10 Amazing Health Benefits of Watermelon
There are fewer things that can instantly bring back the memories of summer and puts a smile on your face quite as fast as the thought of capping off a backyard barbecue with a big tray of freshly sliced, ripe and juicy watermelon! Just think about this for a moment, close your eyes, you can almost taste it, can’t you? I think it’s pretty safe to say that almost everyone loves this juicy and delicious fruit, but what you may not realize is that watermelons are actually jam-packed with tons of health benefits, making them a truly perfect summertime snack!
Immune System Booster
Watermelon is also a delicious way to get your daily dose of vitamin C. One serving contains about 16% of your day’s requirement. Vitamin C is considered one of the safest and most effective nutrients around and has been shown to improve immunity and overall health.
Reduces Brain Fog
Watermelon is a great source of potassium, which is absolutely essential for our bodies to function properly. Low potassium levels can lead to mental fogginess and confusion and when the adequate levels of this much needed mineral are not met, the electrical signals that allow the brain to function properly are interrupted.
Watermelons contain several phenolic compounds that are beneficial in reducing inflammation in the body and have been proposed as an alternative natural approach to prevent or treat chronic inflammatory diseases.
Watermelon is a natural diuretic which helps increase the flow of urine, but does not put undue strain on your body, unlike coffee or alcohol. Regular consumption of watermelon helps to ease strain on the kidneys while your body eliminates excess fluids.
Keeps You Hydrated
Reduces Body Fat
Your body naturally converts the citrulline found in watermelon into arginine in the kidneys, cool huh? There is some initial evidence from animal studies that shows that the conversion of citrulline into arginine may help prevent excess accumulation of fat in fat cells, which is always a good thing!
Improves Athletic Performance
As mentioned above, watermelon is also a great source of citrulline, a nonessential alpha-amino acid that has been shown to enhance the utilization of essential amino acids during exercise and increase blood flow. Consider including watermelon in your pre and post workout routines as it can reduce recovery time after exercise and help further increase growth hormone levels after resistance training.
Good for Your Bones
Watermelon is rich in Lycopene, recent studies have shown that lycopene may provide an alternative natural treatment for the prevention and management of osteoporosis, especially in post-menopausal women.
Good for Your Heart
Watermelons, just like tomatoes, owe their gorgeous red color to the powerful antioxidant lycopene. In recent years, lycopene has been recognized by the scientific community as an important nutrient for cardiovascular health. The consumption of lycopene-rich foods, like watermelon, have been connected to an improvement in blood flow by acting as a vasodilator and have shown some ability to potentially lower LDL, aka bad cholesterol, making lycopene doubly good for your heart.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Research study suggests enjoying as little as three slices daily can stop prehypertension from ever turning into full-blown high blood pressure. The reason: Watermelon is the richest natural source of L-citrulline — an amino acid that kick-starts your body’s production of a powerful artery-relaxing nitric oxide.
Did You Know?
- The watermelon can be classed as both a fruit and a vegetable. It is a fruit because it grows from a seed, has a sweet refreshing flavor, and is loosely considered a type of melon. It is a vegetable because it is a member of the same family as the cucumber, pumpkin and squash. It is also harvested and cleared from fields like other vine growing vegetables.
- The watermelon is the official state vegetable of Oklahoma.
- By weight, a watermelon contains about 6% sugar and 92% water.
Try this delicious watermelon slushy recipe: