When in Rome, do as the Romans do!
This also applies to Spain obviously. This is our second summer in our new homeland and I can assure you: it’s HOT in July and August. Pfff.
I didn’t like the at least 7 months of cold and rain in the Netherlands, but I have to admit, I don’t like those 2 months of intense heat in Spain either.
Although, calculating it is not such a wrong exchange, don’t you agree?
So, when in Spain, do as the Spaniards do, and that is eat watermelon. It’s their preferred choice of thirst quencher. Moreover, there are a lot of advantages to watermelon.
Types of watermelon
The best-known type of watermelon is the oval dark green one with light green stripes and pinkish red pulp. A type has been developed that does not contain seeds. Usually the inside is red, but there is also a variety that has yellow pulp.
A couple of types are: Sugar Baby, Yellow Baby, Queen of Hearts, Crimson, Charleston Gray, Mickey Lee, Seedless Sandia. Plenty to choose from.
>>> The organic watermelon with the red pulp and black seeds tastes the best <<<
When you’re in Spain the used word is Sandía. I like the Italian translation even more, Cocomero. 🙂
In Japan designer Tomoyuki Ono even grew watermelons in square boxes, creating a square variety. Square watermelons didn’t come cheap, but were indeed something special.
The health advantages of watermelon
Let’s stick to the usual kind. Although watermelon is 91% to 94% water, it contains all kinds of minerals and vitamins, with a host of health benefits.
1. Burns fat
Watermelon contains citrulline, an amino acid. Certain enzymes provide fat storage in the body. Citrulline blocks the activities of these enzymes, thus helping to reduce the fat storage.
2. Supports the kidneys
Watermelon acts as a natural diuretic and makes you urinate more often, without overloading the kidneys. Watermelon supports the liver in its process of removing ammonia from the body, thus sparing your kidneys.
3. Protects the eyes
Watermelon contains beta carotene, especially the red type of watermelon. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which supports the production of pigments in the retina of the eye and protects against degeneration and night blindness.
4. Supports the nerves and muscles
Watermelon is rich in potassium, which plays a role in the proper functioning of the nerves and muscles.
5. Is anti-inflammatory
Rich in antioxidants, watermelon is particularly effective in reducing inflammation and neutralizing free radicals. Choose a ripe watermelon, because it is much richer in these beneficial substances than the unripe ones.
6. Promotes skin health
Free radicals also have a devastating effect on your skin. The antioxidants of watermelon let your skin shine again.
7. Lowers blood pressure
The amount of potassium and magnesium in watermelon helps lower blood pressure. Watermelon juice plays an important role in lowering blood pressure in obese people with hypertension.
8. Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
The lycopene in watermelon is important for cardiovascular health.
9. Reduces the risk of cancer
The amount of vitamin C and antioxidants, as well as the other minerals and fibers in watermelon are – according to experts – effective against several types of cancer.
Other advantages of watermelon
1. Excellent thirst quencher
You can eat watermelon, but also squeeze or squash them. A lot of people squeeze them and then put them in an ice cube tray. For storage, I do this as well, but not to drink or eat it right away, as I consider ice-cold drinking bad for your body.
2. Improves athletes’ performance
According to the Universidad Politecnica de Cartagena in Spain the L-citrulline in watermelon works great for athletes. Eating a few large pieces of watermelon before training helps reduce muscle soreness the day after.
3. Eat the seeds as well
Watermelon seeds are even healthier than the pulp, but they taste like nothing. Yet, they are especially recommended when you have kidney problems. A perfect way is to grind the seeds and make tea from them. Or be tough and eat them anyway. 🙂
4. Have fun with the grandkids
Watermelon is quite firm, making it easy to cut it in figures. It’s a great activity together with the grandkids and might even persuade them to eat it afterwards.
5. Fits well in a weight loss diet
Watermelon hardly has any calories, making it a perfect choice when you want to lose weight.
Really? A watermelon allergy?
Even though watermelon consists of so much water, some people have an allergy for watermelon. You might not think of an allergy right away, yet, according to Healthline about 4% of adults have a food allergy.
If you have a rash, the inside of your mouth itches or tingles, stomach cramps or even vomit or have diarrhea after eating watermelon, you might have an allergy.
Some watermelon recipes
- Watermelon Juice;
- Smoothie, Mix watermelon for instance with cucumber, avocado and some of the super powders of YourSuper;
- Lemonade, Blend 600g watermelon, 250ml water and the juice of ½ lemon until well ground. Sift it if you find it too coarse. Finely chop the leaves from 3 sprigs of mint and add to the mixture. Let it rest for at least an hour in the refrigerator.
- Soup, The Spanish cold soup gazpacho is usually made of tomatoes, but watermelon is a great addition. Use 2 thick ripe tomatoes, 1 kg watermelon, 1 red bell pepper, several cloves of garlic, some concentrated tomato paste and spice it with chili pepper powder and fresh herbs like basil;
- Appetizer, some slices with ham or goat cheese;
- In a Salad;
- Dessert, a couple of slices.
Some final words
I haven’t valued watermelon for a long time. When I camped in Italy as a kid, my mother always bought watermelon from a farmer at the side of the road and made us eat it. With my recalcitrant character (I decide what I eat, not you) an excellent excuse to never want to eat it again. But as I often say, awareness and sense really does come with age. 🙂
Do you like watermelon? Tell us in the comment box.