The sound of a knife slicing open a crisp, vibrant, green watermelon rind is one of the signals that summer is here. There are few more perfect representations of everything we love about summer than the cool, refreshing watermelon. Another reason to appreciate this amazing fruit is the lesser-known nutrients that are packed into its brightly colored interior.
The high concentrations of water in this delicious melon have made it a favorite summer snack for generations to thirsty adults and children. And many may be surprised to also know that watermelons are filled with Vitamin C, an important free-radical fighting antioxidant.
The pulp of the watermelon also contains lycopene, giving it that deep pinkish-red color and antioxidant properties. Lycopene is believed to help guard against heart disease, and it may help lower the risk of prostate cancer, among other cancers. The green rind of the watermelon is full of citrulline amino acid and can improve blood circulation by dilating the blood vessels.
There are numerous creative ways to enjoy watermelon as well. Try pureeing the watermelon with its rind. Add lime, basil and iced tea for a refreshing drink on a hot summer day. This way you are not only getting the nutrition from the pulp, but also from the rind. Another one my favorite ways to spice up an ordinary slice of watermelon is to chill it, then add a sprinkle of fresh mint and lime juice. It gives this refreshing summer snack a new twist
In many cultures, it is a social custom to bring a watermelon to a host’s home as a gift. So, consider giving the gift of good health this summer with a watermelon!
Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement.