Do you remember how much you enjoy eating watermelons in summer?
For many, watermelons are their favorite summer snacks; however, there is more to watermelons than just their flavor. Sweet enough as desserts, yet powerful enough to bring more benefits for our overall health. As a refreshing sweet dessert, watermelon per cup has only 46 calories, but offers 20 percent of daily intake of vitamin C and 17 percent of vitamin A, for instance. A big, sloppy and colorful slice of watermelon on your table brings health benefits that are proven to recharge and rejuvenate our body.
#1 Watermelon juice reduces heart rate and soothes sore muscles.
A study published in the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry confirmed that watermelon juice could help reduce heart rate and soothe sore muscles when taken before a hard workout. The benefits are coming from an amino acid called L-citrulline, which body uses to convert into an essential amino acid called L-arginine. This amino acid helps relax blood vessels and improve circulation. Either natural watermelon juice or watermelon juice enriched with citrulline, the effectiveness remains the same.
#2 The lycopene in watermelon promotes bone health.
Apart from being beneficial for cardiovascular health, it is confirmed that lycopene is very important for bone health. Dietary lycopene (found in tomatoes and watermelons) reduces oxidative stress, in turn, reducing the activity of osteoblasts and osteoclasts (the two major bone cells) which are involved in the pathogenesis of osteoporosis. Consuming lycopene rich food will make one’s bones stronger. In addition, potassium in watermelons helps to retain calcium in the body, another bonus for stronger bones and joints.
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#3 The citrulline in watermelon reduces accumulation of fat in fat cells.
As an amino acid, citrulline converts into arginine in the body, with help from the kidneys. When we consume this amino acid, citrulline has the ability to block the activity of TNAP (tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase). This process makes our fat cells create less fat. When fat cells produce less fat, the body prevents over-accumulation of body fat, resulting in losing weight and better metabolism.
#4 Watermelon improves cardiovascular health in postmenopausal women.
Researchers from Florida State University conducted a study using watermelon extract supplement that contains citrulline and arginine. For six weeks, postmenopausal women were taking this supplement. According to researchers, they have experienced improved cardiovascular health. In another study, done in 2012, such supplements were also very helpful in alleviating high blood pressure in obese, middle-aged adults.
#5 As natural diuretics, watermelons are helpful for kidney health.
The very benefits of watermelons as natural diuretics are that by increasing the flow of urine, the kidneys are not strained (unlike when one is consuming caffeine, for instance). It is important to know that watermelons help the liver process waste from protein digestion (ammonia), which, in turn, eases the strain on the kidneys while getting rid of excess fluids.
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#6 Potassium in watermelons helps muscle and nerve support.
Potassium is a powerful electrolyte, and given watermelons are rich in this mineral, the regulation of muscle and nerve actions in the body are significantly improved when one is consuming watermelons on daily bases. This important mineral determines the degree and frequency with which the muscles contract, and control the excitation of nerves in the body.
#7 Rich in antioxidants, watermelon is excellent for inflammation.
Watermelons are rich in phenolic compounds (flavonoids, carotenoids, and triterpenoids) that are particularly beneficial in reducing inflammation as well as neutralizing free radicals in the body. Another important compound in watermelons provides anti-inflammatory support. Consuming watermelons will block the activity of certain enzymes that are responsible for increased inflammation. Ripe watermelons contain higher amounts of these compounds.