WATERMELON HEALTH BENEFITS
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WATERMELON HEALTH BENEFITS

Oxidative stress in humans is associated with damage to DNA, proteins, and biological membranes. Oxidative
stress, which often arises as a result of an imbalance in the human antioxidant status, has been implicated in
aging and a number of human diseases such as cancer, atherosclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Watermelon benefits - antioxidants
Watermelon contains high concentrations of lycopene, an antioxidant that may help reduce the risks of the
diseases relatd to oxidative stress. [1]Within 30 minutes after consumption, orange, melon, grape, peach,
plum, apple, and kiwi juices already effectively suppressed reactive oxygen species generation. This radical
scavenging effect of fruit juices was maintained for up to 90 minutes post-consumption. These results
suggest that the consumption of fruits or fruit juices may reduce damage from oxidative stress, and that this
effect may be a consequence of the antioxidant activity of fruits in scavenging the reactive oxygen species
generated in human plasma. [2] A study has shown that lycopene was bioavailable from both fresh-frozen
watermelon juice and canned tomato juice.

Watermelon benefits - on erection dysfunction
Betsy Blaney, a writer from Associated Press, wrote "A slice of cool, fresh watermelon is a juicy way to top off
a Fourth of July cookout and one that researchers say has effects similar to Viagra!" in her news report. [1]

Watermelons contain an ingredient called citrulline that can trigger production of a compound that helps
relax the body's blood vessels. Citrulline reacts with the body's enzymes and is changed into arginine.
Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, the same basic effect that Viagra has, to treat
erectile dysfunction. [1]

The nitric oxide can also help with angina, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems. Thus,
eating watermelon benefits the heart and the circulatory and immune systems. [1]

Watermelon benefits - on sperm counts
Study also have suggested that taking an arginine supplement for weeks or months would significantly
increase the production of sperm and drastically improve erection.   The effective doses range from 2 to 5
grams per day. [2]

Bhimu Patil, a researcher and director of Texas A&M said that watermelon rind contains 60% more ciltrulline
than in the flesh. And, among different watermelons, the yellow-fleshed types contain the most citrulline.

However, you need to have about six cups of watermelon to get enough citrulline to boost the body's
arginine level. In addition, watermelon is a diuretic, you may need to "visit bathroom" frequently after taking a
large quantity of watermelon. Another issue is its amount of sugar, this may lead to side effect of cramping.
[1,2]

Though its high content of sugar, some researchers believe that intake of watermelon may benefit those who
are obese or suffer from type-2
diabetes. [1]
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Watermelon is fat free, nutritionally low in calories and considered an ideal diet food, and is high in energy,
making it a great energy boost!

Watermelon, the fruit that is really a Vegetable. Watermelon can be traced back to Africa and is part of the
cucumber and squash family. Early watermelons were mainly rind and seeds. Today's varieties are larger,
the flesh sweeter, the seeds smaller and the rind thinner. It is perhaps the most refreshing, thirst quenching
fruit of all. Watermelon consists of 92% water and 8% sugar, so it is aptly named. Americans eat over 17 lbs
of watermelon each year. The largest one on world record (Guinness Book of World Records) weighed 262
pounds.

When to look for them in your grocery store:

Watermelons are available all year. The natural sweetness of watermelon makes it a favorite anytime of the
year. It is a perfect addition to a salad, salsa, or cool drink. Top chunks of sweet watermelon with fruit
flavored sherbets or sorbets.

Watermelon
Serving Size 2 cups diced pieces, 1/18 medium melon
(280 g)
Amounts Per Serving % Daily Value
Calories 80
Calories from Fat 0 0
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 10mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 25g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A 20%
Vitamin C 25%
Calcium 2%
Iron 4%
Nutritionists have long appreciated the health benefits watermelon provides. Recently research has shed new light on its
potential health benefits.
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Selecting
Choose firm, symmetrical, fruit free of cracks, bruises, soft spots or mold. Ripe watermelon will have a healthy
sheen, a dull rind, dried stem, and a buttery yellow underside where it touched the ground. There should be a
melon like smell or fragrance. Thump if you must, sound should be dull and hollow. Lift them, weight should be
heavy for size.

Special Tip
Avoid watermelons that are very hard, white or very pale green in color on the underside, indicating immaturity.
An immature watermelon will be slightly acidic.

Storing
Once picked, watermelon will not ripen easily.  If unripe, try putting the whole melon in paper bag
un-refrigerated. This sometimes works to ripen them.  Watermelons can be kept for short periods of time, up to
2 weeks, uncut at room temperature.  Wash watermelon with soap and water before cutting.  Once cut,
package what is not eaten in closed plastic containers or bags and put back in the refrigerator.

Varieties
There are more than 50 varieties of watermelon. Most have red flesh, but there are orange and yellow-fleshed
varieties. Of the 50 varieties of watermelon throughout the United States, there are four general categories:
Allsweet, Ice-Box, Seedless and Yellow Flesh.
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Nutritional Facts:
* Fat-free
* Saturated fat-free
* Very low sodium
* Cholesterol-free
* A good source of vitamin A
* High in vitamin C
AllSweet WatermelonAllSweet
* 20–25 pounds
* Red Flesh
* Oblong
* Dark green rind, with or without stripes

Serving suggestion: Surprise your guests by
serving a large refreshing wedge of watermelon
following a heavy meal. Place the wedge on a plate
with a large knife and encourage the entire table to
enjoy a slice.
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Recipes

Sliced watermelon Watermelon Bits
Makes 6 servings.

