Thursday, September 13, 2012

Watermelon Juice - Hydrate in Style

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As the days of Summer draw to a close, I'd like to reflect back on one of the season's most popular fruits:  The Watermelon.  What backyard cookout would be complete without one?  As its name suggests, watermelons contain large amounts of water, which is fantastic for hydration.  The fresh juice can not only re-hydrate and cool you, but also provide vitamins and nutrients that promote health, and reduce the risk of disease.

The beautiful, red flesh of the watermelon contains high quantities of lycopene, an antioxidant that helps prevent the risk of strokes and other ailments like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, colon cancer and asthma.  Another benefit is that watermelon is a great source of potassium, which helps to regulate blood pressure levels, keeping your heart healthy.  Watermelon juice, I read, also helps to lower risks of age-related macular degeneration that may lead to loss of vision in elders.  My granny suffers from macular degeneration, so I found this fact particularly valuable.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not just the red flesh that can be consumed or juiced.  Watermelon RIND is full of minerals and nutrients, and excellent for juicing.  Scientists have discovered that the white rind has high concentrations of citrulline, one of the next great phyto-nutrients now being studied.   Citrulline actually converts into the amino acid arginine which helps remove ammonia from the body.  It is also suspected by researchers that it relaxes blood vessels, therefore lowering blood pressure, which is always a good thing if yours tends to be high.

The juice pictured above actually came from six (6) watermelon slices that were given to me from Campus Dining, where I work.  I was walking back to my car, and they were just wrapping up an outdoor cookout that they catered for the students. There was quite a bit of leftover food, including veggie burgers, they they were wrapping up and giving away, So I scored two veggie burgers and the watermelon.  They were just as glad to give it away, and I was pleased to make good use out of it ^_^

Now before I run my watermelon through the juicer, I usually make sure to trim off the thin layer of dark-green, outer skin.  Or, you can wash and scrub the outer layer very well in order to remove any dirt or pesticide residue, before slicing, and adding to your juicer.  Organic watermelons are expensive here, so I usually end up peeling off the dark green.  

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