WATERMELON: THE SKIN SUPER-FRUIT
There are a few things I absolutely love about summer and one of them is that many of my favorite fruits are actually in season.
Whether I am shopping at a local farmers market or my local grocery store, my favorite fruits and vegetables taste better because they are fresher and grown close by. This is especially true for watermelon, which is pretty easy to grow in the right conditions.
You can buy watermelon throughout the year but watch out. It’s such a letdown to cut it open and find pale pink or even white, with no “fresh watermelon” smell. So disappointing. On the other hand, if you leave it on your counter to ripen, it does have the potential to explode. It won’t cause any damage, other than a big mess. The watermelon rots on the inside, which causes acetylene, a colorless, unstable gas, to form. Eventually, enough acetylene is produced and…poof, your beautiful taste of summer is…all over your kitchen. I discovered this the hard way…well, my husband did while I was out of town and had left a watermelon on the counter for him. Yikes!
Now that your dose of science is out of the way for today, I’ll get back to skin and health. Watermelon is a fascinating because of its hydration properties. It is 92% water (named appropriately, right?) and rich in electrolytes…thus very hydrating for the skin and body. It is a GREAT way to prevent dehydration in these hot, summer months. Drinking watermelon juice before a workout is a great way to stay hydrated and help to reduce sore muscles afterwards. Watermelon contains magnesium as well, a key ingredient in epsom salt, which is often used to relieve sore muscles.
Watermelon also contains antioxidants and Vitamins A and C, so it is great for eye health and for fighting free radicals. Vitamin A is GREAT for removing excess oil from the skin and maintaining overall skin health! Watermelon works as a natural toner and helps to give the skin a natural glow. It is also rich in antioxidant flavenoids (lycopene, beta carotene), carotenoids, and triterpenoids giving it wonderful anti-inflammatory properties and protection against UV rays. Lycopene gives watermelon its pink/reddish color. It has antioxidant properties that help with blood pressure and boost immunity AND is lauded for its cancer protection attributes.
Another hidden benefit? Fighting acne! Applying a little bit of watermelon juice to breakouts and leaving it on for about 10-15 minutes is a great way to help reduce acne. Finally, watermelons contain potassium and they are a natural diuretic so they aid in the health and function of the kidneys!
And the rind…Often discarded, the watermelon rind contains many nutrients and is another good source of lycopene. So next time instead of disposing of the rind, try blending or mixing it with the rest of the watermelon!
Oh yeah, and it is low in calories (~30 calories per 100 grams), so eat or drink up!
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