Melons

Melons

  • Capotă Ioana

  • Clasa a 12-a B

  • Colegiul Național “Mircea cel Bătrân”

Have you ever tried to imagine a hot summer without… watermelons?

Please, don’t even try!

Crimson sweet, jubilee, little baby flower… the watermelon is an yearly erbacae plant. It is part of the Cucurbitaceae family, Citrullus genus, originally from the African continent and cultivated for the first time in Egypt (evidence of this being illustrated in hieroglyphs) and other Mediteranean countries. Today, the watermelon is grown on large scale worldwide due to its tastiness and large size.

Canicular summer days can be fought with ease by consuming red watermelon, the fruit with a high water composition (95%), vitamins A, B6, C and a series of vital nutrients for health, as well as fibres, proteins, calcium, folic acid, magenzium, potassium, fosforous, iron and zinc.

Threee subspecies of Citrullus have been identified:

  • C. lanatus sp. lanatus which grows naturally in the south of Africa;

  • C. lanatus sp. mucosospermus which produces edible seeds that contain large quantities of lipids and proteins, the core being inedible;

  • C. lanatus sp. vulgaris, rich in glucids and containing many variations cultivated for consumption.

MEDICAL UTILITIES, BENEFITS

The watermelon prevents asthma. The risk of falling sick with asthma decreases as the watermelon is rich in vitamin C.
Helps prevent constipation and mentains the healthiness of the digestive tract as it contains water and fibers.

It is hydrating: it has a water concentration of 92% and it is full of elecrolits. This way, it is refreshing during the summer, preventing dehydration.

Choline represents an important and versatile substance from the composition of watermelon, being involved in the sleep mechanism, muscular movement and also in the memorizing and learning process. This substance helps mentain the celular membrane, aids in the transmission of nervous impulses and in the absorbtion of fats. Choline can eliminate cronical inflammations.

The red watermelon can reduce the muscular pain caused by the contractions called ‘kink’, playing an important role in accelerating the muscular resting process after intensive exercises practiced by sportsmen, these effects being a result of the substances contained by the fruit.

It has amazing benefits for the skin because of its A vitamin contents, a nutrient neccessary for the production of Sebum which keeps the hair hydrated, but also for the growth of other humas tissues.

A glass of soft drinks can be confidently replaced with a slice of watermelon. Why consume chemicals and colorants when you can savour a portion of pure health? Beneficial for both the inside and the outside, the watermelon is a wonderful ally in the fight against extra kilograms.

A “Watermelon diet”, in other words, the daily consumption of at least two slices of watermelon, over a couple of weeks detoxifies the organism. This excellent effect is, of course, a result of the high percantage of water it contains.

It is a real help in the cases of unhealthy kidneys, problems with the bile, constipation or skin diseases. The same as in the case of the body detoxifiation, the daily consumption of watermelon helps in the healing process of these afflictions. In addition, pectoral angina, arterial hypertension and other cardiovascular problems can be treated with watermelon.

SYMBOLS AND TRADITIONS IN DIFFERENT CULTURES

USA

The 3rd of August was named the National Watermelon Day.

In the American culture, rasial stereotype charicatures illustrate Afro-Americans with an unusual apetite for watermelon. The origin of this stereotype is uncertain, but the purpose is clear: the representation of Afro-Americans as lazy, ignorant, ‚worth of nothing people.

The state of Oklahoma declared in April 2007 that the watermelon is an official vegetable, creating constroversial disscusions like: ’Is the watermelon a fruit… or a vegetable?’

VIETNAM

In Vietnam, the watermelon seeds are consumed on New Years Eve, Tết, as appetizers.

JAPAN

Suikawari or, translated, ’the crushing of the watermelon’ is a traditional Japanese game in which a man with his eyes covered has to be spinned three times and then hits a watermelon with a bat. Often played during summer, suikawari is popular on the beach and also at festivals, picnic and other events. The rules are similar to the ones from the game of pinata. The one who smaches the watermelon first wins.

