are you waiting for? Here is a quick recipe for you to start enjoying them:
- 600 gr. tomato on branch
- 500 gr. watermelon pulp
- 35 gr. onion
- 40 gr. green pepper
- 1 small garlic clove
- Olive oil
- Mint leaves
Wash the tomatoes and pepper and cut them into pieces. Peel the garlic, cut it lengthwise and remove the germ.
Put in a glass to beat the tomato, garlic, onion and pepper, all in medium pieces. Beat until everything is fine. Press the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and return it to the mixing bowl.
Clean the watermelon, removing the peel and cucumbers until there is half a kilo of pulp. Cut it into several pieces and pour them into the blender. Add a tablespoon of olive oil, one or two of vinegar and salt to your liking.
Crush the gazpacho and add with salt and vinegar. Put it in the fridge and leave it there, at least, a couple of hours.
When you are going to serve it, mix it with a large spoon and garnish it with some mint leaves.
An alternative to Viagra?
Watermelon has a high concentration of citrulline, a substance dilates blood vessels and acts in the same way that drugs such as Viagra do. For another reason, according to a study by the A & M University of Texas, a substitute for this could be a good one.
The problem is that the largest amount of citrulline is in the white part, the part that almost nobody eats.