Anyone who’s ever bitten into a slice of watermelon knows it induces a state of relaxation like few other fruits. But did you know that the fruit can also be used as medicine? Humans began doing just that thousands of years ago. Renowned physicians like Hippocrates and Dioscorides actually praised the bright red melon for its healing properties.
Today, let’s bite into the juicy facts and explore the many medicinal benefits of watermelon. We’ll also look at how to prepare the fruit to make the best use of it.
Generally speaking, the higher a food’s water content the most likely it is to act as a cooling agent. That logic places this fruit pretty high up on the list of foods that cool your internal organs.
Most people understand this has a refreshing effect. But that explanation only scratches the surface. And, just as with watermelon, the good stuff lies under the surface.
You see, a cool inner environment also reduces your risk of internal inflammation. In addition to relieving pain, this also reduces your risk of developing just about all diseases. You see, inflammation is at the root of most diseases.
Watermelon gets its red pigment from a powerful antioxidant compound called lycopene. Lycopene seeks and destroys reactive oxygen species, preventing oxidative damage.
Considering that oxidative damage causes everything from aging to cancer, that’s a pretty big check mark for lycopene. Indeed, researchers have found that high amounts of dietary lycopene correlate with reduced cancer risk.
All of this builds a strong case for watermelon, which contains the second highest lycopene content of all fruits.
A 152 gram serving of the fruit provides 5% of your recommended daily vitamin A intake. And let’s be real, who eats only 152 grams of anything in one sitting? There’s no shame in indulging here, my friends; vitamin A is essential for good vision.
Infections? Not on watermelon’s watch! Vitamin A also keeps the eye surface free from bacteria and viruses.
In 2014, a study was published in the American Journal of Hypertension. Through the study, researchers found that L-citrulline and L-arginine – amino acids in watermelon – greatly reduce heart strain. L-arginine also prevents the deterioration of blood vessels. Heart strain can be caused by everything from high blood pressure to obesity and contributes to the large number of cardiovascular-related deaths in America.
How To Prepare Watermelon As Medicine
I highly recommend that you take a look at our watermelon section advice articles. Here’s one that will show you how to pick the perfect watermelon. This article will tell you what types of watermelon you should stay away from.
Be sure to buy organic. If that’s not an option, have a look at this post to learn how to wash pesticides off your produce.
Once you’ve got a good, clean fruit, the simplest way to eat it is to… well, slice it and eat it.
If you’re looking to get a bit more creative, check out this watermelon berry kefir recipe from David!