Japanese farmers have created cubic watermelons, initially with the purpose of easier storing. These weird watermelons grow in glass boxes whose form they take and are then sold for up to twice as much as the regular ones.

In ISRAEL and EGYPT, the sweet taste of the watermelon is often combined with the salty one of feta cheese.

ROMANIA

The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist is a holiday associated with folklore, as is the interdiction of the consmption of groceries like the cabbage of the watermelon. The use of knives when eating food that resembles a head is avoided.

The seeds myth: be careful, as if you swallow the seeds, a great watermelon will grow in your stomach!

PERSONAL ARCHIVE

afine

CULINARY RECIPE

Pomgranate and watermelon salad

Known under the name of Special Red Eye Salad, this salad provides more than half of our daily dose of B,A and C vitamin, iron, magnezium, calcium and antioxidants. Also, it is rich in lutein and zeaxantin, two compounds that, obviously, protect the sight.

afine

Ingredients

Dressing:

  • pomegranate juice (a cup)
  • 1 spoon of vinegar
  • 1 ½ spoons of orange crust
  • 1 spoon of agave syroup
  • 1/8 spoons of soil-stone mustard
  • ½ cups of extra-virgin olive oil
  • A little salt and pepper

Salad:

  • 8 cups of spinach
  • ¾ cups of sliced onions
  • 2 cups of cubically sliced watermelon (placet on a paper towel for absorbing the extra liquid)
  • 6 oz of fresh raspberries
  • ½ cup of pomgranate seeds

Instructions

Place the juice in a small pan at medium to high fire and boil it until it decreases to aproximately three spoons and the liquid has a thick consistency, then place it aside. After it has cooled down, add the rest of the dressing ingredients, from vinegar to salt and peper. Mix it and then put it aside so that the scents can blend. Place the spinach in a large bowl, add onion, he watermelon, raspberries and the pomgranate seeds. Divide in four portions and add the dressing.

Portions

The dressing represents up to ¾ a cup, the salad being enough for four portions.

Nutritional analysis per portion: 376 calories; fat 63% (26 grams); 3,8 grams of saturated fats; proteins 5%; 32% carbohidrats; 6.2 grams of fibers .

A FEW WORDS

Just a few words… the expression of simple childsish joy, brought to me by first slice of summer watermelon. I have a few… memories. I haven’t chosen this fruit by chance. Not by chance did my mother tell me how she ate watermelons all in a breath with her brothers, full slices, splattering up to the elbows. Not by chance did my eyes lighten when uncle Marian arrived from the field with a carriage full of watermelons waiting to be stored under the bed or in the storage room… Not by chance did I insist to be taken, as young as i were, to see ‘where the watermelons are made’…

The beauty of life is composed of little pieces, apparently insignificant: for me, one such piece is the watermelon. Consequently, it was a pleasure for me to do some research work about this fruit, to convince myself of its benefical effects on health and, last but not least, to share a picture from my childhood in which I am eating, of course, a watermelon!

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • http://www.watermelon.org/

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watermelon_stereotype

  • http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/food/watermelons.html

  • http://www.descopera.ro/dnews/13167135-in-traditia-populara-romaneasca-azi-nu-sunt-ingaduite-petreceri-si-nu-se-mananca-rosii-sau-pepeni-iata-de-ce

  • http://rawgirltoxicworld.com/tag/watermelon-recipes/

  • http://www.juicebenefits.net/watermelon

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watermelon

  • http://ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepene

  • http://www.thetowndish.com/2007/06/07/ten-facts-you-never-knew-about-watermelon/

  • http://www.whataboutwatermelon.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/suikawari.jpg

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watermelon_stereotype#mediaviewer/File:I%27se_so_happy_-_postcard.jpg

  • The fruits for ”inner cleaning”

    In July and August – one has the melon peak season in Romania. Melons are juicy, sweet and refreshing fruits, considered the symbol of abundance and wealth.

