Watermelon may be one of the most overlooked fruits around, but it’s high in vitamin C and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that has been linked to cancer prevention and improved heart health. Plus, watermelon also contains potassium, which has been shown to help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke by promoting healthy circulation and lowering your chances of developing heart disease. Watermelon is also rich in other important nutrients such as fiber, vitamin A, manganese, thiamin, zinc, and magnesium. Keep reading to learn about the 10 wonderful health benefits of watermelon that make this summer fruit so great!
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s data on watermelon nutrition, one cup (about 152 grams) contains about:
- Calories: 46
- Carbs: 11.5 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fat: 0.2 grams
- Dietary fiber: 0.6 grams
- Vitamin C: 12.3 milligrams, or 21 percent of the daily requirement
- Vitamin A: 865 international units, or 17 percent of the daily requirement
- Potassium: 170 milligrams, or 5 percent of the daily requirement
- Magnesium: 15.2 milligrams, or 4 percent of the daily requirement
- Thiamine: 0.1 milligrams, or 3 percent of the daily requirement
- Vitamin B6: 0.1 milligrams, or 3 percent of the daily requirement
- Pantothenic acid: 0.3 milligrams, or 3 percent of the daily requirement
- Copper: 0.1 milligrams, or 3 percent of the daily requirement
- Manganese: 0.1 milligrams, or 3 percent of the daily requirement
Watermelon is also rich in beta-carotenoids like lycopene and alpha-carotene, both of which are powerful antioxidants.
Watermelon is also a rich source of citrulline, an amino acid that may improve various aspects of health and wellbeing.
Health Benefits of watermelon:
1. Watermelons help with hydration
Watermelon is a great thirst quencher. When temperatures soar, it’s a good idea to keep your body well hydrated by drinking enough water and eating hydrating foods like watermelon. This fruit contains 92% water, so eating a cup or two can boost your intake of liquid and make you feel much better on hot days. When eating watermelons, you aren’t just drinking water, but it’s a combination of water and fiber, making it the perfect fruit for you!
2. Helps fight cancer
Watermelons contain lycopene, an antioxidant that helps boost your immune system and fight off various cancers. In fact, some studies suggest that eating just one-half cup of watermelon juice daily can reduce your risk for prostate cancer by 40 percent. Other researchers have found a link between lycopene and lower incidences of breast cancer in women.
Additionally, Cucurbitacin E found in watermelon is being investigated to contribute to inhibiting the development of a tumor.
3. Fights inflammation and oxidative stress
Inflammation is a crucial cause of multiple chronic diseases. But by consuming watermelon, you can quickly lower oxidative stress and inflammation inside your body.
Watermelon is high in glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that your body produces to protect cells from oxidative stress. Glutathione has been found to reduce inflammation throughout your body, including within your brain and heart, which means it can help you feel more mentally alert and physically energized.
Research also suggests that eating watermelon may lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory marker associated with chronic disease risk. What’s more, because watermelon contains citrulline—an amino acid that helps convert ammonia into urea—your kidneys might be able to process toxins better, which further lowers the level of inflammation in the body.
This summer fruit also contains vitamin C and carotenoids like lycopene, both of which are powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory benefits—the redder it is, the higher its concentration of lycopene.
In fact, a study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that consuming high amounts of watermelon may reduce oxidative stress and inflammation within your blood vessels, which could help lower your risk for heart disease.
4. Promotes heart health
Watermelon is a fruit rich in various vitamins and minerals such as A, C, magnesium, and potassium, which are excellent for heart health. Lycopene that’s present inside the watermelon also helps lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure and contributes to decreasing oxidative damage to our cholesterol.
Magnesium can help protect your heart and cardiovascular system by improving blood flow, relaxing your blood vessels, and reducing blood pressure while potassium helps regulate your sodium level, which helps lower your blood pressure and regulate overall cardiovascular health.
Watermelon is also rich in citrulline, a compound that helps boost your vascular and cardiovascular health.
According to an animal study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, citrulline helps prevent atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease that affects blood vessels throughout your body. As you age, atherosclerosis becomes more common and can lead to deadly heart attacks or strokes.
5. It may soothe sore muscles
Watermelon contains citrulline, which is a precursor to arginine. Arginine helps to relax blood vessels and improve circulation and helps soothe painful muscles. While watermelon juice may not be as powerful as arginine supplements, it can still help your body relax muscles and reduce soreness. Plus, drinking watermelon juice is much more enjoyable than taking pills!
6. It relieves stress
There’s nothing like a watermelon smoothie on a hot summer day to take your mind off your worries. The amino acid found in watermelons, L-citrulline, converts into L-arginine in our body, which helps our body produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is an important molecule that is necessary for blood vessel functioning; it lowers blood pressure and relieves stress.
Watermelon is also a rich source of amino acid, tryptophan. It’s been shown to improve sleep and reduce stress. But that’s not all: Tryptophan can be converted into serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in mood regulation, which can help fight depression and anxiety.
Watermelon is also filled with antioxidants that can help relieve stress by blocking certain chemicals in your brain that cause feelings of anxiety. And, as a bonus, eating watermelon reduces cortisol, a stress hormone.
