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Watermelon and Pitta
High in beta-carotene, watermelon substaintially balances the blood and reduces Pitta justifying its prominence as a summertime fruit. As beta-carotene in carrots "brightens the eye", 1.5 servings of watermelon daily has been shown to reduce age related macular degeneration (ARMD) by 36%. Watermelon contains copious amounts of lycopene and vitamin C useful as anti-oxidants.
One more reason to enjoy watermelon this summer season: Citrulline, an amino acid in the rind and flesh of watermelon flesh, has similar properties to Viagra. They are both known stimulators of nitric oxide which relaxes and expands blood vessels, lowering blood pressure and enhancing blood flow (and thus erectile performance). Watermelon seeds are a symbol of fertility in Chinese weddings.
Watermelon, Kapha & the Kidneys
Watermelon is 92% water and 6% sugar. Although it temporarily quenches thirst while eating, watermelon ultimately dries the body because of high levels of potassium, a diuretic. The cooling, anti-inflammatory effects of beta-carotene, combined with diuresis help watermelon flush inflammation from the urinary tract. Its low calorie count, drying quality and ability to reduce insulin resistance are ideal for Kapha dosha.
Watermelon & Food Combining
Melons digest very quickly and should never be combined with other foods, even other fruits. Heavier, more difficult to digest foods prevent watermelon from traveling its normal supersonic speeds through the digestive tract. While bogged down in the resulting traffic jam, bacteria then attack the watermelon and ferment it, releasing gas.
Watermelon is a special kind of fruit known as a pepo. It has a thick rind (exocarp) and fleshy center (mesocarp or endocarp). The sweet fleshy center is usually pink, orange, or yellow.
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buying & preparation
Originally from South Africa, watermelon is a member of the gourd or Cucurbitaceae family along with cucumber, cantaloupe, squash and pumpkin. Although most wild gourds are inedible because they contain a bitter purgative and some are even poisonous, members of the gourd family are used as food across the world, from the bitter gourd of India praised for its medical value, to our beloved pumpkins. Watermelon cultivation was recorded in the nile valley from 2000BC. Watermelon seeds were found in the tomb of Tutankhaman. China is currently the world's largest producer of watermelon.
If the watermelon is cut, select one by looking at the color and quality of the flesh. It should be a deep color without white streaks. If it has seeds, they should be dark in color. If the watermelon is not cut, look for a watermelon that is heavy for it's size. Check for existence of the white underbelly, where the watermelon sat on the ground. If the white underbelly is missing, it is a sign that the watermelon was harvested before fully ripening.
Vampire pumpkins and watermelons are a folk legend from the Balkans. However, unlike the many toothed Jack O' Lantern common on Hallow's eve, people are not afraid of vampire watermelons because they lack teeth. If you have left your watermelons outside under the full moon, check carefully to ensure your watermelon has not undergone vampire transformation. The telltale sign is the appearance of a drop of blood on the skin.
Wash the watermelon before cutting it. If too large, wipe with paper towel. Once cut, the watermelon should be refrigerated. Cover in plastic wrap to avoid dehydration and absorption of odors from other food.
The flesh is featured in fruit salads, paired with spices like cayenne, or eaten alone at fourth of July barbecues everywhere. Although most people are accustomed to eating the sweet red fleshy parts only, the seeds and white part of the rind are also edible. The seeds are roasted, seasoned and eaten as a snack food, ground up into cereal, or used to make bread in Asian countries.
Ground up melon seeds are used in the traditional version of 'horchata de melon', a drink of melon juice and seeds. The melon seeds are blended with the flesh, left to sit for a half hour, then strained and served. The melon seeds thicken the drink slightly, as well as contributing oils and proteins.
Most organisms store toxins in the skin. If you plan to eat the rind, buy organic watermelons. The rind of watermelon is featured in Southern American cooking, where it is marinated, pickled, or candied. It is stir fried and stewed in China.
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This information has not been validated by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.