    Melons – known also as ”harbuji” (in Moldova), ”lubenițe” (in Oltenia) or ”curcubeți” (in Ardeal) – are beloved fruits in the Carpathians region, no matter the province of origin.

    The land around Carphathians mountains has always been a blessed and fertile soil, where fruits have always grown easily and represented an important food and health source for the people living here.

    Melons belong to botanical Cucurbitacea family, together with other plants such as honey dew melons, cucumbers and pumpkins.

    Melons are originally from Africa but have been extensively growth everywhere around the world and they represent one of the most appreciated fruits during the summer season and in the warm climate.

    Melon is an annual herbaceous plant, a crawling vine (like all plants from Cucurbitacea family) with big leafs, each having 5 lobes, and yellow big flowers. Melon is the fruit of the plant – with a gigantic size, a round or elipse shape, green skin (with different shades of green) and reddish soft flesh inside (due to a substance called ”lycopen”, also found in tomatoes).

    The internal flesh is very watery and juicy, having more than 90% water – with a lot of mineral salts.

    Has a very high content in mineral salts and vitamins, having a very balanced structure for rehydratation of human body during the warm season.

    In the red flesh one finds a lot of dark/brownish seeds, which can be collected and kept for next year. O single melon has enough seeds to provide for a whole small plot of land next year. This is why melons are a symbol of ABUNDANCE – because their multiplication rate is huge (if the fruit is allowed to grow free and wild).

    Recently, there are a lot of hybrid melons on market – such as yellow flesh watermelons or seedless watermelons.

    My personal experience showed that not always hybridization and genetical manipulation of plants by humans – provides good results.

    The hybrids watermelons have been some of the most tasteless melons I have ever tested.

    I am happy one can find in Romania watermelons with seeds – sweet and juicy – so filling and satisfying in a hot summer day.

    I have tasted in different countries in Europe and Asia seedless watermelons – having no taste, to sweetness, no flavor – just the red color. I am so sorry for many people in these region, that have no idea about eating a good fruit – in the most appropriate moment of the year, when body really needs it.

    And it’s important for us to be grateful for all the gifts our country’s soil is given to us, which allow all of us a “fruit feast” between spring and autumn!

    Melons are red flesh color fruits with a strong detoxifying action on our body. Their action is mainly on urinary system (kidneys), but also on bowels (like a real “broom” for the whole system).

    The summer time is the best time for a “watermelon diet”.

    When all the cities are packed with piles on watermelons, in every corner of the streets – one knows the time for “watermelon diet” is here (end of July – the whole month of August).

    One can have for 2, 3, 5, 7, 10 days or more only watermelon – from morning till evening – as the only food intake.

    Quantity is not important.

    When one is hungry, one eats (or drinks watermelon juice) – as one chooses.

    For those working daily, the fresh made watermelon juice in the morning, deposited in a thermal recipient is the best solution for more stressful and active periods.

    For those able to stay at home – just eating watermelon as such is enough.

    This is called a “monofruit diet” – when the body receives in the digestive system only a single, easy to digest fruit (or one can combine water melons in the first part of the day with honey dew melons, in the evening). A lot of energy will be saved from the digestion process and used for the detoxification and healing/regeneration process.

    Among some of the reactions one will notice in the body (not all in the same person), according to the toxicity level of one’s lymphatic system), there could be the following:

    • pains, irritation and burning sensation in the stomach area (watermelons begins the cleaning of toxic lymph IN THE WALLS f the intestinal system).

    • bloating and gases in the bowels (in people having fungal invasion of the bowels, Candida or other fungus)

    • pains (pressing or stitching/stabbing) in the kidneys (or back region – lumbar/sacral part) – due to the “pushing” of watermelon fluid on kidneys (when one drinks, eats more than the body needs)

    • skin eruptions or itching (when kidneys are not able to filter well the toxins moved by the monofruit diet – and the skin takes over elimination of toxins)

    • sweating (perspiration) on head, neck and spine, especially during sleep at night (another sign of bad kidneys filtration). Bad smelling perspiration, arm pits, hands or sole of feet, or of the whole body.

