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Ten Health Benefits of Watermelon

The Health Benefits of Watermelon

Watermelon is a natural source of most powerful antioxidants provided by nature. It is a good source of the antioxidant vitamins C and A to protect us from diseases. It reduces the risk of dehydration.

Summer and watermelon are inseparable. Watermelons are found almost everywhere in the world. Although we can find watermelons in our markets throughout the year, the season for watermelon is the summer when they are sweet and of the best quality. No other fruit can we find so crunchy and thirst quenching like watermelon.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF WATERMELON

  1. The health benefits of watermelon are really great. No matter how it is sliced, it is packed with some of the most important antioxidants found in nature.
  2. It is an excellent source of vitamin C and a very good source of vitamin A, particularly through its concentration of beta-carotene.
  3. The beautiful red watermelon is also a source of the potent carotene antioxidant which is called lycopene. These antioxidants travel throughout the body neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals are substances in the body that can cause much damage to us. They are able to oxidize cholesterol, making it stick to blood vessel walls and thicken them which can lead to hearty attack or stroke. The lycopene which gives fruits the attractive red color that we find in watermelon can help reduce the risks of prostate cancer.
  4. It is a surprising fact that watermelon is the only fruit that contains higher concentrations of lycopene than any other fresh fruit or vegetable.
  5. Watermelon is a fruit that is rich in electrolytes sodium and potassium that we lose through our perspiration.
  6. Watermelon is rich in the B vitamins necessary for energy production. Food experts recommend watermelon as a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of vitamin B1 and magnesium. Because of its higher water content approximately ninety percent and calorie value it is ranked more valuable than other fruits.
  7. Watermelon has a special cooling effect and is exceptionally high in citrulline, an amino acid that our bodies use to make another amino acid, arginine, which is used in the urea cycle to remove ammonia from the body.
  8. The antioxidants help reducing the severity of asthma. It also reduces the risk of colon cancer, asthma, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and prostate cancer.
  9. Watermelon is a good source of thiamin, potassium and magnesium which protect our body from so many diseases.
  10. Watermelon is fat free but helps energy production. It protects against macular degeneration.
  11. Watermelon is also considered a natural viagra. Check our recent entry about this subject by clicking here on this link. https://docakilah.wordpress.com/2011/06/24/watermelon-a-natural-viagra/
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Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter

For More Health Tips Like This Check Out Our Health Tips Page

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Watermelon: A Natural Viagra

A cold slice of watermelon has long been a Fourth of July holiday staple. But according to recent studies, the juicy fruit may be better suited for Valentine’s Day. That’s because scientists say watermelon has ingredients that deliver Viagra-like effects to the body’s blood vessels and may even increase libido.

“The more we study watermelons, the more we realize just how amazing a fruit it is in providing natural enhancers to the human body,” said Dr. Bhimu Patil, director of Texas A&M’s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center in College Station.

“We’ve always known that watermelon is good for you, but the list of its very important healthful benefits grows longer with each study.”

Beneficial ingredients in watermelon and other fruits and vegetables are known as phyto-nutrients, naturally occurring compounds that are bioactive, or able to react with the human body to trigger healthy reactions, Patil said.

In watermelons, these include lycopene, beta carotene and the rising star among its phyto-nutrients – citrulline – whose beneficial functions are now being unraveled. Among them is the ability to relax blood vessels, much like Viagra does.

Scientists know that when watermelon is consumed, citrulline is converted to arginine through certain enzymes. Arginine is an amino acid that works wonders on the heart and circulation system and maintains a good immune system, Patil said.

“The citrulline-arginine relationship helps heart health, the immune system and may prove to be very helpful for those who suffer from obesity and type 2 diabetes,” said Patil. “Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, the same basic effect that Viagra has, to treat erectile dysfunction and maybe even prevent it.”

While there are many psychological and physiological problems that can cause impotence, extra nitric oxide could help those who need increased blood flow, which would also help treat angina, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems.

“Watermelon may not be as organ specific as Viagra,” Patil said, “but it’s a great way to relax blood vessels without any drug side-effects.”

The benefits of watermelon don’t end there, he said. Arginine also helps the urea cycle by removing ammonia and other toxic compounds from our bodies.

Citrulline, the precursor to arginine, is found in higher concentrations in the rind of watermelons than the flesh. As the rind is not commonly eaten, two of Patil’s fellow scientists, drs. Steve King and Hae Jeen Bang, are working to breed new varieties with higher concentrations in the flesh.

In addition to the research by Texas A&M, watermelon’s phyto-nutrients are being studied by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service in Lane, Oklahoma.

As an added bonus, these studies have also shown that deep red varieties of watermelon have displaced the tomato as the lycopene king, Patil said. Almost 92 percent of watermelon is water, but the remaining 8 percent is loaded with lycopene, an anti-oxidant that protects the human heart, prostate and skin health.

“Lycopene, which is also found in red grapefruit, was historically thought to exist only in tomatoes,” he said. “But now we know that it’s found in higher concentrations in red watermelon varieties.”

Lycopene, however, is fat-soluble, meaning that it needs certain fats in the blood for better absorption by the body, Patil said.

“Previous tests have shown that lycopene is much better absorbed from tomatoes when mixed in a salad with oily vegetables like avocado or spinach,” Patil said. “That would also apply to the lycopene from watermelon, but I realize mixing watermelon with spinach or avocadoes is a very hard sell.”

No studies have been conducted to determine the timing of the consumption of oily vegetables to improve lycopene absorption, he said.

“One final bit of advice for those Fourth of July watermelons you buy,” Patil said. “They store much better uncut if you leave them at room temperature. Lycopene levels can be maintained even as it sits on your kitchen floor. But once you cut it, refrigerate. And enjoy. It is suggested that you would have to eat 1560g of water melon as a starting dose to see “performance increases”

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Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and board-certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter

For More Health Tips Like This Check Out Our Health Tips Page

Food Art – Be Creative With Healthy Meals

Unique and unbelievable Food Art!  Check out this collection of food images. Perhaps it will give you some ideas of your own.  Enjoy!

A group of penguins carved from eggplants

 

Green Apple carved into a human skull

 

Fish carved from Chinese Cabbage

 

Frogs carved from green peppers. Black eyed peas are used as eyes.

 

Screaming momma orange and the crying children (or babies) made out of kumquats

 

A beautiful lunch made out of white rice (with light blue food coloring), brown rice as the ground, the geese are made out of shiitake mushrooms and the sun is a yellow mini-courgettes. The swamp water is a green sauce with food coloring and the swamp grass consists of string beans.

 

Grapefruit and his friend Potato who dropped his ice cream made out of carrots and cauliflower

 

Watermelon Woman with big earrings made out of orange slices

 

Windows XP computer made out of sushi and the mouse is a boiled egg

 

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