Health Corner: Watermelon

Watermelon is most commonly known as a summer fruit; remember those July and August barbecues where you have watermelon for dessert? But as we flip the calendar to March we are actually entering the month when watermelon is at its freshest stage. The sweetness of watermelon always attracted us when we were younger, but now it is more than taste that you should look for when watermelon season ripens.

As is the case with most red fruits, watermelon has lycopene, which has been proven time and time again to prevent cancer. Watermelon is unique in that it has a usually high amount of lycopene. It also has potassium which helps control blood pressure, prevent strokes, and regulate the heart beat.

But if you have been reading the Health Corner week after week, as I am sure most of you have, you have probably noticed that almost everything written about in the Health Corner prevents heart attacks and strokes and controls the heart. So what makes the watermelon so special? Why should you eat it instead of any other fruit?

Well for one thing, it is delicious. If you do not like watermelon, especially on a hot day, I recommend you have your taste buds checked. Watermelon is unique for practical reasons. It is a natural thirst quencher. It was first grown in Egypt, and was a very highly sought after fruit in Egypt because of its high water content combined with Egypt’s hot weather, deserts, and lack of water. Watermelon is 92 percent water. Some hieroglyphics suggest watermelon was put in the tombs of some pharaohs. Instead of gulping down fruit drinks with added and processed sugars, why not quench your thirst with some watermelon? You still benefit from the nutrients and you get the sweetness of the natural sugar. Smart Water has nothing on the watermelon.

Watermelon is also beneficial because it is such a light snack. It will fill you up without making you feel heavy and lazy.

It comes in more than one form. You can buy them baby, regular or seedless. But why would you want it seedless? That could even be the best part. Mostly in the Arab world but quickly growing in the U.S., roasted watermelon seeds are a popular snack.

Now for the most unique health benefit of the watermelon: prevention against erectile dysfunction. ED is caused by poor blood flow, so eating watermelon on a regular basis can improve the condition because of a new element found in it. Citrulline is converted into arginine, which causes more nitric oxide to be released. This causes blood vessels to expand throughout the body and increase blood flow. This is similar to the effects of Viagra.

No, watermelon flavored gum and candy do not count. Those are in season all year, but have zero nutritional value.

57 thoughts on “Health Corner: Watermelon”

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