It turns out that watermelon is shock full of nutrients. We are talking serious antioxidant power (replete with lycopene) and a few of the really useful amino acids.
Say, WHAT? Amino acids in a watermelon??
Yes, my friends. And it just so turns out that one of its the amino acids, L-citrulline , helps to increase circulation and lower systolic blood pressure. For more detail down the "geek lane," you might be pleased to know that L-citrulline gets converted into another amino acid that's key in the formation of nitric oxide, which helps to open and relax arteries. And that is why watermelon may be helpful for folks with hypertension ("high blood pressure" is the English translation). If you care to geek out even more, check out this 2013 study conducted on the effects of watermelon for hypertensive adults.
Just remember that watermelon nutrients go down rapidly with refrigeration, so try to buy one grown locally (now is an awesome time for it here at the plentiful farmers markets in Portland, Oregon) and eat it as quickly as you can, with minimal storage.
This reminds me: watermelon is actually a powerful dietetic. You know how you need a pee a lot after watermelon consumption? Well, It is not because you just got a ton of water, it is actually because watermelon is giving your kidneys a decent workout (thank you again, watermelon!). Which means that after you pee out a lot, you need to make sure to drink water to replenish what you body has just cleaned out. Pretty awesome stuff, isn't it? So, nope, definitely not "just water," in fact, very far from it.
On another, very important note, watermelons have this funny rule about themselves: "eat them alone or leave them alone." Here is why. Watermelons are meant to digest rapidly, faster than almost anything else you can eat. When consumed before anything else, watermelon works its magic and works its way out of your body quickly. But, if consumed with anything else or, especially at the end of a meal, watermelon will sit and literally "rot" unhappily, plugging up your digestion and making you feel bloated and uncomfortable. Have you ever finished a summer barbecue with watermelon and then wonder why you felt so bloated for hours? That's why.
My favorite way to eat a watermelon? All by itself, In the middle of a hot summer afternoon, hanging out on the porch with my kids!
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