10 Health Benefits of Watermelon
1. Boosts the Immune System
Research from the journal Nutrition has concluded that watermelon can help the immune system stay strong and defend against cardiovascular disease — and potentially a natural cancer treatment, too — due to its effects on nitric oxide levels. Studies have shown that watermelon is a rich source of citrulline, a certain type of amino acid that is metabolized to turn into arginine in the body. Arginine is an essential amino acid — meaning we must get it from food sources — and is used in the synthesis of nitric oxide, which is important for maintaining an effective immune system.
As a prominent vitamin C food, the benefits of watermelon including helping to improve immune function, shorten the duration of sickness and 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 that we commonly see in today’s modern society.
Indeed, watermelon is a healing food because of its ability to protect the body from sickness and reboot the digestive tract, where much of the immune system is actually located.
2. Helps Manage High Blood Pressure and Improves Heart Health
Watermelon helps prevent both low potassium and magnesium deficiency, and these are two critical nutrients used to help remedy high blood pressure naturally. Consuming proper amounts of potassium and magnesium from a healthy diet is correlated with overall reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease mortality.
Studies published in the journal Advances in Nutrition have indicated that intaking 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.
Lypocene, a carotenoid found in abundance in watermelon, also improves cardiac function. Studies have shown that watermelon can help to reduce inflammation, relieve arterial stiffness, balance cholesterol and improve systolic blood pressure in patients with hypertension.
3. Relieves Pain and Muscle Soreness
Studies have shown that watermelon’s supply of the amino acid l-citrulline is effective at reducing muscle soreness. One particular Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry study looked at watermelon juice as a functional drink for athletes and observed that after 24 hours of supplementing with watermelon juice, athletes experienced improved heart rates that were more beneficial for muscle recovery in addition to less overall soreness and muscle aches.
Additionally, benefits of watermelon include providing vitamin C, which has been shown to protect cartilage and bones, be used in repairing tendons and ligaments, and help speed wound healing and scar tissue. Obtaining proper amounts of potassium and magnesium from whole food sources is also important for muscle recovery and reduced pain. Potassium assists in the prevention of muscle cramping following exercise and helps you to heal from injury more quickly. Instead of having a high-sugar energy drinks that has synthetic vitamins and minerals, try having watermelon juice instead.
4. Prevents Kidney Stones
Studies have shown that potassium found in fruits and vegetables like 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, deposition builds up in the vulnerable kidneys. This can lead to a high concentration of uric acid in the blood and can potentially cause kidney stones, gout and other painful conditions.
Watermelon benefits also include being a natural diuretic, meaning it helps to 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.
5. Detoxifies the Body
Watermelon is made up of mostly water, with about 91 percent of the fruit being H2O. While it may seem counter-intuitive, eating fruits and vegetables with a high water content actually helps the body to detox and rid itself of excess water and fluids, relieving uncomfortable bloating and swelling.
Potassium and magnesium are also important for detoxification. Potassium acts as an electrolyte and promotes circulatory health, helps to manage blow 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. Filled with water and easy on digestion, it can work as a natural cure for diarrhea, another one of the benefits of watermelon.
Watermelon is also considered an alkaline food, meaning it helps to bring the pH level (key to good health) of the body back to its natural level. It’s believed that disease has a much harder time developing in an alkaline environment inside the body, compared to a more acidic one. Eating many alkaline-forming foods can protect your body from disease by decreasing inflammation.
6. Can Help Fight Cancer
The carotenoid phytonutrient lycopene that is present in watermelon has been linked to fighting breast and prostate cancer. Research has shown that lycopene plays a part in keeping cell membranes strong so they can protect themselves from toxins that can potentially cause cell death or mutation.
Watermelon is also a great supplier of antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin A, both of which help to fight free radical damage and stop DNA from harmfully mutating, leading to the formation of cancerous tumors. Studies have shown 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 only the harmful cells that are in need of these nutrients, unlike other drugs that usually kill healthy cells too.
7. Protects Skin Health
Studies have shown that watermelon is one of the high antioxidant foods — with plenty of vitamin C and vitamin A — and both play an important part in maintaining the health of skin, especially as someone ages. Antioxidants like these 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 And benefits of watermelon including providing a healthy supply of vitamin A that’s helpful for wound healing and skin re-growth. 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. Boosts Eye Health
Important nutrients that play a role in protecting eye health — including beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin — are also housed in this giant fruit and sit among the many benefits of watermelon. Studies have shown that a serious vitamin A deficiency, for example, can lead to macular degeneration or a thickening of the cornea and eventually even to blindness.
Watermelon is a great supplier of beta carotene, the form of vitamin A found in plants, which plays a role in preventing macular degeneration, the leading cause of age-related blindness.
9. Can Help with Weight Loss
Should you stop eating watermelon if you want to lose weight? Well, no! Watermelon is very low in calories due to its high water content, yet offers important nutrients. 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, key benefits of watermelon. Potassium is considered a vasodilator because it releases the tension of blood vessels and helps increase blood flow. This allows for quicker muscle recovery and reduced stress on the body as you build muscle, strength and endurance.
Research has shown that consuming vitamin C can improve oxygen intake during exercises and is important in maintaining proper function of your lungs and airways.
10. Helps Relieve Acid Reflux
All types of melon verities are usually effective as an acid reflux natural cure. Melons are a part of the GAPS Diet, designed to help heal digestive diseases and reduce inflammation. Melon helps to soothe the gastrointestinal tract and regulate pH levels, while also lessening inflammation and acid production throughout the body.