Watermelons have become synonymous with summer and picnics, and for good reason. Their refreshing quality and sweet taste help to combat the heat and provide a guilt-free, low maintenance dessert. Watermelon, Queen Of Sweetness!
Watermelon, Queen Of Sweetness
Watermelons are mostly water — about 92 percent. But this refreshing fruit is soaked with nutrients. Each juicy bite has significant levels of vitamins A. B6 and C, lots of lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids. There’s even a modest amount of potassium. Plus, this quintessential summer snack is fat-free. Very low in sodium and has only 40 calories per cup.
Helps You Hydrate
Drinking water is an important way to keep your body hydrated. However, eating foods that have a high water content can also help. Interestingly, watermelon is 92% water. A high water content is one of the reasons that fruits and vegetables help you feel full. The combination of water and fiber means you’re eating a good volume of food without a lot of calories.
Protection Against Diabetes
When you consume watermelon, your kidneys convert one amino acid. L-citrulline, into another amino acid, L-arginine. The one-two punch of these two amino acids has many health benefits. Not the least of which is protection against the development of diabetes.
Studies show that L-arginine supplementation is beneficial in regulating glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. While you might not be able to get as much of the amino acid from watermelon as you might through supplementation. It is noting that foods that contain this compound can be a beneficial part of a diet designed to fight against diabetes.
Regulates Blood Pressure
The amount of potassium and magnesium present in watermelons is very beneficial in terms of lowering blood pressure. Potassium is considered a vasodilator, meaning that it releases the tension on blood vessels and arteries.
Thereby stimulating blood flow and reducing the stress on the cardiovascular system. The carotenoids present in these fruits also prevent hardening of artery walls and veins. Thereby helping reduce blood pressure and the chances of blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, and atherosclerosis.
Muscle Soreness & Athletic Performance
Watermelon-loving athletes are in luck. Drinking watermelon juice before an intense workout helps reduce next-day muscle soreness and heart rate. This can be attributed to watermelon’s amino acids citrulline and arginine. Which help improve circulation.
A 2015 study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology suggests that watermelon’s citrulline may also help improve athletic performance. Study participants who took citrulline supplements saw a boosted performance with more power production in high-intensity exercise like cycling and sprinting.
Choline, found in watermelon, is a very important and versatile nutrient. It aids our bodies in sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory. Choline also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes. Aids in the transmission of nerve impulses. Assists in the absorption of fat, and reduces chronic inflammation.
How To Planting
If you live in warmer climes, you can sow seeds directly outdoors, but wait until the soil temperature warms to at least 70°F to avoid poor germination. Watermelon vines are very tender and should not be transplanted until all danger of frost has passed. If you are in a cooler zone, start seeds indoors about a month before transplanting. Amend soil with aged manure, seaweed, and/or compost before planting. Watermelons are heavy feeders.
Watermelons prefer a soil pH between 6 and 6.8. Growing the vines in raised rows, known as hills, ensures good drainage and will hold the sun’s heat longer. Space the plants about 2 feet apart in a 5-foot-wide hill. If you’re growing in rows, space 6 feet by 6 feet apart. Watermelons like loamy, well-drained soil. Handle them gently when you transplant. After you transplant, cover the plants with row covers to keep pests at bay. You’ll remove the row covers when you see both male and female flowers on the vine.