Every day we put our digestive system through a lot. Even if you have a healthy diet and lifestyle, your body works hard to digest food, absorb nutrients, filter out the good from the bulk, separate liquid from solid, and transport and transform everything that goes in on top and comes out at the bottom. And all the way in between. We don’t really think of it this way. But let me tell you, doing a one day detox is like a spa-day for your digestive system.
I chose to do a one day detox as part of a ten day cleanse. I don’t do well with liquid fasts so for me a day of fruit goes far and still gives the same cleansing effect.
We are in the middle of summer right now, so I decided on watermelon as my food source for my detox day.
Watermelon is very popular, especially in the summer. It’s sweet, sticky, and fun. I remember as kids, slurping away on the juicy sweet pink flesh of the watermelon and spitting out the seeds. We made a contest out of who could spit them the farthest. These days of course you are lucky to find watermelons with seeds, they have been bred out of the melon as something unwanted. The rinds are getting thinner as well, giving us more flesh then rind whereas twenty years ago you could still find a good amount of white between the outer rind and the flesh of the melon.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda, the melon, especially the watermelon, is regarded as a highly cleansing and healing food.
According to TCM watermelon is a very important food in treating obesity. It relieves internal heat and strengthens the function of the stomach and spleen. Watermelon is also diuretic without taxing the kidneys too much.
TCM uses all parts of the melon, the rind, the inner rind, the flesh and the seeds for their healing properties.
Ayurveda has found that watermelon cools Pitta, the Fire constitution and is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. It is also found to have anti-cancerous properties and is used in muscular degeneration, skin care, urinary infections and hypertension.
- Watermelon is high in both Vitamin C and A.
- Watermelon seeds are high in protein, and B Vitamins such as niacin, riboflavin, thiamin and others, as well as trace minerals like magnesium, phosphorous, iron, potassium, sodium, copper, manganese and zinc.
- Watermelon is cooling, which makes it such a well loved summer snack.
- Because of this cooling quality it is useful in conditions like summer heat, sunstroke, fevers, thirst, and burning sensations.
- Watermelon is a blood purifier and cleanses the tissues.
With all these health benefits speaking for it, which better food, or fruit, to choose for my one day detox adventure then watermelon?
Watermelon in itself is quite filling, but I found some recipes to make it a little more interesting and easier to get through the day. If you are interested in taking a load off your hard-working digestive system and give the watermelon a go you may enjoy these variations rather then to just eating watermelon straight up.
One Day Detox – Watermelon Cleansing Drink
2 cubs cubed watermelon, include some of the inner rind and seeds
Pinch of turmeric
Pinch of black pepper
A drizzle of raw honey
Lemon juice according to taste
Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth and well mixed. If you don’t use a Vitamix I suggest to either leave the rind and seeds out or to cut them very fine and blend them into a pulp before adding the rest of the ingredients. You may also juice the watermelon and then mix it with the spices, lemon juice and honey. You may have to use more watermelon if you juice it.
Watermelon Soup Thai Style
5 cups coarsely chopped seeded watermelon, include some of the inner rind
1 fresh lemongrass stalk
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons mild olive oil
1 small hot green chile such as Thai or Serrano, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt to taste
Trim the outer leaves off the lemon grass and mince the fleshier part of the stalk. Heat a wok or skillet to high, add the oil, add the lemon grass, shallots, ginger and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until the aromatic oils are released.
Add the turmeric and stir for another 10-15 seconds so it doesn’t burn.
Transfer the spice mixture to a blender, add one third of the chopped watermelon, the chill and lime juice and blend until well mixed.
Add the rest of the watermelon until pureed. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your blender.
This soup can be served either chilled or you can reheat it in the pan before serving if you prefer a warm or hot soup.
Watermelon Rind Sweet and Sour
3-4 chopped spring onions
2 cups watermelon rind, the white part between the flesh and the outer tough rind. Cut into 1 inch strips
1 tsp fresh ginger root, grated
Pinch of fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp soy sauce or similar
Heat a wok or skillet to very hot, then add the oil.
Add the scallion and stirfy until the white parts are soft, then add the turmeric, black pepper, and ginger. Stir for a few seconds until the aromas are released but be careful not to burn the turmeric.
Add the watermelon and stir fry until it starts to sweat. Add the soysauce, cover up and let cook on low heat for another 10 minutes until the watermelon loses some of the bite and becomes translucent.
This makes a great main meal on your watermelon detox day. It tastes surprisingly good.
These recipes are meant to make it easier if you have never done a detox day only eating fruit. They contain all tastes, sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent, and are well balanced.
However, to get the most cleansing effect you may consider sticking to the Watermelon Cleansing Drink or eating just plain watermelon for the day.
Either way, you will feel lighter and brighter the next day. Making a one day fast or one day cleanse of fruit only a weekly habit can be a great way to slowly eliminate toxins from your body and take a load off your digestive system.
If you’ve decided to give this a try I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below and let me know what your experience has been, how you used the watermelon or if you have your own recipe that works really well for you!
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