Everyone knows that one of the best ways to get the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to function is with fruit. While you might not think it’s an important part, the skin of most fruits also contain the same nutrients as the flesh. One of the most surprising fruits whose skin you often ignore is the humble watermelon rind.
Really? Watermelon skins?
Yes, really. The health benefits of watermelon stretch far beyond just the flesh. The skin – or more commonly known as the rind – can actually be eaten or used topically. Not only can you eat it, you should be eating it! There are so many more things that can be done with the rind that you’ll think twice before throwing it out again.
Health Benefits of Watermelon Rind
While it is true that a lot of the vitamins and minerals that are in fruit come from the flesh itself, don’t skimp out on the skin. For example, the watermelon rind contains:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
While the amount of vitamin C and B6 isn’t as high as the amount found in the flesh, what is important is the citrulline that can be found in the rind.
Citrulline is an antioxidant compound that works to protect us from free radical damage. Citrulline also converts to the amino acid arginine in the body. Arginine is essential to the heart, circulatory system, and immune system. Researchers believe that it has the ability to relax blood vessels, and may also be used to treat erectile dysfunction.
Watermelon Rind Uses
For most, the instinct to discard watermelon instead of chomping down on it may be too hard to shake. Luckily, here are a few examples of just how you can take advantage of all the nutrition that watermelon rinds have to offer:
Watermelon Rind Pickles
Watermelon is technically a part of the cucumber family, so it makes sense that you can turn it into a pickle! Watermelon rind pickles are a common part of Southern cuisine, but the best part of this recipe is the gut-friendly transition that changes the humble rind to a pickle. Find the recipe here.
Watermelon Rind Juice
Just like any fruit, you can juice watermelon, so why not the rind as well. You can make a great watermelon rind juice and flavor it with any of your favorite fruits. Here’s a great example of how to make a tasty juice from the rind.
Sauteed Watermelon Rind Salad
You can also use watermelon rind for a tasty side salad. Cube and saute the rind in a little bit of olive oil until softened, and add salt and pepper to taste. You can also mix in any other seasoning you like; try chili flakes for some heat, or smoked paprika for warmth and smokiness.
Watermelon Rind Smoothie
The only thing possibly better than a watermelon rind green juice? A watermelon rind smoothie. Again, feel free to be as creative as you want with your ingredients, but here’s a recipe you can use for inspiration.
It’s incredible to know just how easy it is to incorporate every part of the watermelon into a healthy lifestyle, so next time you’re cutting a refreshing slice of watermelon remember to eat it all down, even the rind!
Check out this fun recipe for Watermelon Rind Candy!
*Article originally appeared at The Hearty Soul.