The Real Reason You Should Be Saving Your Watermelon Rind

If you are throwing away your watermelon rinds, then you just might be tossing out one of the best parts of the popular, juicy fruit. Like many other tasty fruits and vegetables, the rinds, stems, or peel are often home to a lot of the produce's most important nutrients. And contrary to popular belief, the part of a food you usually throw in the trash bin can is sometimes pretty flavorful, too. So instead of tossing the watermelon rind into your kitchen compost the next time you enjoy this summery, delicious, make-you-smile fruit, think about all the health benefits of watermelon rind, and the many ways to use it (via Food Network).

While we all know the addictively-sweet, pink flesh is loaded with flavor and can be enjoyed in countless ways, you are missing out if you don't also chow down on the white flesh that's layered next to the green rind. Yup, that part. It turns out, the white, fleshy part of the rind is surprisingly versatile in terms of how many ways you can dice it, slice it, pickle it, and basically enjoy it perhaps even as much as the sweeter, admittedly better-looking part of the melon. That's right; we're not suggesting you sit there are just spoon the rind into your mouth! 

Seriously, it's high time to start making use of the watermelon rind instead of tossing it away. Trust us! Your doctor will thank you, too.

Health benefits of watermelon rind

We know watermelon is great for hydration since it is 90 percent water, which also makes it low in calories, too; only 49 calories per cup. Combined with the amount of fiber it has, the fruit is a great snack for anyone feeling bloated or trying to lose weight. If you'll be loading up on melons to trim your waistline and help with digestion, be sure to note the many health benefits of the rind.

Chief among the benefits of including the rind in your diet is that it's super heart-health, according to Healthline. Studies have shown consuming watermelon, rind and all, can help reduce blood pressure. The fruit is also a diuretic, which is recommended for those who suffer from high blood pressure. 

Another "white" lining (get it?) to chowing down on rind is that you're getting tons of added fiber, which aids in digestion. Diets high in fiber, well, keep you regular, and help to lower blood sugar, fill you up, and reduce the risk of developing diseases of the colon.

Apart from reducing your blood pressure and providing you with more fiber, the white part of the rind can also do wonders for your physical performance. From sports to the bedroom, watermelon rinds have been said to give an, ahem, boost. It's sometimes even called nature's Viagra! The way watermelon and its rind boost performance is all about availability of amino acid citrulline. This helps muscles gain access to oxygen, which enables faster recovery and prevents sore muscles.

What to do with the of the watermelon rind

If the idea of munching further into the rind of a slice of watermelon just doesn't sound appetizing to you, don't worry. There are a surprising number of ways you can make it more than edible. Watermelon rinds can actually be quite tasty, in fact.

While we love the idea of blending them up with lime and some mint for a refreshing drink, there are some other, more creative ways to eat watermelon rind. Some people might pickle entire slices of watermelon, but other recipes call for pickling nothing more than the rind itself. Adding a few maraschino cherries to the process helps sweeten it up too. It's an old-fashioned take, but certainly, one to try (via The Spruce Eats).

Other recipes for pickled watermelon rinds are a bit spicier than sweet. For example, Taste of Home uses cinnamon, cloves, and peppercorns to give the pickled rinds a nice kick. If you only like the idea of a sweeter pickled watermelon rind, then you might want to consider making watermelon rind preserves, which might be a bit more appealing if you've never had pickled watermelon (via All Recipes).

Finally, watermelon rind can be used as a vegetable when it is cut up. So add it to stir-fries or maybe even to kimchi if you're the adventurous type in the kitchen. We also like the idea of compressing the watermelon and serving it in a poke bowl (via American Lifestyle). You can also juice the rinds too (via Watermelon).