Being in the juice business, a lot of people end up asking me what my favourite fruit is. It’s difficult for me to pick sometimes – I feel a little like a mama bear picking which of her cubs is the best. Who am I to disparage the powerful taste of the blueberry? What about the majesty of the potassium-rich banana? However, when you come right down to it and force me to answer, there’s really only one king of fruits in my opinion: the watermelon.
Watermelon and I go waaaay back – all the way back to a sticky, humid morning of self-chastisement in Rio de Janeiro after a night of hitting the bottle particularly hard. The locals grinned slyly at the outsider grumbling about her hangover – after smirking, they then told me to eat some watermelon and my hangover would be gone before I knew it. To my surprise (and great relief) they were absolutely right.
Watermelon is exactly what the name implies: heavy in water (93.5% of a watermelon is just water!) Eating (or drinking) watermelon helps reduce water retention and helps your body detoxify itself due to the high water content and the lack of any fats – hence my quick hangover cure. But the positives about watermelon don’t stop there: it’s also high in an antioxidant called lycopene which can enhance your body’s UV defences (a compelling reason to sip some watermelon juice on the beach!), and also helps produce the amino acid arginine – a substance that helps blood flow, anti-aging, and even speeds up your healing.
But not only is watermelon good for you, it’s also just good. There isn’t any taste or flavour like it – something so unique that you can only raise an eyebrow in scepticism when a packet of gum tries to replicate the taste. Just the thought of it – stickily sweet and dripping down your chin as you sit on the beach – it’s enough to make me want grab a drink of it right now! Probably one of the most interesting factors about watermelon is that even with its distinctive sweet taste, it is incredibly low in sugar, relying instead on natural aromatic substances to create the taste. Take that, Harry Styles.
To get the most out of watermelons, we juice them with a bit of fresh mint, a tiny bit of ginger (get used to that!), and sometimes raspberries just to add some tartness to complement the sweetness! We also don’t throw out the rind – yes, we’re those people. Watermelon rind contains even more antioxidant goodness and antifungal properties, so we juice it as well, adding a little bit of lemon to give it some zest. Rumour has it that watermelon rind acts as a kind of natural aphrodisiac – but don’t take my word for it. Go find someone you like, give them some watermelon rind juice, and see what happens! Be safe and stay thirsty, kids.