Sometimes the foods we like the least, like spinach, are also the ones that are most beneficial for our health. But there are some exceptions, including … watermelon !
This delicious fruit is packed with water, sugar, fiber and essential nutrients like vitamins A, B6 and C, from antioxidants, lycopenes, amino acids, and potassium. Its seeds are rich in protein, magnesium, vitamin B and good fats. Remember to choose it organic, to take full advantage of its nutrients. Here are the best reasons to devour watermelon on the first hot days.
A fruit good for heart health
Watermelon is the richest food in citrulline. It is an amino acid, arginine precursor, which has the particularity of increasing the vitality of blood vessels and promoting their dilation. Citrulline also plays a beneficial role in immunity.
Thanks to its nutrients, watermelon helps protect cells from stress-related damage and thus reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a study cited by the American site Live Science. Other work has shown an effect of reduction in high blood pressure and blood pressure in obese adults. Its virtues would be particularly important for women after menopause.
One kilo of watermelon contains about 2 mg of citrulline. These are the varieties with orange and yellow flesh, like the Sungold, the Jaroski, which contain the most citrulline.
Recognized anti-inflammatory properties
The lycopene, which give watermelon its beautiful red color, serve to slow down the inflammatory process and neutralize the free radicals responsible for the oxidation of cells. This nutrient, along with the choline, reduce the rate of inflammation in the body and thus improve health and general well-being.
Watermelon, ideal for hydrating with few calories
Between 20 and 30% of our daily needs in hydration can pass through our food. And fruits like watermelon play a large part in it. In summer, a slice of watermelon hydrates us and gives us energy without weighing us down.
If the watermelon is 90% water, it also contains very few calories: 38.9 kcal per 100 g (source: Ciqual nutritional table). She is one of the 10 lowest calorie fruits. It is therefore ideal for hydrating otherwise (we forget sodas and other sugary drinks) while keeping the figure.
Watermelon water recipe : remove the skin and seeds from 500 g of watermelon, cut the flesh into pieces and put them in the blender bowl. Add 10 cl of water or the juice of 2 lemons, a few ice cubes. Mix to obtain a smooth mixture. Decorate with mint leaves and serve. You can also replace the water with coconut water.
A food to consume in case of water retention
Thanks to its richness in water, but also to its high content of potassium (129 mg of potassium per 100) and with its low sodium content, watermelon is part of diuretic foods. Potassium helps drain the body of toxins and eliminate the excess water. An ally fruit in case of cellulite or water retention.
Vitamin A and lycopene, to stay young
The vitamin A is excellent for the skin and for the hair because it helps them to stay hydrated and stimulates the production of collagen and elastin. Watermelon is a good source of this vitamin. Without forgetting the lycopene that it contains which is also a antioxidant recognized.
Beneficial nutrients for muscle soreness
Sportsmen and women who like watermelon are lucky: consuming it before training would help to reduce muscle soreness the next day and maintain a stable heart rate. In question, the beneficial nutrients (including the amino acid citrulline) which improve blood circulation.
Healthy watermelon recipes
While the fruit is delicious to eat as is, there are many other ways that watermelon can be eaten. From gazpacho to granita or salad, here are some equally delicious watermelon-based recipes packed with health benefits.
Preparation time: 10 minutes Rest time: 1 hour
Ingredients for 6 people:
½ watermelon or 1 small watermelon 10 tomatoes 2 cloves garlic 2 slices of crustless sandwich bread 4 tbsp. to s. olive oil 4 tbsp. to s. sherry vinegar Salt Pepper
Cut and seed the watermelon. Mix all the ingredients in a blender jug. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Let stand in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Watermelon salad with feta
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Ingredients for 6 people:
1 watermelon 150g feta Mint leaves Basil leaves Salt flower Olive oil
Cut the watermelon into cubes. Place in a salad bowl. Crumble the feta over the watermelon. Drizzle with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle with mint and basil. Sprinkle with fleur de sel.
The watermelon granita
Preparation time: 10 minutes Rest time: 3 hours
Ingredients for 6 people:
800 g watermelon 3 tbsp. to s. lemon juice 120g icing sugar
Cut and seed the watermelon. Puree it in a blender jug. Add the lemon and icing sugar. Pour into a shallow dish and freeze for at least 3 hours. Break the granita every hour with a fork. Serve right out of the freezer.
Find other watermelon-based recipes, according to your desires and needs:
- Low-calorie recipe: semi-cooked tuna and watermelon salad
- For cardiovascular health: watermelon, fennel and celery salad
- To quench your thirst: watermelon and strawberry granita
- Anti-water retention recipe: red fruit and watermelon salad
- Anti-stress recipe: cottage cheese with melon and watermelon balls
- Recipe rich in antioxidants: fruit salad and watermelon