When you think of watermelon, you probably think of summer, lazing on the beach and cooling off with a big slice of this refreshing fruit. You may have the understanding that, though watermelon is quite delicious, it doesn't contain much nutritional value besides water and sugar; in that regard, you would be mistaken. Watermelon is actually jam-packed with many nutrients that can help keep you healthy and feeling your best. Let's examine some of the most significant ones.
The most obvious component in watermelon contributes intensely hydrating properties. With its high water content—about 92 percent, according to the National Watermelon Promotion Board
—watermelon is an excellent source of hydration and can help you to feel refreshed while restoring electrolytes. Great to eat on a hot summer's day, watermelon can help cool you off and even help protect your body from overheating or becoming dehydrated.
You may believe that tomatoes contain the highest amount of the antioxidant lycopene among fruits and veggies, but this notion is actually incorrect. Surprisingly, watermelon beats tomatoes to the punch in terms of lycopene content. Lycopene plays a significant role in reducing inflammation
and also protecting your cells from free radical damage. In addition, it has exhibited positive effects for fighting cancer, particularly when it comes to reducing prostate
cancer cell growth, according to the National Cancer Institute
As an amino acid, citrulline is present within watermelon and may be able to help combat muscle soreness
. Citrulline is often included in sports supplements to help athletes improve their post-workout recovery by reducing muscle pain and lowering the heart rate. In addition, citrulline may be able to help reduce body fat safely and aid with healthy weight maintenance, illustrates a study from Purdue University and University of Kentucky
. This study also suggests that citrulline may be able to help lower blood pressure
and improve your cardiovascular health.
While it is known to be a very prominent player in bananas, potassium is also abundant within watermelon. Potassium can aid with lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol
along with helping to regulate your heart
rhythms, according to Melinda Ratini, DO, MS
. Additionally, potassium is important in helping calcium to absorb within your bones for improved joint strength, asserts Med-Health
. It can also benefit your muscle and nerve processes.
As an essential “letter vitamin,” vitamin C can provide many benefits for your body, including lowering asthma
risk and helping to build up your collagen levels for healthy skin
. Vitamin C can also help lower your risk of catching a cold and strengthen your immunity for a better defense against illnesses like cancer, heart disease and eye problems, according to Louise Chang, M.D.
How to Incorporate Watermelon Into Your Diet
If you're ready to start munching on some juicy watermelon after reading about its numerous health benefits, there are some specific ways you can incorporate it into your diet. Take some chunks of watermelon, including the rind, and toss them into a blender for a cool and nutrient-rich beverage to help power you through your day with antioxidant
protection. Watermelon is also a great addition to other nutritious meals like salads. Adding diced watermelon to a salad with mint, spinach and mozzarella can add a fruity and refreshing twist to your usual lunch or dinner routine. Watermelon can also be enjoyed on its own at any time and is great to eat after it's been frozen for a cool and deliciously healthy treat. While it's freshest during the summer months of June-August, watermelon is typically available at your local grocery store year-round.
Though summer is coming to a close, you can still receive the nutritional benefits of one of the most popular fruits of the season. Run out to your grocery store and stock up so you can start enjoying some nutrient-rich fruity bliss through the many different ways that watermelon can be added to your diet.
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