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Are Watermelons the new, natural Viagra?

Big, juicy slices of watermelon are a delightful treat in the summer and at only 84 calories per wedge, there is absolutely no reason to not eat this fruit to your heart’s desire! Watermelons are one of the most refreshing, thirst quenching fruit available all year round. Watermelon is not only delicious, but also very nutritious. Studies have shown that deep red varieties of watermelon have displaced tomatoes as the lycopene king. Watermelons are very beneficial to our health and could even be a natural Viagra! Read on:

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1. It soothes sore muscles:

According to a new study in the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry, drinking watermelon juice before a hard workout helped reduce athletes’ heart rate and next-day muscle soreness. That’s because watermelon is rich in an amino acid called L-citrulline, which the body converts to L-arginine, an essential amino acid that helps relax blood vessels and improve circulation.

2. It helps heart health:

Postmenopausal women experienced improved cardiovascular health after six weeks of taking commercially available watermelon extract supplements containing citrulline and arginine, according to a study published earlier this year by Florida State University physiologist Arturo Figueroa. And in a 2012 study, also led by Figueroa, such supplements helped alleviate high blood pressure in obese, middle-aged adults.

3. It could be a natural Viagra:

Improved circulation can benefit more than just the heart, as at least one watermelon researcher has pointed out. But you’d probably have to eat an awful lot to achieve the desired effect–and eating too much could cause unfortunate side effects, since watermelon has long had a reputation as a natural diuretic. Watermelon has an ingredient (arginine) that delivers a Viagra-like effect. Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, the same basic effect that Viagra has, to treat erectile dysfunction and maybe even prevent it. Extra nitric oxide can also help treat angina, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems.

4. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals, but low in calories:

Given its name, you might assume the fruit has little nutritional value—and it is more than 90 percent water. But a 10-ounce (300-mL) wedge of watermelon packs in about one-third of the recommended daily value of vitamins A and C, as well as a modest amount of potassium (9 percent of the daily value).

5. It could even combat cancer:

Watermelon is among the best dietary sources of lycopene, an antioxidant linked to both the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer, although scientists are still investigating the details of that connection.

6. Younger looking skin:

Achieve that younger looking skin with just 2-cups of watermelon daily. Research showed that watermelon cuts the risk of sun related skin damage by 40%. That’s because watermelon is nature’s richest source of lycopene, an antioxidant that scavenges the UV-induced free radicals that cause sunburn and wrinkling.

7. Improves sleep:

Watermelons can help improve sleep. By eating a few slices of this fruit after dinner, you can extend the deep stages of sleep by 27%. The reason is watermelon’s polysaccharide carbohydrates rev the body’s output of serotonin. When levels of serotonin increase at night, the brain is less sensitive to disruptive stimuli (like noise) during sleep.

8. Boosts energy:

A daily serving of watermelon has been shown to boost energy levels by up to 23%. This is because watermelon contains vitamin B6, which the body uses to synthesize feel good dopamine. It also contains magnesium which assists in the body’s formation of adenosine triphosphate. Like a rechargeable battery, this nucleotide fuels cellular function for all-day energy.

9. Heal wounds faster:

Watermelons can help in healing of wounds and other skin problems faster. The fruit is packed with the amino acid citrulline, which the body converts to arginine. Arginine speeds the delivery of white blood cells to injury sites, plus spurs the growth of new skin tissue. Study show that these processes can help skin heal 3 times faster.

Fun fact for juicier watermelon slices –  Long-term refrigeration can sap nutrients and flavor from the fruit. But to guarantee the tastiest fruit, place watermelon in the fridge for 30 minutes before slicing it. A quick chill causes the fruit’s cells to constrict. This means the juice stays in the slices instead of running out onto the cutting board.

 

 

 

 


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Refreshing green tea recipes, on ice!

On a scorching summer’s day, sipping on a hot cup of freshly brewed green tea isn’t that appealing, right? But who says green tea need only be had hot? Green tea is even more refreshing and nourishing, with all its numerous health benefits intact, when iced and mixed with some fruits, roots and honey!

Here are four exciting green tea recipes, on ice! Take your pick – Watermelon Green Iced Tea or a Green Tea and Ginger one or a frosty Green Tea Cinnamon Smoothie or the Mango Green Iced Tea. Whether you want to make it for yourself or for a summer party or just for your family, these iced green teas and smoothies are very delicious to drink and will make for some great summer memories with your loved ones!

Watermelon Green Iced Tea:

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Serves 2 

Ingredients:

  •          4 cups seedless watermelon flesh, cubed
  •          2 cups hot water
  •          3 green tea bags
  •          Juice of 1 lime
  •          Sugar to taste

 Directions:

  • Blend the watermelon cubes in a blender until pureed. Use a strainer to remove the pulp completely and keep the puree smooth.
  • In a sauce pan, boil the water and add the green tea bags  and allow to steep for 5 minutes, and then remove the bags.
  • Allow the tea to cool at room temperature before adding the watermelon puree, lime juice and sugar. You can also use raw honey instead of sugar, if you are counting calories.
  • Serve immediately over ice.

 Iced Green Tea with Ginger:

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This is an all day, any time refresher which is easy to make with ingredients that are readily available in every household. It takes about five minutes to make, but the effects of the antioxidants in the green tea are everlasting. Drink up for a healthier you!

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 6 green tea bags
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 100 grams of fresh, unpeeled sliced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • Fresh sprigs of mint
  • Lemon wedges (optional) for garnish

 Directions:

  • Add the water and ginger to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Remove from the heat and add the tea bags. Allow the bags to steep for 15 minutes.
  • Carefully remove and strain the tea bags and ginger. Pour the tea into a pitcher, add the honey, lemon juice and stir.
  • Refrigerate until chilled.
  • Serve over iced cubes with lemon wedges and mint sprigs as garnish.

 Green Tea Cinnamon Honey Smoothie:

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Making a smoothie is an easy way to whip up something nutritious when you don’t have a lot of time. This low-calorie cinnamon, honey and green tea smoothie makes for a chilled caffeine break when the temperature rises. Not only will the caffeine in the green tea give you much-needed energy, but cinnamon and green tea have both been shown to have metabolism-boosting properties.  In addition, research has shown that honey may help regulate blood sugar levels, meaning you won’t feel sluggish after this afternoon snack. The next time you’re feeling like you could use a frosty beverage, forget the Frappuccino and make this 139-calorie smoothie instead.

For this recipe, use two or more green tea bags to brew a cup or two of  tea, depending on how strong you’d like it, then keep the tea chilled in your fridge until ready to use. You can also add greens of your choice, like kale or spinach, to add a few more nutrients to this smoothie without altering the taste.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup brewed green tea
  • 
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • Half a banana

 Directions: 

  • Add one to two scoops of crushed ice to a blender, along with all ingredients.
  • Blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Mango Green Iced Tea: 

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It isn’t summer if they are no mangoes! And a fresh mango and green tea on ice is just the drink to keep us happy and cool all summer long! Bring home those delicious Dusseris, Langdas, Chausas and Alphonsos and blend them into a tall glass of happiness!

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 4 mangoes, peeled and sliced
  • 6 cups water
  • 6 green tea bags
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Fresh mint to garnish

Directions:

  • Puree mango in a blender with 1/4 cup of sugar and set aside.
  • Pour water into a pot and bring to a boil. When water begins to boil, add tea bags, cover pot with lid and turn off heat.
  • Allow the tea bags to steep for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove bags from the pot and pour in mango puree. Add remaining sugar and mix well.
  • Pour mixture over ice, garnish with mint and serve chilled.