Watermelon definitely tops the list of foods that people love to eat in the summer. It is a refreshing, delicious and thirst-quenching fruit. Its rich nutritional profile means it is also immensely good for your health.
Watermelon is an excellent source of carbohydrates, protein, fiber and vitamins C, A and B. Plus, it has potassium along with other important minerals, such as iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. It also contains enzymes, organic acids and natural sugars.
The water content in watermelon is also extremely helpful in keeping the body hydrated during the hot summer months.
The fruit is equally great for what it doesn’t have—no fat or cholesterol and very little sodium.
Here are the top 10 health benefits of watermelon.
1. Controls High Blood Pressure
Watermelon can help control high blood pressure. The potassium, magnesium and amino acids in watermelon work together to maintain the health of blood vessels and ward off sclerosis, in turn ensuring smooth blood flow.
Watermelon also helps maintain proper electrolyte and acid-base balances in the body that helps lower the risk of high blood pressure.
Watermelon can significantly reduce blood pressure in overweight individuals, both at rest and while under stress, according to a study by Florida State University faculty published in the American Journal of Hypertension.
If you suffer from high blood pressure, drink one glass of watermelon juice daily to keep your blood pressure under control.
2. Reduces Body Fat
Watermelon is low in calories and contains no fat or cholesterol, all of which aid weight loss. One important component in watermelon that helps with weight loss is a compound called citrulline.
This compound metabolizes into the essential amino acid arginine that helps reduce the rate at which the body stores fat and improves cardiovascular functioning, according to a 2007 study published in the Journal of Nutrition.
Containing more than 90 percent water, watermelon also fills you up quickly and helps control over eating.
This summer, replace high-calorie snacks or desserts with watermelon.
3. Hydrates the Body
This thirst-quenching fruit helps keep the body hydrated. Watermelon contains more than 90% water and helps replenish body fluids and restore electrolytes.
It also contains essential rehydration salts–calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium – that help hydrate the body and skin and reduce the chance of dehydration to a great extent.
A 2009 study at the University of Aberdeen Medical School found that the combination of salts, minerals and natural sugars in watermelon and certain other water-rich fruits and vegetables can actually hydrate the body better than water.
During the hot summer days, drink one to two glasses of watermelon juice daily to stay well hydrated.
4. Improves Eye Health
Watermelon is extremely good for your eyes. Being an excellent source of beta-carotene that is converted in the body to vitamin A, watermelon helps maintain eye health.
Vitamin A along with lycopene helps produce the pigments in the eye’s retina and provides protection against macular degeneration, night blindness and other age-related eye problems.
Plus, watermelon has vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin that are essential to keep your eyes healthy and free from different types of infections.
Eating one cup of watermelon daily is recommended for your overall vision health.
5. Keeps Kidneys Healthy
Being a natural diuretic, watermelon is highly beneficial for your kidneys. It helps the body flush out harmful toxins, purifies the liver, stimulates kidney function and reduces uric acid in the blood.
Watermelon helps the liver process ammonia, a kind of waste product from protein digestion, which eases strain on the kidneys while getting rid of excess fluids.
It can also ease swelling and kidney inflammation to some extent and reduce the risk of developing kidney stones.
If you are producing less urine than normal or having difficultly urinating, you can eat watermelon or drink some watermelon juice to help make enough urine to remove waste from the body.
Note: Watermelon should be avoided by people with advanced kidney disease.
6. Improves Mood
Watermelon can also improve your mood. It is high in vitamin B6, an essential nutrient that is important in the synthesis of certain neurotransmitters responsible for calming mood.
Plus, its high vitamin C content protects the body against free radicals. Free-radical damage contributes to cognitive decline, irritability and depression. Watermelon also helps balance hormones, which can affect your mood when out of balance.
By eating a few slices of this fruit daily, you can lift your mood, reduce stress, and combat depression and anxiety.