Peak summer has started showing its nature and its becoming too humid here. It’s time for variety of drinks. Juices, milk drinks, cocktails and cocktails along with ice creams and ice lollies are in season now. Juice is an essential part of our daily life. Its a must item for my hubby and kids after sunset. So starting from today onwards I will be posting different drinks which cools down our system and are good for our body.
I’m starting off with water melon. This juice was an instant hit many years ago while I experimented a lot. Water melon is so cooling that I thought of adding some healthy ingredients which countered it negatives. This juice is a regular visitor at our home during summer when ripe red sweet water melons are all over the place. Ginger, mint and lemons not only add taste but also provides many nutritional and health benefits.
Watermelons are mostly water — about 92 percent — but this refreshing fruit is soaked with nutrients. Each juicy bite has significant levels of vitamins A, B6 and C, lots of lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids. There’s even a modest amount of potassium. Plus, this quintessential summer snack is fat-free, very low in sodium and has only 40 calories per cup.
Scientists have taken notice of watermelon’s high lycopene levels — about 15 to 20 milligrams per 2-cup serving,some of the highest levels of any type of fresh produce. Lycopene is a phytonutrient, which is a naturally occurring compound in fruits and vegetables that reacts with the human body to trigger healthy reactions. It is also the red pigment that gives watermelons, tomatoes, red grapefruits and guavas their color.
Lycopene has been linked with heart health, bone health and prostate cancer prevention. It’s also a powerful antioxidant thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. To really maximize your lycopene intake, let your watermelon fully ripen. The redder your watermelon gets, the higher the concentration of lycopene becomes. Beta-carotene and phenolic antioxidant content also increase as the watermelon ripens. “Beta carotene is an antioxidant found in red-orange fruits and vegetables. It helps with immunity, skin, eye and the prevention of cancer.
A 2011 study in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis that investigated five types of watermelon at four stages of ripening found that unripe watermelon with primarily white flesh has nearly zero beta-carotene. By the time it is fully red, the fruit has become an excellent source of the phytonutrient. That doesn’t mean the red parts are the only good ones. “All parts of the watermelon are good. There are a lot of nutrients throughout,” said Jarzabkowski. This includes the white flesh nearest the rind, which contains more of the amino acid citrulline than the flesh, according to a 2005 study in the Journal of Chromatography.
Citrulline is a valuable amino acid that converts to the amino acid arginine. These amino acids promote blood flow, leading to cardiovascular health, improved circulation, and according to research at Texas A&M University, erectile dysfunction improvement (you’d probably have to eat a lot of the fruit to get a Viagra-like effect, though).
Recent studies have found that watermelon seeds are also wonderfully nutritious, especially if they are sprouted and shelled. They are high in protein, magnesium, vitamin B and good fats, according to an analysis by the International Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences. (input courtesy: http://www.livescience.com/46019-watermelon-nutrition.
The only disadvantage I’ve felt is that on a daily basis if I use water melon, I tend to get phlegm which in turn leads to cold and flu for me. Thats why I add mint and ginger to the water melon, which becomes a healthy thirst quenching juice. I added 1/8 cup sugar since the water melon was sweet. Usually I never add or add very less sugar these days. We use raw sugar more than the white sugar due to the health factors.
Deseed the water melon and cut into chunks.
Place all the ingredients into a blender
Blend thoroughly and sieve.
Add ice cubes to the serving glasses and pout the juice and enjoy.