7. Increases your energy levels
A single cup of watermelon is packed with 92% water, which makes it an excellent way to hydrate and stay energized. The natural sugars found in watermelon also play a big role in maintaining your energy levels. Try snacking on some slices at your next meeting or as a pre-workout snack to fight fatigue.
Studies have shown that athletes who consumed watermelons before training had higher endurance and lower lactic acid build-up than those who didn’t eat it. With its high vitamin C content, watermelon can also help increase blood flow and prevent muscle cramps. This is especially beneficial for individuals participating in sports like running, cycling, swimming, or hiking—or anyone looking to get more active!
8. Balances your PH levels
Have you ever noticed that after eating an especially acidic meal, your mouth feels dry and sour? Well, watermelon is capable of reversing that. Thanks to its high water content watermelon is incredibly alkalizing, making it perfect for balancing acidity levels and keeping your mouth feeling fresh all day long.
And while drinking water can do much of the same work, fruit is also great because it contains enzymes that break down food as you eat it. This allows your body to use nutrients more efficiently, rather than having them pass through your system without being absorbed or utilized at all. In other words: The more fruits and veggies you eat, even when they aren’t immediately helpful nutritionally speaking, they will eventually help—over time—because they provide assistance with digestion among other benefits.
9. Promotes healthy skin
Vitamin C is essential for your body. It promotes skin health and keeps your immune system functioning properly. Its antioxidant properties also help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause damage to healthy cells if left unchecked. Vitamin C’s ability to fight off disease-causing germs also helps keep colds and infections at bay.
A cup of watermelon contains more than 100 percent of our daily vitamin C needs, which plays a crucial role in supporting and maintaining healthy skin. When collagen breaks down, we lose elasticity, wrinkles form, and skin loses its glow. On the other hand, vitamin C promotes collagen production in the body, which helps maintain healthy skin.
Vitamin C in watermelons may also prevent premature aging due to their antioxidant content. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals that attack healthy cells, damaging them in the process. Without antioxidants, free radicals can damage collagen, which keeps our skin firm and supple.
10. Hair health
You’ve probably heard that drinking water helps keep your hair hydrated, but a new study shows that watermelon can also help your body retain moisture and keep your hair from drying out. This makes it one of nature’s best conditioners!
The lycopene in watermelon can also help reduce hair breakage and inflammation. According to researchers from Texas A&M University, regular consumption of lycopene-rich foods like watermelon may decrease UVB-induced skin damage by protecting against oxidative stress and inflammation caused by free radicals.
If you want healthy hair all summer long, incorporate more fresh melon into your diet! (Just make sure to steer clear of added sugars.).
Also, watermelon is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, both of which play important roles in preventing hair loss. While there isn’t enough evidence to suggest these vitamins alone will prevent baldness, research has shown that people who consume vitamin A and C-rich diets are less likely to lose their hair as they age. Furthermore, vitamin C may even promote regrowth in some cases!
In one study, participants with a history of alopecia (hair loss) showed significant improvement after consuming a diet rich in vitamin C for three months. In another study, a small group of patients suffering from hair shedding experienced significant hair growth after consuming at least 1 gram per day of vitamin C for six months. The recommended daily intake for adults is 90 milligrams per day—that’s not much more than what you get from just one cup of watermelon!
11. Prevents macular degeneration
Research suggests that consuming lycopene-rich foods may help protect your eyes from macular degeneration. Researchers suggest that eating at least one and a half cups of watermelon daily may lower your risk for developing macular degeneration by as much as 25%.
Additional research shows that people who consume diets rich in carotenoids, like those found in watermelons, are 50% less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration than those who consume diets low in carotenoids.
12. Promotes weight loss
Watermelons contain no fat, and 90 percent water, making them one of the best foods for weight loss. A lack of fat helps keep calories down, and high water content in your diet helps you feel full faster.
One study found that people who ate about 2 cups of cubed watermelon daily for 12 weeks lost about 4 pounds more than those who didn’t eat any. The fruit is particularly good at fighting belly fat, according to. In fact, when researchers fed rats with diet-induced obesity extra lycopene-rich watermelon extract over a four-week period, their waistlines shrank by up to 9 percent—without them making other lifestyle changes.
Final thoughts on the benefits of watermelon:
Watermelon is really good to eat in hot weather, as it hydrates your body and quenches your thirst, but the fruit also has plenty of other health benefits too. Not only does it have a huge amount of vitamin C and lycopene, both nutrients that are great for preventing cancer and other diseases, but watermelon is also rich in other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants good for boosting a healthy body.
Regular consumption of watermelon can prevent cancer, fight inflammation, promote hydration, support healthy skin and hair, boost cardiovascular health, and support weight loss, among other benefits.
So are you ready to benefit from this nutritious fruit? May to September are the months you’ll find this fruit available in the nearest farmers market! So quickly grab and enjoy this yummy summer fruit!
More about watermelon:
- Types of Watermelon
- Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?
- How to Cut Watermelon?
- Watermelon Lemonade
- Watermelon Popsicles
- Cucumber Basil Watermelon Salad
- Watermelon Rind Preserves
- Watermelon Cake
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