Watermelon may be one of the most appropriately named fruits. It’s a melon that’s 98 percent water. It’s also got a healthy amount of vitamin A and C, potassium, magnesium, and other important nutrients.
The most popular part of the watermelon is the pink fruit, but like its cousin, the cucumber, the whole thing is edible. This includes the green scraps that usually end up in the compost bin.
The rind, which is the green skin that keeps all that water-logged delicious fruit safe, is completely edible. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider not throwing it out.
1. It May Make You Better in Bed
No, watermelon rind isn’t nature-powered Viagra, but some research shows that it may help men with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction. Its libido-boosting powers come from the amino acid citrulline, which is concentrated in the rind.
One study showed that taking L-citrulline supplements can improve erections without many of the potential side effects associated with Viagra.
Try spritzing your watermelon rind with lemon juice and sprinkling some chili powder on it. Both additives also are good for your heart, and your, ahem, other love organ.
2. It Might Give Your Workout a Boost
Besides improving your performance in bed, citrulline might improve your next athletic performance as well. However, most evidence for this is anecdotal.
To get it naturally, try pickled watermelon rinds, an old-fashioned treat in the southern states.
3. It Can Reduce Your Blood Pressure
If your doctor instructed you to lower your blood pressure, try eating watermelon — rind and all. Some research has shown that watermelon extract supplements are able to help obese adults control their blood pressure.
Watermelon is also a potential diuretic, which often is prescribed for people with high blood pressure. Try freezing whole watermelon slices for a nice treat on a summer’s day.
4. It Can Help Your Prostate
Watermelon is a great source of lycopene, an antioxidant that could possibly help ward off prostate cancer.
More research is needed to establish a concrete relationship between lypocene and cancer prevention, but preliminary studies are promising. Lycopene is also found in the skin of tomatoes, so give those a try, too.
Watermelon’s diuretic properties can also help keep your urinary tract in healthy working order.