Enjoy Lots of Watermelon This Summer – It’s Healthier Than You Know
As a kid, watermelon was a summer picnic feature. Many simply dove in and spit out the pits while others, myself included, took the time to remove the pits from chunks of watermelon then enjoy the cool sweetness without the distraction of dealing with the pits. Now many of us eat the seedless ones it indoors.
Watermelon has been a traditional summer treat, a way to eat fruit and cool off for some time. But it’s more than just a treat. It’s healthy. Traditional Chinese medicine has used the meat and the rind to create herbal extracts for treating excess heat in one’s organs or blood.
This heat is not fever. When a Chinese medicine practitioner or acupuncturist does a pulse reading, they can determine that one has excess internal heat if a thermometer reading is at 98.6 Fahrenheit.
Excess internal heat can be a precursor to other issues, including inflammation, the precursor to chronic autoimmune diseases.
Eating Watermelon’s Health Effects
First of all, it’s red. And all red veggies and fruits are high in lycopene and beta-carotene. Lycopene has several benefits beyond resisting prostate cancer. It helps resist other cancers that occur with women as well, and it may help resolve fatty liver with both men and women.
It’s a powerful antioxidant. Beta carotene also provides protection against cancer. A Chinese study determined that women whose diets were high in fresh veggies and fruits, including watermelon had less incidents of breast cancer.
Ah, but what about those sugar spikes. Watermelon is very sweet. A Danish study observed, tested, and analyzed 63 men and women recently diagnosed with diabetes 2. They concluded that the medical advice of eating less fruit for diabetics and pre-diabetics with high blood sugar or metabolic disorders is wrong. Here’s their conclusion:
A recommendation to reduce fruit intake as part of standard medical nutrition therapy in overweight patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes resulted in eating less fruit. It [consuming less fruit] had however no effect on *HbA1c, weight loss or waist circumference. We recommend that the intake of fruit should not be restricted in patients with type 2 diabetes.”
* The HbAlc test measures glycated hemoglobin, a form of hemoglobin that is measured primarily to identify the three-month average plasma glucose concentration.
Other studies using watermelon extract have demonstrated that watermelon actually helps prevent metabolic disorders that lead to diabetes type 2.
And yet other studies show that watermelon’s L-citrulline and L-arginine improve cardiovascular health by preventing endothelial dysfunction, which reduces the blood vessels flexibility and ability to dilate as needed. In other words, watermelon is good for heart health.
If you’re an old timer or hardy enough to dive into seeded watermelons, you might try eating the pits, maybe after collecting and grinding them up. They’re a rich source of protein. Not too bad for a tasty summer treat, eh?
Choosing Your Watermelon
Conventionally raised watermelon ranks number 32 out of 48 veggies and fruits’ pesticide residues with the Environmental Working Group (EWG). So it’s not too bad, but not quite good enough to make it into their clean 15.
Of course there are organic watermelons too. But if your budget doesn’t permit, you can get away with non-organic watermelons unless you intend to eat the rind. It’s contended that exterior spraying doesn’t penetrate the rinds, leaving the meat inside relatively pesticide free. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/11/07/organic-vs-non-organic-food_n_4221214.html
Whether you purchase organic, seeded, which many consider more nutritious than unseeded, or unseeded, there is one method that helps you select a melon with it’s meat texture just right. It’s the sound that resonates when you knock or slap the watermelon.
Sometime it’s necessary to hold the watermelon to one ear while tapping or knocking with the other hand. If the sound produced from resonating in the melon is kind of thunky with no ding or ping, leave it. It’s too mushy. If you hear a vibrant hollow response, it should be a good choice for texture and taste.
Paul Fassa is a contributing staff writer for REALfarmacy.com, where this article first appeared. His pet peeves are the Medical Mafia’s control over health and the food industry and government regulatory agencies’ corruption. Paul’s contributions to the health movement and global paradigm shift are well received by truth seekers. Visit his blog by following this link and follow him on Twitter here.