    • unpleasant smell of mouth/breathing (acids elimination in the mouth mucosa and tongue)

    • increased sensitivity of gums (different pains, at different levels) – due to acid elimination through gums.

    Not only the water melon diet – but every “monofruit diet” – taken a longer time (days or weeks) is able to trigger these kind of reactions.

    If the reactions occur, the meaning is:

    1) the body is “loaded” with toxic wastes

    2) toxic waste elimination is higher than the capacity of natural organs (kidneys, bowels, skin) to eliminate them quietly.

    Many times, one recommends “slowing down” the detoxification process, stopping the diet and introducing a meal with raw vegetables in the evening (which will slow down the detox process) or a meal with cooked vegetables or any cooked food item (which stops completely the detox process).

    If the symptoms vanishes in hours/1-2 days and are not too intense – one recommends to keep going with the “monofruit diet” with watermelon as long as the person feels well with it (emotional and in the body).

    Watermelons are alkaline, juicy, refreshing fruits – which offers a filling sensation and can be used in various amounts, according to one needs and desires.

    They will never combine well with other fruits or food items. One will never combine watermelons with bread or cheese – as is the custom in our country. This combination will keep the watermelon pulp a long time in the stomach, so there will be alcoholic fermentation happening – with the toxicity on liver!

    It is possible that people eating watermelon with bread and/or cheese (diary products) – to discover in time bad liver tests or liver issues – as if they would have had drinking alcohol for a long time!

    One will eat watermelons BEFORE a meal – or AS A MEAL. They digest very quick (in a half of hour – the most – they leave the stomach) and are completely eliminated from our digestive system in 12 hours – through kidneys and bowels. One will not combine watermelons with other fruits, which requires sometimes 1-2 hours of gastric digestion (in the stomach).

    If desired to combine watermelon with some other fruits and/or vegetable – one eats watermelons first – 5-10 minutes up to a half an hour prior to other fruits/vegetables.

    The sweet taste and juicy consistency makes watermelon the best food item for a hot summer day.

    I had the personal experience of eating only watermelon for days and having very little body sweating in very hot dry weather (30-40 degrees Celsius).

    Watermelons have a general “cooling” action on the body – and we have noticed this action especially during the winter season, when we tried to eat imported watermelons – but we quit quickly due to the intense coldness of the body induced immediately after eating it.

    Exactly this action of “internal cooling” we have noticed during summer time – when we manage to stay indoors without using the air conditioned – because our tolerance to heat increased a lot. We felt as if this fruit is having a “conditioning cooling” action – especially at the digestive level.

    Another interesting experience of this summer was the high intake of watermelon juice – from the slow juicer (which also helps separating the seeds and pulp very quickly).

    The juice could be kept for about 12 hours in a thermal recipient – in a very good condition (OK, some of the enzymes from the fresh juice dissapear in 15-20 minutes, but there is a lot of fructose and minerals still remaining in). It was my favorite “fuel” in the long working days in the practice.

    It’s sweetness and the ability of satisfying my hunger, as well as my thirst, in the same time – made the watermelon juice the drink for a stressful and long working day (1-2 liters of juice a day).

    I had some positive comments from students and adults learning for different exams – which noticed the positive effect of watermelon juice on brain abilities such as memory, concentration and attention. And we already know that FRUCTOSE (the natural sugar from the watermelon) is the favorite “fuel” source of nervous cells).

    But a fruit (or fruit juice diet) is not offering too much physical strength (especially in very “intoxicated” people), so one has to rest more – and stay indoors more – during the time of doing it. The hot summer weather is not very inducing of physical effort – so REMEMBER TO REST MORE!

    In summary – watermelons are the best summer detox fruits for the ”summer cleaning” – with an important action on kidneys, urinary system, on skin and bowels.

    I wish everybody a wonderful summer – and enjoy the watermelons!

© 2015 Simile Foundation. All rights reserved.

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