Ah, what a timely post! Right when the sun is raging like never before, we get to talk about something that offers absolute respite.
Even the picture of a watermelon in my mind cools me down. This fruit needs no introduction, does it? It has been on our list of favorites since we were kids, and it will continue to remain, not just because it helps you combat the scorching heat, but also because of what it can do to us.
Keeps Your Heart Healthy
having a slice of watermelon every day can halt the accumulation of bad cholesterol, thereby preventing heart disease. Regular consumption of watermelon has also been linked to fewer fatty deposits inside the blood vessels.
These heart-healthy properties of watermelon can be attributed to citrulline, a chemical found in the fruit. Citrulline has also been found to reduce arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women
Keeps You Hydrated
Watermelon is 90% water, making it one of the best sources of hydration. It is far better than alcohol or caffeine in terms of being a diuretic. As it is a natural source, it increases urination without stressing the kidneys.
Lycopene is the pigment that renders watermelons their characteristic red color, and since it is a powerful antioxidant, it prevents the onset of certain cancers.
A two-cup serving of watermelon contains about 20 milligrams of lycopene, which battles free radicals and protects against numerous types of cancer. It has also been found useful in the treatment of HPV infection, which might otherwise lead to uterine cancer.
If your sore muscles trouble you after a workout, watermelon might hold the key. The fruit is packed with electrolytes and the amino acid citrulline, which help soothe sore muscles after a heavy workout. Citrulline has been found to accelerate the process of lactic acid removal, thereby relieving muscle soreness.
Watermelon, as we have seen, contains huge amounts of water, and hence can aid digestion. It also contains fiber, thus promoting digestion and preventing constipation.
Might Prevent Macular Degeneration
Lycopene has been suggested as a potential treatment for eye disorders like macular degeneration.
Antioxidants are essential for eye health as they offer protection against free radicals. The effect of free radicals can be scary – they might lead to the deterioration of the eye lens, and can even cause blindness. Lycopene, being a potent antioxidant, prevents this.
Hail lycopene, again! Being one of the key antioxidants, lycopene helps with the body’s reaction to cold and flu. And what’s more interesting is this antioxidant has been found to reduce asthma flare-ups in children (23).
Watermelon also allows people who have asthma to breathe properly, without them having to take each breath in panic.
Watermelon is a good source of vitamin C, the nutrient that is essential for collagen synthesis. Collagen keeps your skin supple and strengthens your hair.
Lycopene and beta-carotene can protect the skin against sunburn. Beta-carotene is also known to prevent certain skin conditions like psoriasis and vitiligo.
The vitamin A in watermelon is another important nutrient that contributes to skin health – it repairs and creates new skin cells. Without the nutrient, your skin would appear dull and flaky.
One of the best watermelon health benefits is that it aids in healthy weight loss too. Yes, given its high water content, watermelon can fill you up for fewer calories. Water has also been found to speed up metabolism and flush out toxins and fats, which eventually might contribute to weight loss.
The vitamin C in watermelon keeps the capillaries and gums healthy. The deficiency of vitamin C can cause bleeding gums and gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), and watermelon can prevent these conditions.
The vitamin C in watermelon can also kill the bacteria in the mouth that might otherwise lead to gum disease and other gum infections.