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Superfoods: Watermelon

Hail the Fruits of the Pharoahs

No other fruit can be as thirst quenching as watermelon – a fruit that can be found almost anywhere in the world. Originating in Africa, watermelons were first cultivated in Egypt. Its legacy has even been recorded through hieroglyphic drawings on walls where some even showing it placed in the tombs of pharaohs. Not a surprise as this fruit was much sought after in the Mediterranean region due to water scarcity. But watermelon is more than just water. It is packed with some of the most important antioxidants found in nature.

Watermelon is known as the ‘lycopene’ king. Lycopene is a fat-soluble carotenoid having anti-oxidant properties. Lycopene (which gives fruits the attractive red colour) have shown to neutralise free radicals, oxidise cholesterol that prevents hardening of walls of arteries and veins – thus reducing risks of heart disease. The fruit is also believed to increase HDL (good cholesterol levels)

  • Research indicates that lycopene is helpful in reducing the risk of prostate, breast, and endometrial cancers, as well as lung and colon cancer
  • The vitamins C and A antioxidants in watermelon help in reducing the severity of asthma, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Exceptionally high in citrulline, an amino acid that our bodies use to make another amino acid, arginine, which is used in the urea cycle to remove ammonia
  • The citrulline-arginine relationship helps heart health, the immune system and may help those who suffer from obesity and Type 2 diabetes
  • Its concentration of beta-carotene can prevent age-related symptoms of vision loss
  • Containing 92% water, watermelon acts as a natural diuretic, inducing frequent urination, cleansing the kidneys and bladder which helps to reduce the chances of kidney damages and formation of renal calculi
  • Watermelon has a special cooling effect and is effective in reducing body temperature and blood pressure. People living in hot tropical countries rely on watermelon to fight heat stroke
  • Watermelon has zero fats and low in calories. A perfect food to lose weight!
  • Rich in electrolytes sodium and potassium that are lost through perspiration. Potassium is very helpful in washing off toxic depositions in the kidneys. Potassium-rich diet helps keep salt from raising blood pressure and may also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and possibly age-related bone loss
  • Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, the same basic effect that Viagra has, to treat erectile dysfunction without any drug side-effects

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