Watermelon: the summer fruit that recharges you with energy

Watermelon: the summer fruit that recharges you with energy

It can be a useful remedy to counteract summer fatigue, fight water retention and support cardio-circulatory function

The summer fruit par excellence, watermelon is not only an extremely tasty gift from nature loved by young and old, but it is also rich in beneficial properties for health. Perfect to bring to the table as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack, or as an ingredient of choice for tasty sorbets, fruit salads or a non-alcoholic aperitif, consumed in the right quantities (about 300 g of pulp per serving) it can bring countless benefits to the health.

Index

  • What it contains
  • Properties for health
  • Recipes
    • Non-alcoholic watermelon aperitif

What it contains

It is a rich source of minerals such as potassium and magnesium, contains vitamins C and A (plus beta carotene, which helps produce vitamin A), and has decent amounts of vitamins B1, B5 and B6. All this with a very low calorie intake (eating the content of a cup just 46 calories).

But where this fruit really stands out is in its concentration of certain antioxidants, which regulate cell-damaging free radicals in the body. Like lycopene, responsible for its reddish color. And if it is true that this bioactive molecule is more abundant in cooked tomato products, its levels in watermelon are about 40% higher than those of raw tomatoes.

The presence of water is excellent (it contains about 92% of water), a characteristic that makes it a particularly moisturizing fruit, especially on hot summer days.

Watermelon also features glutathione, which Tim Allerton, a researcher at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, has defined as a "global and versatile antioxidant."

In recent years, researchers have instead focused on the presence of an amino acid called citrulline. "Watermelon – said the scholars – is quite unique because not many foods are rich in it". This amino acid is linked to the production of nitric oxide, which is important for the health of blood vessels, and can have a positive effect on male libido. A feature that has given watermelon the nickname "natural viagra". However, citrulline is not found in the juicy and sugary pulp of watermelon, but in the white part, which is normally discarded.

Although it has natural sugar and a high glycemic index, it has a low glycemic load. This means that its effective effect on blood sugar is very low. And it fills up faster than a bowl of cookies.

Properties for health

The large presence of water, rich in potassium and low in sodium, gives watermelon one of the places of honor among vegetables able to stimulate diuresis, purify the body and counteract water retention, favoring the elimination of excess waste.

These actions, combined with the high percentage of potassium contained, are also useful for the well-being of the cardio-circulatory function.

The presence of vitamins and mineral salts, together with water, can then prove useful against states of tiredness, physical fatigue and stress typical of the summer months.

Finally, studies show that the intake of watermelon also works as an anti-inflammatory and has been linked to a lower risk of stroke.

Recipes

Versatile and tasty, watermelon in the kitchen can find a wide range of applications. As an appetizer, together with feta cheese and walnuts; in chicken and cereal salads, with rocket and honey sauce; and even as a topping for white pizza, with raw ham and rocket. Also ideal as a drink for a non-alcoholic aperitif, there is truly spoiled for choice.

Non-alcoholic watermelon aperitif

(Recipe for 4 glasses of drink)

Cut a section of watermelon and obtain 400 grams of pulp, after having deprived it of the black seeds. Pour it into a blender jug ​​and combine 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice and half a glass of water. Blend for 15 seconds, then pour into glasses and garnish with ice cubes.

Tag: Fruit

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