Watermelon is a fun fruit to have and is loaded with tons of health benefits for those who are conscious of healthy living and body fitness. Here are just eight of them.
The cherry red colour comes from lycopene, an antioxidant.
Lycopene is a bright red carotenoid hydrocarbon found in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables, such as red carrots, pawpaw (papayas) etc. Studies show that lycopene, as an antioxidant may help curb the risk of cancer and diabetes. Watermelon has a lot of lycopene compared to other fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes.
To maximize this benefit, choose a watermelon with bright red flesh rather than yellow or orange – the riper, the better. Also, seedless watermelon tends to have more lycopene than watermelons with seeds.
2) Healthy heart
Watermelon is also good for the heart. It is rich in an amino acid called L-citrulline that may help move blood through your body and can lower your blood pressure. The body converts L-citrulline to L-arginine, another type of amino acid.
L-arginine improves blood flow. It does so by creating nitric oxide (NO), a gas that helps dilate blood vessels. Dilation of the blood vessels helps increase blood flow.
That results in improved blood circulation which is helpful to the heart and vital organs. This has had a positive impact on your sexual health as well (as blood flow plays a central role in physical arousal). This is one key reason many consider watermelon as an aphrodisiac, as it helps with erectile dysfunction. Anything that improves blood circulation increases arousal and the strength of erections in both male and female sexual organs.
Improved circulation also lowers the risk of heart attacks, especially when coupled with an active lifestyle of regular exercise.
3) Protects Your Joints
Watermelon can help protect your joints and delay the onset of rheumatoid arthritis. It has a natural pigment called beta-cryptoxanthin that may protect your joints from inflammation. Some studies show that over time, it could make you less likely to get rheumatoid arthritis.
4) Skin Protection
Watermelon is rich in vitamins A, B6, and C which helps your skin stay soft, smooth, and supple. Watermelon is 92% water, hence it makes a good face mask. Simply mix one tablespoon of watermelon juice with the same amount of Greek yoghurt. Spread over your face and leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.
Also, the lycopene in watermelon may protect your skin from sunburn.
5) Sweet hydration
Watermelon is 92% water, so it’s a simple way to help stay hydrated. It is also a healthier open to sugary drinks and canned/boxed fruit juices. A cup of ice cream is about 300 calories compared to about 45 calories for the same quantity of watermelon juice.
You can also take it in the form of smoothies, fruit salads etc.
6) Healthy eyes
A medium slice of watermelon contains about 9-11% of the vitamin A you need each day. This vitamin is one of the keys to keeping your eyes healthy. Vitamin A is essential for good vision. It is a component of the protein rhodopsin, which allows the eye to see in low-light conditions. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a deficiency in vitamin A can lead to night blindness.
Foods are the best ways to get all the vitamins and minerals that your body needs.
7) Workout boost
The high water content, antioxidants, and amino acids in watermelon aid a better workout. It’s also high in potassium, a mineral that could cut down on cramps at the gym. You can sip watermelon juice after you sweat. That helps prevent muscle soreness, so far as you don’t push yourself too hard.
8) Steady blood sugar level
Taking watermelon will not lead to a spike in your blood sugar level. Watermelon has a glycemic index (GI) value of 80, about the same as a bowl of cornflakes, but fewer carbohydrates. Hence its glycemic load (how quickly it enters your bloodstream and how much glucose it can produce) is a mere 5.
The glycemic index (GI) is a measurement system that ranks foods according to their effect on your blood sugar levels.
Foods with a low GI value are slowly digested and absorbed, causing a slower and smaller rise in blood sugar levels.
The higher a food’s GI is, the more rapidly it elevates blood glucose. A high GI food can cause blood sugar spikes, followed by rapid declines in blood sugar. As blood sugar declines, a person may feel hungry. Eating only high GI foods can cause a person to overeat since they will quickly feel hungry again after eating.
Eating a diet with a low average GI may reduce a person’s risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.