Did you know watermelon rind is incredibly nutritious?

While we all enjoy a plate full of refreshing watermelon, which may be sprinkled with some pink salt, very few know that watermelon rind is also extremely healthy and must not be thrown away. Watermelon rind comes with a host of health benefits as it is rich in vitamin A, and vitamin C, as well as potassium and magnesium. It is also full of fibre, which helps solve many digestive issues. Watermelon rind is also good for the heart and helps to control cholesterol. Read on to know how to eat watermelon rind, and how it helps our body.

What is watermelon rind?

While the best part of the watermelon is the juicy red part, which most of us enjoy, the white part of the watermelon is also edible. The watermelon rind is the tough outer layer of the watermelon that can also be eaten. It is green on the outside, and white on the inside. This rind can be eaten and comes with a lot of health benefits. While it can be eaten raw, it it may not be the yummiest. But it can be boiled, stir-fried and added in several recipes.

Health benefits of watermelon rind

Here are some of the health benefits of watermelon rind:

1. Rich in fibre

The most important benefit of watermelon rind is that it contains a lot of fibre. A high-fibre diet can help maintain regularity of bowel movements, and prevent many diseases. It can also help keep you full and aid in weight loss. A study published in Food Technology and Biotechnology, analysed the quality of high-fibre pasta cooked with watermelon rind powder. It was seen that the total dietary fibre content of watermelon rind powder samples was much higher than that of durum wheat pasta. The study also states that watermelon rind has large amounts of total dietary fibre as well as proteins and minerals.

2. Rich in vitamins and minerals

Watermelon rind is a healthy source of many vitamins and minerals. According to a study, published in Trends in Food Science and Technology, states that watermelon rind contains potassium, calcium, as well as magnesium and iron, and these are essential for nutrition. According to another study, published in the Journal of Biosystems, watermelon rind powder, made from the pale green part of the rind had the maximum amount of protein (19.74 percent), while the highest amount of fibre (13.35 percent) was from the dark green rind of the watermelon.

3. Helps with blood pressure

Watermelon rind can help lower your blood pressure. A study, published in the American Journal of Hypertension, showed that watermelon rind was beneficial in lowering the blood pressure of obese patients. It is also known to be a diuretic, a medicines that can increase water content in the body. This also helps in the regulation of blood pressure.

4. Gives you a workout boost

Consumption of watermelon rind might help you work out better. It contains citrulline and this can help deliver adequate oxygen to your muscles, and improve your exercise performance as well, states this study, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

A plate full of watermelon
While the entire watermelon rind can be eaten, it is easiest to eat the white part, as it tastes like cucumber. Image courtesy: Pexels

5. Helps sexual performance

Watermelon rind contains an amino acid called citrulline. This may help to improve erections without the use of Viagra, states this study, published in Urology. It also helped to increase semen quality and testosterone, according to this study, published in JBRA Assisted Reproduction.

Side effects of watermelon rind

While watermelon rind is very healthy, nothing is good in excess. Consuming too much watermelon can lead to digestive problems, bloating and gas. Also, the rind of the watermelon might not taste as great as the fruit, as it is not as juicy, however, you can add it to recipes for better taste.

How to eat watermelon rind?

While the thought of chomping down the green skin of the watermelon might be uninviting, there are other ways to include watermelon rind in your diet. You could try and pickle the rind, and enjoy it as a side dish. For this, you will need to boil the peeled rind; take the white part with a thin layer of pink on top; and add some spices.

Alternatively, you can stir-fry the watermelon rind as well. Treat the rind as any other vegetable, and it will add not only a required crunch to your dish but also increase its nutritional value.

Watermelon rind can also be juiced along with the rest of the fruit. These can be added to smoothies as well.

A glass of watermelon juice with watermelon pieces
Watermelon rind can be also be added while make watermelon juice. Image courtesy: Pexels

Recipe: Watermelon rind stir fry

  •  4 cups watermelon rind tough green skin removed and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 inch ginger minced
  • ½ serrano pepper seeds removed, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon amchur dried green mango powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala

Instructions

  • Melt ghee in a pan on medium heat.
  • Add cumin seeds. Once they begin to splutter, add the ginger, garlic and serrano pepper.
  • After a minute, add the paprika, coriander powder, amchur, paprika, turmeric, and salt.
  • Add the watermelon rind and water and mix well.
  • Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring at the halfway mark.
  • Once the rind is soft and most of the water is absorbed, remove the lid and add the garam masala.
  • Mix well and cook for another couple minutes.
  • Remove from heat and serve.

FAQs

Which part of the watermelon rind is the best to eat?

While the entire rind can be consumed, the white part is the richest in the amino acid citrulline. This helps with the formation of muscles as well as blood flow.

How does watermelon rind taste?

The white part of the watermelon rind tastes much like cucumber and can be added to salads. Once you cook it, it tastes like carrots after being cooked. The flavour of the rind is very neutral, and you can add spices to customise the taste.

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