What are the health benefits of eating watermelon? Despite the popular belief that watermelon is just water and sugar, watermelon is actually a nutrient dense food.
It provides high levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and just a small number of calories.
Watermelons have become synonymous with summer and picnics, and for good reason. Their refreshing quality and sweet taste help to combat the heat and provide a guilt-free, low maintenance dessert.
Along with cantaloupe and honeydew, watermelons are a member of the botanical family Cucurbitaceae. There are five common types of watermelon: seeded, seedless, mini (also known as personal), yellow, and orange.
Fast Facts On Watermelon:
- The watermelon has been cultivated for thousands of years, with evidence stretching back to the Ancient Egyptians – who were expert cultivars.
- Over 90 percent of a watermelon is water.
- According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), China is the top producer, with 75 million produced in 2014.
- Watermelon is thought to aid conditions including asthma, cancer, and inflammation.
Watermelon is a fruit, and has many of the associated benefits including weight loss and energy levels. Consuming fruits and vegetables of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions.
Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like watermelon decreases the risk of obesity and overall mortality, diabetes, and heart disease. Other benefits of the watermelon include promoting a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy, and overall lower weight.
Asthma Prevention: The risks for developing asthma are lower in people who consume a high amount of certain nutrients. One of these nutrients is vitamin C, found in many fruits and vegetables, including watermelon.
Blood Pressure: A study published by the American Journal of Hypertension found that watermelon extract supplementation improved the health of the circulatory system in obese middle-aged adults with prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension.
Diets rich in lycopene – found in watermelon – may help protect against heart disease.
Cancer: As an excellent source of antioxidants, including vitamin C, watermelon can help combat the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer. Lycopene intake has been linked with a decreased risk of prostate cancer in several studies.
Digestion And Regularity: Watermelon, because of its water and fiber content, helps to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.
Hydration: Made up of 92 percent water and full of important electrolytes, watermelon is a great snack to have on hand during the hot summer months to prevent dehydration. It can also be frozen in slices for a tasty cold Popsicle-style snack.
Inflammation: Choline – found in watermelon – is a very important and versatile nutrient; it aids our bodies in sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory. Choline also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat, and reduces chronic inflammation.
Muscle Soreness: Watermelon and watermelon juice have been shown to reduce muscle soreness and improve recovery time following exercise in athletes. Researchers believe this is likely due to the amino acid L-citrulline contained in watermelon.
Skin: Watermelon is great for the skin because it contains vitamin A, a nutrient required for sebum production, which keeps hair moisturized. Vitamin A is also necessary for the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair.
Adequate intake of vitamin C is also needed for the building and maintenance of collagen, which provides structure to skin and hair.
Additionally, watermelon contributes to overall hydration, which is vital for healthy looking skin and hair.
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