Tuesday, August 14, 2007

As long as you don't give it to your dog late at night

Watermelon has always been a favorite food of mine. It began when I was a young girl at my grandparents' house in Mississippi. Only one room had air conditioning, and that was mainly turned on at night while we listened to a scratchy radio station playing Merle Haggard and the like and shelled peas or pulled the strings off the beans.

My grandfather, though, grew watermelons along with the potatoes, peas, beans, tomatoes, and corn in his relatively large garden. He'd usually have one sitting in the ice box (as he called a refrigerator) to serve as dessert after supper. My sister and I, sometimes with our cousins, would scrap the flesh to the rind to get all of the juice after all the pink had been eaten.

Looks like we were doing a good thing for our bodies:
Here's another reason to enjoy watermelon before summer ends: This delicious fruit is unusually high in an amino acid known as citrulline. Our bodies use citrulline to make yet another amino acid, arginine, which helps cells divide, wounds heal, and ammonia to be removed from the body.
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Volunteers in the study completed one three-week stint during which they drank about three eight-ounce glasses of watermelon juice every day, and one three-week period of drinking about twice that much of the juice daily.

For comparison, other volunteers neither drank the juice nor ate watermelon or certain other foods that would skew study results.

Blood levels of arginine, synthesized in the body from the citrulline provided by the watermelon juice, were 11 percent higher in volunteers tested after three weeks on the three-glasses-a-day regimen (24 ounces), and 18 percent higher following the six-daily-glasses regimen (48 ounces), when compared to levels in samples from volunteers who didn't drink the melon juice.

Nice, huh? A favorite fruit of mine is good for my body as well as to bring me back to those hot, Mississippi days with my grandparents.

Why would I be referring to giving watermelon to a dog? I'll let you know tomorrow. The Brute was good for a laugh, and a hug, and a lick, and a drool, and a howl. Oh, and a pee.


jmb said...

Watermelon reminds me of my childhood in Australia where they grew like weeds.
I have passed on something to you on my blog but if you don't want to take it up, no problem.

Liz Self said...

I LOVE watermelon. My birthday meal was always chicken done a special way, my mom's potato salad, and watermelon, and that meal just wasn't complete without the watermelon. The only downfall (well, not the only one) to living in a condo building is that you can't spit the seeds off the balcony -- or at least it would be heavily frowned upon.

Sarabeth said...

Seedless, Liz. Seedless.