There aren’t summers in my life that go by without me gorging on some sweet and juicy watermelons. Other than the high water content, the fruit is rich in nutrients like potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and more.
What I didn’t know was that the dark green rinds were filled with several health benefits.
The rind of the fruit is rich in fibre and low in calories. It is also a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, and several nutrients like amino acids, chlorophyll, citrulline, lycopene, flavonoids, zinc, potassium, and so on.
Here are some of the health benefits of consuming watermelon rind.
1. Reduces blood pressure
Some studies show that consuming watermelon rind can reduce blood pressure levels. It is a good source of potassium which has vasodilation properties that help in reducing stress and strain in the blood vessels and arteries thereby reducing blood pressure. The flesh as well as the rind of the watermelon has L-citrulline, an amino acid that helps to thin the blood vessels which in turn helps to regulate blood pressure.
2. Aids digestion and weight loss
It is rich in fibre and low in calories, making it a perfect snack for weight loss.
Its high fibre content helps one feel fuller for longer and helps in improving metabolism. Besides the citrulline content in the rind also helps in better workout performance by improving oxygen delivery to muscles and thereby enhancing the whole exercise performance.
The fibre content also promotes good digestion and helps in maintaining regular bowel movements.
3. Helps in skin revival
The rind is also rich in antioxidants like lycopene and other flavonoids. These antioxidants help in reducing the effects of free radicals thereby reducing oxidative stress. This helps in minimising wrinkles and blemishes on the skin and boosts collagen production.
4. Boosts immunity
A single cup of rind juice contains more than 30 per cent of the daily Vitamin C intake which is essential for the immune system.
5. Anti-inflammatory properties
Lycopene, an antioxidant found in watermelon rind helps in reducing inflammation. Consuming the rind can help relieve skin inflammation to arthritis pain. It is also effective in treating the inflammation caused due to acne on the skin.
6. Promote Sexual Health
The rind is rich in the amino acid citrulline which has libido-boosting properties.
How to consume the rind?
Though the rind is a bit thick and fibrous, it can be consumed in different forms like smoothies, shakes or jams. It can be blended with the flesh or with other fruits or ingredients to make tasty and healthy shakes or smoothies. They can also be pickled and added to salads.
Edited by Yoshita Rao
Origin and emergence of the sweet dessert watermelon, Citrullus lanatus, by Harry S Paris; published by National Centre for Biotechnology Information on July 2015
Watermelon extract supplementation reduces ankle blood pressure and carotid augmentation index in obese adults with prehypertension or hypertension, published by American Journal of Hypertension on 1 June 2012.
4 Watermelon Rind Benefits, by Healthline.
Drying of Watermelon Rind and Development of Cakes from Rind Powder, by Abdullah Iqbal; published by ResearchGate in February 2015.
Effect of Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) Flesh Extract on Sexual Behavior of Male Rats, published by ResearchGate in January 2014.
Watermelon lycopene and allied health claims, published by National Centre for Biotechnology Information on 3 June 2014.
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