Ingredients
1 cup Fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Hot-pepper sauce
6 cup Watermelon, seeded

In small bowl suitable for dipping, stir together lime juice, salt, and hot pepper sauce; adjust seasoning to taste.
Place bowl in center of large platter, arrange watermelon around bowl, and serve with wooden picks.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 60, Fat 1 g, % Calories From Fat 12%, Cholesterol 0 mg, Fiber 1 g,
sodium 191 mg.

Recipe Source PBH
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Caribbean Watermelon Salsa
Makes 8 servings.

2 cups Watermelon, chopped and seeded
1 cup Pineapple (fresh), chopped
1 cup Onion, chopped
1/4 cup Cilantro (chopped fresh)
1/4 cup Orange juice
1–2 Tbsp. Jerk seasoning, or to taste

In large bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well. Refrigerate, covered, at least one hour to blend flavors. Stir
before serving.

Nutritional analysis per serving:
Calories 35, Fat 0 g, Fiber 1 g, Sodium 3 mg.

PBH/National Watermelon Promotion Board
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Watermelon Smoothie
Makes 2 servings.

Ingredients

2 cups watermelon, seeded chunks
1 cup ice, cracked
1/2 cup yogurt, plain
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. ginger, ground
1/8 tsp. almond extract

Combine all ingredients in blender container, blend until smooth.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 115, Fat 2 g, % Calories from Fat 13%, Cholesterol 4 mg, Fiber 1 g,
Sodium 46 mg.

Recipe Source PBH
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Seedless WatermelonSeedless

* 10–25 pounds
* Red or yellow flesh
* Oval to round
* Light green rind with dark green stripes

Serving suggestion: This variety's perfect for
sorbets and beverages. Blend cubes of seedless
watermelon and use the juice in margaritas,
daiquiris or lemonade for a new twist.
Ice-Box WatermelonIce-Box
* 5–15 pounds
* Red or yellow flesh
* Round
* Dark or light green rind

Serving suggestion: Make your salsa or relish really
"cool" by substituting watermelon for tomatoes in your
favorite recipe. Serve with grilled chicken, fish or pork.
Try watermelon salsa with chips, too.
Yellow Flesh WatermelonYellow Flesh
* 10–30 pounds
* Yellow to bright orange flesh
* Oblong to long
* Light green rind with mottled stripes

Serving suggestion: Use for color variety as a garnish or
side dish. Create festive fruit kabobs by skewering yellow
flesh watermelon with other seasonal fruits, such as kiwis
and strawberries.
Watermelon Pico de Gallo
Makes 12 servings.

Ingredients

4 cups Watermelon, diced and seeded
1–1/2 cups Jicama, diced
1/2 cup Green pepper, diced
1/4 cup Cilantro (chopped fresh)
1 Tbsp. Jalapeno pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp. Fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. Honey
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Garlic pepper
1/4 tsp. Hot-pepper sauce

In large bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well.
Refrigerate, covered, at least one hour to blend
flavors. Stir before serving.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 32, Fat 0 g,
Fiber 1 g, Sodium 182 mg.

Recipe Source: PBH/National Watermelon Promotion
Board
Watermelon Blueberry Banana Split
Makes 2 servings.

Ingredients

2 Bananas, large
8 Watermelon "scoops" — a watermelon ball created
with an ice cream scoop.
2 cups Blueberries, fresh
1/2 cup Vanilla low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup Crunchy cereal nuggets

Peel bananas and cut in half crosswise, then cut each
piece in half lengthwise. For each serving, lay 2 banana
pieces against the sides of a shallow dish. Place a
watermelon "scoop" at each end of the dish. Fill the
center space with blueberries. Stir yogurt until smooth,
spoon over watermelon "scoops." Sprinkle with cereal
nuggets.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 186, Protein 4
g, CHO 44 gm, Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 1 mg, Sodium 66 mg.

Recipe Source: PBH/National Watermelon Promotion
Board
South-of-the-Border Watermelon Walla-Walla Sweet Onion Salsa
Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients

2 cups chopped watermelon (seeds removed)
3/4 cup chopped Walla Walla Sweet Onion
3/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped seeded jalapenõ chilies
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Stir together all ingredients in bowl. Refrigerate, covered at least 1 hour to blend flavors. Stir before serving.

Nutritional analysis per 1/2-cup serving: Calories 52 , 1Carbohydrate 1g , Proteinv2g, Fat 0.3g, Dietary Fiber
2g, Sodium148mg, Cholesterol 0mg.

SOURCE 5 A Day: Fruit of the Month: Watermelon, CDC Online Publication, November 14, 2005

REFERENCE 1. Edwards AJ et al Consumption of watermelon juice increases plasma concentrations of
lycopene and beta-carotene in humans. J Nutr. 2003 Apr;133(4):1043-50. 2. Ko SH et al, Comparison of the
antioxidant activities of nine different fruits in human plasma. J Med Food. 2005 Spring;8(1):41-6
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