This recipe “hit the spot” on a warm summer day. And don’t be fooled with its name. It does not contain any tomatoes, unlike regular gazpacho. It is purely watermelon with added cucumber, sweet bell pepper and fresh herbs! By only blending part of the soup, a nice crunchy texture remains.
Not only is this soup a refreshing treat but watermelon in and of itself has many health benefits! We may only think of watermelon as “mostly water” but this is not so! It is abundant in the carotenoid lycopene as well as citrulline, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C.
Lycopene has potent antioxidant properties and can help to reduce oxidative stress. Citrulline is a compound that is transformed into the amino acid arginine which is then used by the body to produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide not only helps the blood vessels dilate to keep the blood flowing efficiently and thus helps to control blood pressure, but it also plays a role in regulating the immune system.
Magnesium plays so many roles in the body, among them is smooth muscle relaxation (helps with blood pressure and blood vessel pliability) detoxification, and hydration. Potassium is also a vital player in regulating blood pressure, kidney function, muscle recovery after exercise, and hydration. They work together in keeping the body’s electrolytes balanced. Potassium acts as an electrolyte and promotes healthy circulation as well as helping to mange blood flow and hydration levels within the body, allowing oxygen to reach your cells. While at the same time, magnesium reduces water retention in the gut to beat bloating and help you lose water weight. For more information on the amazing mineral Magnesium, read Magnificent Magnesium by Dr. Dennis Goodman.
Vitamin C is not only a powerful antioxidant but it also boosts your immune function. Vitamin C has also been shown to protect cartilage and bones, aid in the repair of tendons and ligaments, and help speed up wound repair and healing.
Back to what we all know of watermelon as a fruit abundant in water. It is estimated to be composed of 91% water. But this water is very helpful in detoxification and the body’s ability to rid itself of excess water and fluids, which then helps to reduce bloating and swelling. The increase is urine production which helps rid the body of toxins and waste helps protect the body against kidney stones.
So you can see there are many health benefits to this sweet and refreshing melon! This recipe also boasts the fresh herbs parsley and basil which are great detoxifiers and well as flavor enhancers!
Tips on choosing a ripe watermelon:
- Look for one that has a yellow or cream color on the bottom, as opposed to bright white
- Also try knocking on the melon and picking it up to find one that is heavy and dense for its size. This usually means that all of its juices have been produces and it’s ready to crack open.
These actually also have health benefits so don’t worry about eating them! They are a good source of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. More specifically, they contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, magnesium, zinc, copper, potassium. To maximize the seeds’ benefits, they should actually be sprouted and shelled. So don’t be afraid to consume some seeds along with your melon. Before the days of hybridization, all watermelon had seeds. I remember the fun of eating watermelon was to spit out the seeds. Again we didn’t even know back then that these seeds were healthy to eat.
So enjoy this simple but tasty recipe!