Watermelon or Citrullus lanatus is a fruit native to Africa. It is one of the largest fruits of the Cucurbitaceae family.
In Canada it is called "watermelon".
There are several varieties of watermelons, with or without seeds, more or less large, round or oval, with yellow or pink flesh. The weight varies from species to species. Some can even reach 20kg.
Watermelon claims rich soil and a sunny location. The sowing is done in the spring and the harvest in the summer.
Juicy and refreshing, it can be savored in summer, as a starter or as a dessert.
Watermelon is also used for its therapeutic and cosmetic virtues.
Read also: how to grow watermelon properly
Watermelon, for the record:
Native to Africa, in the Nile Valley, the watermelon grew 5,000 years ago in the wild.
Then little by little, men domesticated it, so it gained a sweet taste.
In ancient times the Greeks and Romans preferred watermelon to melon.
It was in the 9th century that watermelon arrived in Spain. Then it later reached the rest of Europe and the United States.
Egyptian peasants distributed watermelons to travelers to quench their thirst.
In Vietnam, watermelon seeds were offered to young married couples as a sign of fertility.
Did you know ? : In the United States, watermelon is a symbol of racism.
Health benefits and virtues of watermelon
Watermelon or "watermelon" is as the name suggests, sip of water (92%). In hot weather, it protects us from dehydration.
It is also an excellent diuretic, which overcomes water retention. It is effective in case edema.
Watermelon contains potassium effective against muscle cramps and muscle aches.
Also good for the heart, watermelon seeds dilate blood vessels, they decrease hypertension arterial and thus prevent cardiovascular disease.
Watermelon contains a powerful antioxidant, lycopene. It slows down the development of cancer cells, protects the body from cardiovascular diseases and the skin from the harmful effects of the sun.
Watermelon contains many vitamins: vitamin C (11mg / 100g) which strengthens our immune system, beta-carotene (pro vitamin A) which is involved in vision and vitamin B6 for tissue formation and proper functioning of the the nervous system.
Very low in calories (30kcal / 100g), zero cholesterol, it is perfect for dieting. In addition, its richness in water quickly provides feeling full. It is recommended for overweight people.
At the digestive level, eating watermelon can soothe the stomach pains and decrease flatulence . It also purifies the colon, liver, kidneys, urinary tract and rids your body of intestinal parasites.
At the sexual level, watermelon seeds contain citrulline, an amino acid with vasodilator power. Thus watermelon can reduce erectile dysfunction.
Seeds can also stimulate memory and have properties laxatives and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Watermelon rind has properties anti fungal, it slows down the growth of fungi.
Watermelon is not contraindicated in pregnant women.
Watermelon in the kitchen
It can be eaten as a starter or as a dessert or in a fruit salad. It is also very pleasant and refreshing in sorbet, smoothie, cold soup or juice.
The nutritional benefits of watermelon:
Calories (30kcal / 100g), Carbohydrates (7g / 100g), Fat (0.08g / 100g), Potassium (179mg / 100g) Magnesium (12.6mg).
Frozen watermelon can cause gastric irritation.
To vary your salads, make toast the watermelon seeds, then salt them.
Bark jam watermelon: Cook the watermelon rind with its ½ weight of sugar in a water base. Add lemon zest to it.
For a watermelon jam, prefer “gingerine” watermelon, which can only be eaten cooked.
Smoothie: Mix a quarter of a watermelon with 10 strawberries. Add the juice of a squeezed lemon, and a glass of sparkling water.
> Choose and store your watermelon well:
Prefer a heavy watermelon, it will be rich in water and therefore better.
It can be stored at room temperature
> Internal use:
Infusion of watermelon seeds to purify the kidneys : boil 4 teaspoons of crushed watermelon seeds in water. Filter the seeds and drink.
Watermelon juiceto benefit from the virtues of watermelon: Remove the rind, mix the pieces of watermelon. Add lemon juice and mint leaves.
It can be kept cool for 24 hours.
Watermelon and beauty tips
Remedy for yeast infection : Rub the watermelon rind on the skin, then rinse.
This tip also applies to acne-prone skin.
To tone the skin : A cotton ball soaked in watermelon juice tones your skin, eliminates sebum and tightens the pores of the skin.
Natural mask : Crush the whitish part of the watermelon skin, mix with a tablespoon of cottage cheese and flour to thicken your mixture. Apply to the face and rinse.
Watermelon seed oil is used to hydrate the skin and nourish the hair.
Read also: how to grow watermelon properly