Watermelon does not need to be heated, and offers up the powerful antioxidant lycopene, good news for those who enjoy juicing this refreshing fruit.
Ranging in size from a few pounds up to 90 pounds (when in season), a $2.50 watermelon can produce a mother lode of sweet juice. And there is nothing more refreshing than fresh watermelon juice on a hot summer day. It’s even more thirst-quenching than beer, legal to drink in a public place, and does not result in a nasty hangover. Best of all, research shows that this red juice is an antioxidant on ice and can protect from many common cancers.
The Healing Powers and Health Benefits of Watermelon Juice
Protection From Stomach Cancer
Protects Against Lung Cancer
Protects Against Prostate Cancer
Watermelon Juice Nutrition
Even though watermelon is 92% water (which makes the juice an excellent diuretic), per calorie it is a concentrated source of vitamin C and beta-carotene. One cup has a mere 48 calories and almost 20% of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. When juicing with seeds and rind, the result is a good source of chlorophyll, vitamin B1, B6, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iodine, nucleic acids, and enzymes that aid in digestion.
Watermelon Juice is an excellent source of:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A (beta-carotene)
Watermelon Juice is a good source of:
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B6
Phytochemicals & Antioxidants in Watermelon Juice
In recent years, the antioxidant lycopene has made tomatoes famous for their cancer-fighting abilities. Lycopene is the red pigment found in many fruits and vegetables, and is produced within the plant as a protection against the damaging effects of oxidation and light. When consumed, this protective effect works wonders on the human body, neutralizing harmful free radicals, which have been shown to cause cancer, macular degeneration, heart disease and other age-related diseases. Eighty per cent of North American lycopene intake comes from tomatoes, and at least seventy-two studies have concluded that people whose diet is rich in tomato products have a lower risk of many different types of cancers. But this is not about tomatoes. Watermelon, too, is a rich source of lycopene. A recent study has shown that it is even more effective than tomatoes in increasing plasma concentrations of lycopene. The bioavailability of lycopene within tomatoes is increased when cooked, breaking down the cell walls and releasing this valuable red pigment. Watermelon does not need to be heated, and offers up this powerful antioxidant in the raw—good news for those who enjoy juicing this refreshing fruit.
Preparing for Juicing
Ninety-five per cent of the nutritional content of watermelon is in the rind. Whereas eating the rind would be hard on the stomach, juicing it is an effective way of ingesting all those cleansing nutrients. But be prepared; including the rind will significantly change the color and taste, resulting in a less sweet flavor that your children may turn up their noises at. I suggest adding a little rind first, testing palatability, and then adding a little more each time. The more rind, the better, but juice left in the glass is useless. If the watermelon is not organic or grown in your own garden, thinly cut away the outside, leaving as much of the rind as possible.
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Watermelon Juice Tips
Most juices can be prepared the night before with little compromise to flavor, but I have found that, compared to all other juices, watermelon deteriorates the fastest, tasting slightly skunky after only five hours. Watermelon is at its best right from the juicer.
Picking Perfect Produce
Thump a watermelon with your knuckles. If it sounds hollow, it will taste sweet. Look for a dark green melon, dull rather than shiny, with a pale yellow underbelly. You may be tempted to choose the seedless variety for juicing but think again. Watermelon seeds are a source protein, zinc, vitamin E, and essential fatty acids.
Storing Your Produce
Store whole watermelons in a cool place. Once cut, store for up to two days in the fridge.
I find that, due to watermelon juice’s delicate flavor, it is better on its own. If you are going to juice the rind, you might want to add a little honey.
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