Health Benefits of Juicing Watermelon

Nothing quite says summer like a cold slice of watermelon or glass of watermelon juice to take the edge off the afternoon heat.

But watermelon is more than just a cooler—in fact, there are many benefits of watermelon in your diet you may be entirely unaware of.

Watermelon juice is rich in phytonutrients, including the well-known phytonutrients lycopene (deep red watermelon flesh actually has more lycopene than tomatoes) and beta-carotene, plus the lesser-known but slightly amazing citrulline.

When you eat watermelon, enzymes in your body convert citrulline to arginine, an amino acid that acts on the heart, circulation and immune systems. One of arginine’s most notable effects is its ability to relax blood vessels and increase blood flow, which can prove beneficial for people suffering from angina, high blood pressure or even erectile dysfunction.

Citrulline, once converted to arginine, also helps to remove ammonia and other toxic compounds from our bodies, so one of the benefits of watermelon is detoxification.

In watermelon, citrulline is more highly concentrated in the rind. Most people don’t enjoy eating the rind, but juicing the flesh and the rind together offers a pleasantly palatable to get as much citrulline as possible out of your watermelon. Be sure, however, to only use organic watermelons for this: the rinds of conventionally grown melons have the highest concentration of pesticides of any fruit.

Watermelon, like most melons, is a good source of potassium—a potassium-rich diet can help your blood pressure, help to prevent stroke, and even help ward off kidney stones.

The rich supply of beta-carotene (the precursor to vitamin A) and vitamin C help boost your immune system, work against oxidative stress, and prevent heart disease, cancer and other chronic conditions. High intake of vitamin C and beta-carotene has also been shown to reduce the airway spasm that occurs in asthma.

You can also get an energy lift from juicing watermelon, thanks to its B vitamins.

To choose the best, most nutritious fruit at the produce stand, look for one that’s heavy for its size. This indicates that it’s full of juice. Its rind should be smooth and neither too shiny nor too dull. Also, look for the melon’s “underbelly,” a yellowish or cream-colored area on one side of the melon. This forms on the part of the watermelon that rested against the ground as it ripened. Lack of an underbelly indicates that the melon was harvested before it had a chance to fully ripen, and not only will this melon have fewer phytonutrients than a fully ripened watermelon, it will also have less juice and less flavor.

So why not discover the many benefits of watermelon. Try a glass of watermelon juice over ice on its own, or add a handful of strawberries and a splash of lime juice for a cool juice summer cocktail. Or, for a super-nutrient boost, try blending watermelon juice, cold green tea and a splash of lemon.

Take a look here for some great watermelon juice recipes

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