One would be forgiven for thinking that all food that is good for you must necessarily be as far from delicious as possible. Watermelons are delicious, sweet, refreshing low-calorie fruits that are 90% water and packed full of essential nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Most people just consume the soft, red, or pink flesh containing the seeds and leave the greenish-whitish rind assuming it is inedible. The rind is in fact packed with nutrients, roughage, and fibre so if you don’t eat it, you should reconsider. Here are some benefits of consuming watermelons.
1. Nutrient-packed but low in calories
Watermelons are nutrient-packed containing vitamins C, A, B1, B5, B6 among nutrients. They have potassium, magnesium, and a host of antioxidants that fight free radicals. If there are too many free radicals in the body, oxidative stress can occur resulting in cell damage and leading to a range of diseases including cancer and heart disease.
2. Hydration and digestion
Watermelon is about 90% water so that water in the name is not incidental. Water-rich foods support circulation, skin health, and digestion. They also help regulate body temperature, organ and joint function, metabolism, appetite, and waste elimination. Proper hydration also impacts mental health. Research shows that as little as 1-3% of body fluid can impair mood, reduce concentration, increase headaches and fatigue, interfere with working memory, and boost anxiety. Lifestyle & Health: The Benefits of Staying Hydrated
3. Blood pressure
Researchers have found that watermelon extract reduced blood pressure in and around the ankles for people with obesity and early hypertension. Lowering blood pressure improves circulation.
The rind of the watermelon has been shown to improve artery function by helping blood vessels relax and opening up circulation. This ease of circulation also impacts the penis. Increasing blood flow to the penis is why watermelon is sometimes referred to as “nature’s Viagra”. Lifestyle: Benefits Of Watermelon For Men’s Health
4. May prevent cancer
5. May improve heart health
Lycopene, which gives watermelon the pinkish hue and tomato its reddish shade, has been proven to reduce cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease in people who regularly consume it. Watermelons have almost one and a half times more lycopene than tomatoes. Health: What Should You Do to Keep Your Heart Healthy?
6. May lower inflammation and oxidative stress
Inflammation is linked to various illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, fibromyalgia, and even cancer. Watermelon has powerful anti-inflammatory agents. According to the Arthritis Foundation, eating watermelons regularly can reduce inflammatory markers in the body.
7. Benefit brain and nervous system
Choline is an antioxidant in watermelon that contributes and aids in muscle movement, learning, and memory, maintaining the structure of membranes, the transmission of nerve impulses, and early brain development.
8. Reduce muscle soreness
9. Can Improve Digestion
What watermelons lack in fibre, they make up for in the water content. The fibre content in it is very minimal. Both fibre and water are essential for proper digestive function. Fibre bulks up the stool while water helps keep the digestive tract moving efficiently. Water-rich foods like this one help promote normal bowel movements.
10. Benefit skin and healing
Vitamins A and C present in watermelon are well-known for boosting skin and hair health. The body uses vitamin C to produce collagen which is essential for cell structure and immune function. Studies suggest that Vitamin C may help promote healthy skin, including the risk of age-related damage. Vitamin C also promotes wound healing.
11. Reduce severity and frequency of asthma attacks
The science is still out on this but there is new research pointing to a possible connection between vitamin C and asthma with higher levels of vitamin C linked to a reduction in asthma symptoms. Health: Asthma – Causes, Symptoms And Management
Here’s hoping more watermelons find their way to your plate.