Loaded with vital vitamins, zinc and amino acids; has considerable health benefits
Watermelon is a warm, long-season crop and is now grown in all tropical and subtropical areas. Watermelon is a sweet and refreshing low calorie summer snack. It provides hydration and also essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Watermelon belongs to the family of “cucurbitaceae” and genus of “citrullus”. Watermelons are native to the Kalahari Desert of southern Africa and the first recorded watermelon crop was found in Egypt. The fruit size varies from 2 to 15 kg, depending on variety. China is the top producer of watermelon in the world. Watermelon can be successfully grown in pots, containers, indoors, greenhouses and poly houses.The five common types of watermelon are seeded, seedless, mini, yellow, and orange.Watermelon contains 90% water, which makes it useful for staying hydrated in the summer. Besides watermelon being a hydrating and refreshing fruit, its rind which usually gets wasted; has a number of nutritional and health benefits.Watermelon rind is the outer green tough layer which fades to pale white inside before offering red and pink flesh of the fruit. Rind is harder, less juicy and possesses a large percentage of nutrients but usually is discarded by people. It encompasses low calories and contains high content of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, Vitamin B6 and zinc. It is loaded with citrulline, chlorophyll, amino acids, lycopene, phenolic compounds and flavonoids. Recent researches suggest that the rind has high doses of citrulline (an amino acid), a compound linked to a range of benefits. Citrulline converts to arginine, which is vital for the heart and improves circulation (Texas A&M’s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center).Citrulline is also helpful in maintenance of high blood pressure and lower the sugar spikes.Watermelon rind is filled with lycopene, flavonoids and antioxidants that reduce the free radical effects and oxidative stress. It helps to reduce the appearance of blemishes, wrinkles and age spots that are seen as people ages. The high level of potassium in the rind helps to reduce the chances of strokes, heart attacks and coronary heart disease, it helps to maintain blood pressure.A single serving of one cup of rind offers more than 30% of daily requirement for Vitamin C that is good for the immune system. Vitamin C stimulates the white blood cells production that acts as a first line of defense against infection and foreign pathogens. Rind being rich in fibre makes one feel full by stimulating metabolism and promoting fat burning capacity to lose some weight. It also contains diuretic properties that can help to maintain the urinary tract in healthy working order.According to the studies, the white part of rind is a good source of fiber, which aids in digestion and also promotes regularity in clearance of bowels. Since the rinds are lower in sugar and higher in fiber than the actual melon, when eaten together they help slow down sugar absorption in the gut which helps prevent blood sugar spikes.
Watermelon rinds have been used since ancient Egyptian times as there is a rising awareness of environmental sustainability and zero-waste movements.Water melon rind is Popular in the South as“homemade pickled watermelon rind” that’s similar to pickled cucumbers.The rind can be used in form of pickles, or prepared as smoothies with added lime. It can be cooked as a traditional Indian cuisine, sweet and spicy chutney, candied rind etc. It can be tossed in a pan and stir fried alongside carrots and broccoli and eaten as a salad.