Health Benefits of Watermelon
Watermelon is by far, one of the most powerful, body-healing fruits out there! The amazing health benefits of watermelon cover everything from your brain all the way to the cells in your feet. The best time to indulge in this fresh, succulent, juicy melon, is summertime, when they are in season and deliver an array of nutrients, vitamin, and minerals. Watermelon is incredibly hydrating (up to 92% water!) and is naturally low-fat. Make this melon a part of your daily diet and you will reap amazing benefits that range from improving cardiovascular health to nourishing your eyes and revving up your immune system! Read below and see for yourself!
Health Benefits of Watermelon
1. Boosts Eye Health
Important nutrients that play a role in protecting eye health — including beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, lutein, and zeaxanthin — are also housed in this giant fruit and sit among the many benefits of watermelon. Studies have shown that a serious vitamin A deficiency, for example, can lead to macular degeneration or a thickening of the cornea and eventually even to blindness. Watermelon is a great supplier of beta carotene, the form of vitamin A found in plants, which plays a role in preventing macular degeneration, the leading cause of age-related blindness.
2. Regulates Blood Pressure
The good amount of potassium and magnesium that is present in watermelons is very beneficial in terms of bringing down blood pressure. Potassium is considered a vasodilator, meaning that it releases the tension of blood vessels and arteries, thereby stimulating increased blood flow and reducing the stress on the cardiovascular system. The carotenoids present in these fruits also prevent hardening of artery walls and veins, thereby helping to reduce blood pressure and the chances of blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, and atherosclerosis.
3. Reduces Insulin Resistance
When people hear “insulin,” many automatically think of diabetes, since insulin is so critical in this disease. Type 2 diabetes especially is a metabolic disorder that is characterized by hyperglycemia and developing insulin resistance. In this type of disorder, your body produces insulin, but your body’s cells become resistant to the effects of the insulin. If your cells can no longer “feel” the effect of this critical hormone, the only way to treat and/or cure the disease is to make your body’s cells less resistant.
Fortunately, many studies have been making progress in evaluating the role of functional foods on chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and insulin resistance. In one study, obese, diabetic patients were given oral supplements of L-arginine, the amino acid that watermelon compounds are easily converted to.
Compared with diet and exercise programs alone, the long-term oral L-arginine treatment had a significantly more beneficial effect on glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Such studies give hope that more research in the area of functional foods will shine a light on the potential health benefits that these types of foods have beyond the basic nutritional profile.
4. Skin and Hair Benefits
Vitamin A is stellar for your skin, and just a cup of watermelon contains nearly one-quarter of your recommended daily intake of it. Vitamin A helps keep skin and hair moisturized, and it also encourages healthy growth of new collagen and elastin cells, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Vitamin C is also beneficial in this regard, as it promotes healthy collagen growth.
5. Relieve Muscle Soreness
Citrulline, an amino acid in watermelon, may reduce muscle soreness. Interestingly, watermelon juice appears to enhance the bio-availability of citrulline. One small study gave athletes plain watermelon juice, watermelon juice mixed with citrulline or a citrulline drink. Both watermelon drinks led to less muscle soreness and quicker heart rate recovery, compared to citrulline on its own. The researchers also conducted a test-tube experiment, investigating the absorption of citrulline. Their findings suggest that citrulline absorption is most effective when it’s consumed as a component of watermelon juice. Other research has also looked at citrulline’s potential to improve exercise endurance and performance. So far, citrulline doesn’t seem to improve exercise performance in the amounts studied, but it’s still an area of research interest.
6. Bladder Problems
It’s cleansing and natural diuretic effect is totally healing for kidney and bladder problems. Drinking juice of watermelon rind may also help to break down kidney stones for elimination.
Nutritional Facts of Watermelon (1)