Watermelon is a pretty popular fruit; most people think of it as a great way to stay cool when the weather gets hot. Believe it or not, it’s also a nutrition powerhouse. If you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle, you should definitely consider making watermelon a part of your diet. It’s really easy to do; in fact, there are quite a lot of ways to prepare watermelon. Still not convinced that this fantastic fruit is the one for you? If you’re on the fence, read about these 9 great benefits of watermelon and see for yourself:
As mentioned earlier, watermelon is typically eaten the most during those hot summer days. There’s a reason for this. As the name implies, watermelon is over 90% water. Drinking water is the best way to keep the body hydrated, but eating foods with high water content can supplement this process. Staying hydrated will keep your body cool, clear toxins from your body, and generally improve the performance of many systems, because water helps to transport important nutrients around the body. Your muscles and joints will work better, and your skin will be more smooth and supple. Stay hydrated. Eat watermelon!
Among diabetics, watermelon is a thoroughly beneficial food. Because diabetics have a limited ability to produce enough insulin, and/or a limited effectiveness of the insulin they do produce, they are more vulnerable to spikes in blood sugar that can cause serious complications. This drastically restricts the types and quantities of food they can eat, particularly sweet foods. Watermelon, however, is one sweet treat that is still on the menu. Because it is mostly water, it is low in calories. Despite its sweetness, it is safe to consume, even for diabetics. The potassium it provides can also help with insulin production.
You may have grown up hearing about how wonderful carrots are for eye health, but watermelon is just as beneficial, or even more so. Beta-carotene, which is converted into Vitamin A, is a plentiful resource in watermelon. Vitamin A keeps vision sharp because it protects the surface of the eyes. When taken along with Vitamin C, zinc, and copper (all of which are also found in watermelon) and Vitamin E, watermelon can help prevent eyesight problems, such as night blindness, which typically results from glaucoma, myopia, or retinal problems. It also helps against Macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness.
Muscles and Nerves
Along with the secondary performance benefits granted by hydration, watermelon can directly improve the performance of muscles and nerves. There’s an amino acid in watermelon called Citrulline, which boosts blood flow to muscles, which means they get more oxygen and nutrients. Additionally, after a workout, watermelon also helps reduce inflammation and muscle soreness, which makes for a faster recovery. Furthermore, the potassium serves as a regulatory agent for muscle contraction. The bottom line? The regular consumption of watermelon results in a more stable and efficient use of muscles, and a shorter period of recovery, which means a better workout overall.
Kidney Support and Waste Removal
Watermelon can also play a role in the digestive process, thanks to the citrulline found in it. In the kidneys, citrulline is converted into arginine. Because of watermelon’s high water content (hydration), it is a reliable source of water to flush out the digestive tract. Watermelon can also help the kidneys and liver process harmful toxins and allow urine to pass more freely. When it comes to the matter of waste removal, watermelon facilitates as a diuretic. Additionally, watermelon contributes some level of fiber, which can help with bowel movements.
It’s clear to see how watermelon can be included in a diet and contribute to weight loss. Once citrulline is converted into arginine by the kidneys, it can limit body fat by preventing more from being created. Since watermelon is so low in calories, and it has no fat of its own, it’s possible to eat a lot and still shed weight effectively. In fact, the calorie content of watermelon is even lower than that of other fruits, making it the superior option. Additionally, the fiber can provide a feeling of fullness, which keeps you from binging on other foods.
Health nuts have probably heard the term ‘antioxidants’ before; for everyone else, antioxidants are substances often used against cancer or other sources of cell damage. Antioxidants limit the damage done to cells by the oxidative process, which can weaken, mutate, or otherwise cause harm to cells over time. Bad News: As we age, the potential for cell damage grows greater and greater. When damaged cells continue to reproduce unchecked, that’s what we call cancer. Good news: Because of the antioxidants found in it, watermelon helps the body fight cancer by limiting the damage cells receive, keeping them healthy and noncancerous.
Thanks to the high levels of potassium and magnesium found in the fruit, eating watermelon regularly is a great way to reduce blood pressure. Potassium helps to balance out sodium in the body; it opens the blood vessels and makes them more flexible. Watermelon, by means of the carotenoids it contains, is also useful in preventing the arteries from hardening. All this means that blood circulation is improved, and the heart does not need to work as hard, which reduces the risk for heart disease. This is especially true in the case of older adults, as proven by various studies.
Heart health and blood pressure are naturally linked; poor health in the blood vessels will cause the heart to suffer, and conversely, an ailing heart can damage blood vessels. Fortunately, watermelon helps both parts of this equation. While it contains nutrients that improve the strength and flexibility of the blood vessels and arteries, it is also good for the heart itself. This is because of the antioxidants which help to keep the heart’s cells younger and more refreshed. Antioxidants contribute to heart health by limiting the effects of aging wear and tear and other damage that might compromise the heart.