There is nothing as refreshing as a piece of watermelon on a hot summer day.
Watermelon is a low-calorie, hydrating fruit that is a natural antioxidant. It is also an important source of vitamins and minerals that can help fight inflammation, and prevent a number of serious illnesses.
One-cup of watermelon provides: 46 calories, 0 grams of fat, 5 grams of sugar, 21% vitamin C, 18% Vitamin A, 5% potassium, 4% Magnesium, 3% copper, 3% manganese, 3% pantothenic acid, 3% vitamin B1 (thiamine), 3% vitamin B6.
Adding this wonderfully juicy, nutrient rich food, to your diet will reduce your bodily stress, DNA damage, and slow the aging process. Even if you are young and healthy, watermelon can help relieve pain, improve exercise recovery, maintain skin health (and youthfulness,) and help with detoxification.
Lycopene, a carotenoid found in watermelon improves cardiac function. It can help reduce inflammation, relieve arterial stiffness, balance cholesterol and improve systolic blood pressure in patients with hypertension.
If you’re not a fan of just eating watermelon by itself, try incorporating it into your morning smoothie, or daily salads. This recipe is light and fresh, it takes less than 10 minutes to put together and is loaded with flavor.
Watermelon Feta Salad:
- 4 cups spring mix
- ½ cup watermelon, cubed
- ½ cup mixed berries
- 3 tablespoons feta, crumbled
- 3 tablespoons basil, chopped
Easy 3-Ingredient Balsamic Vinaigrette:
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ¼ cup canola oil
- In a small bowl combine balsamic vinegar and brown sugar.
- In a slow steady stream whisk in the oil until combined and thickened. Set aside until ready to serve with the salad. If oil and vinegar separate whisk again right before serving.
- Fill two bowls with mixed greens. Top with watermelon, berries, feta and basil.
- Drizzle with the Balsamic Vinaigrette and serve immediately.
By adding watermelon to your life you will improve your health in many ways:
1. Relieves Pain And Muscle Soreness:
A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, looked at watermelon juice as a functional drink for athletes. They observed that after 24 hours of supplementing with watermelon juice, athletes experienced improved heart rates that were more beneficial to muscle recovery.
The athletes also experienced less overall soreness and muscle aches. This is due to watermelons rich supply of l-citrulline, an amino acid effective at reducing muscle soreness.
So instead of loading your body up with a sugary, synthetic, energy drink try a slice of watermelon instead.
2. Helps Fight Cancer
The carotenoid phytonutrient lycopene present in watermelon has been linked to fighting breast and prostate cancers.
Research shows that lycopene strengthens cell membranes, and increases the rate that they protect themselves from toxins. Watermelon is high in vitamin C and A, both of which have proven cancer fighting effects.
In fact, some studies show that high doses of vitamin C can enhance the cancer-fighting effect of certain drugs used in chemotherapy and that it it’s able to target the harmful cells, unlike other drugs that usually kill healthy cells too.
3. Regulates High Blood Pressure And Improves Heart Health
Watermelon helps prevent low potassium and magnesium deficiency.
Potassium and magnesium are both critical nutrients used to remedy high blood pressure. Eating the right amount of potassium and magnesium is associated with an overall reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and mortality.
Studies published in, The Journal Advances in Nutrition, have shown that taking potassium rich foods like fruits and vegetables can positively impact blood pressure reduction in adults, which is useful in lowering the risk of stroke and heart disease.
4. Prevents Kidney Stones
The potassium found in watermelon is very helpful in cleaning toxins and washing out waste from the blood, helping to prevent kidney stones.
When the blood is contaminated with too many toxins, blockages builds up in the kidneys. This leads to a high concentration of uric acid in the blood, and can cause kidney stones, gout and other painful conditions.
Watermelon is also a natural diuretic. Which means it helps increase urine production that takes waste out of the body with it. While caffeinated drinks and alcohol also act as diuretics, they put stress on the kidneys to do so, while watermelon does not cause an adverse effect.
5. Boosts Immunity
The Journal of Nutrition has established that watermelon can help the immune system stay strong and defend against cardiovascular disease. Watermelon has very high content of vitamin C.
Vitamin C helps to improve immune function, shorten the duration of sickness, improve symptoms, and help the body defend against heart disease and cancer.
Studies also show that the vitamin C found in watermelon is especially beneficial to individuals whose immune system has been weakened due to stress, which is one of the biggest reasons for ongoing inflammation in today’s society.
But, it is especially adept at protecting the body from sickness, because it reboots the digestive tract … where much of your immune system is located.
6. Improves Eye Health
Watermelon contains: vitamin A, vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin—nutrients that are vital in maintaining healthy eyes and eyesight. It is a great supplier of a specific form of vitamin A found in plants, beta carotene, which plays a major role in the prevention of macular degeneration, the leading cause of age-related blindness.
7. Protects Skin Health
Watermelon plays an important role in maintaining the health of your skin, especially as you age. Antioxidants, (from vitamins A and C) protect skin from damaging free radicals that are produced when skin is exposed to harmful ultraviolet light, or allowed to age naturally.
Researchers have concluded that Vitamin C foods like watermelon can help promote collagen synthesis, offer protection from ultraviolet A and B light damage, lighten skin hyperpigmentation, and improve inflammation that is visible within the skin. The long list of watermelon benefits also includes a healthy supply of vitamin A, which is important for skin regrowth. Vitamin A is needed to support the formation of epithelial (skin) cells and is a powerful aid in fighting skin cancer.
Additionally, watermelon provides manganese, which has been shown to benefit the health and appearance of your skin by contributing to the production of collagen, an important structural component in skin’s elasticity. Manganese also acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, reducing swelling and infection in the skin.
8. Helps With Weight Loss
Watermelon is very low in calories due to its high water content. At only 46 calories per cup, watermelon makes a great healthy snack idea or addition to a healthy smoothie.
If you are exercising to help with weight loss, watermelon can also help your performance and recovery time. It’s also great for those who are physically active since it’s a good source of potassium and magnesium.
Potassium releases the tension of blood vessels and helps increase blood flow. This allows for quicker muscle recovery and reduces stress on the body as you build muscle, strength and endurance.
Research has shown that consuming vitamin C can improve oxygen intake during exercise and is important in maintaining proper function of your lungs and airways.
9. Detoxifies The Body
Watermelon is 91% water. This makes it a really good detoxifier. Foods that maintain a high water content help the body rid itself of excess water and fluids. Which relieves uncomfortable bloating and swelling.
Potassium and magnesium are also important for detoxification. Potassium acts as an electrolyte and promotes circulatory health. It helps to manage blood flow and hydration levels within the body, and allows oxygen to reach your cells.
At the same time, potassium facilitates in balancing water retention in the gut and keeping you from becoming dehydrated. Rich in water content and easy on digestion, it can work as a natural cure for diarrhea.
Watermelon brings the PH level of the body back to its natural level. It’s believed that disease has a much harder time developing in a basic environment inside the body, compared to a more acidic one. Eating many alkaline-forming foods can protect your body from disease by decreasing inflammation.
10. Relieves Acid Reflux
Melon helps to calm the gastrointestinal tract and regulate pH levels, while also decreasing inflammation and acid within the body.