Watermelon is a staple during the summer – especially while snacking at barbecues and picnics. Its refreshing, and a healthy alternative to other sugary foods. From cutting it up in a fruit salad, to even throwing in on the grill, we’re smitten with watermelon. And for good reason! Not only is it delicious, it makes a wonderfully unique dessert alternative.
However, we’re sure you would like to know if other than keeping us from the ice cream, does watermelon have any health benefits? As a matter of fact, more than you’d think.
It’s 92% Water
Okay, duh. The name itself explains what you’re getting into. But being made up of mostly water, watermelon is able to keep you hydrated in those hot months. Eating it shouldn’t be a replacement for drinking water. Yet when so many summer snacks are high in sodium and can dehydrate you, watermelon makes a great substitute with added benefits.
It Contains Lycopene
Lycopene has always been reserved to tomatoes; it’s what gives the produce its bright red color. But it turns out, two cups of watermelon has more lycopene in it than an average serving of tomatoes. You’ve probably heard of lycopene as an ingredient in skin care products. Not only does it promote healthy skin, but lycopene also helps protect against prostates and beast cancer. Lycopene has also been linked to the reducing stroke risks.
It’s An Anti-Inflammatory
There’s our friend lycopene again. The amino acid has shown to be a great anti-inflammatory too. Additionally, watermelon contains the vitamin choline. Choline has shown to reduce chronic inflammation by suppressing inflammatory responses the body has. The inflammation reduction can help ease the pain of those who suffer from arthritis.
It Contains A Slew Of Awesome Vitamins
To be specific, vitamins A, B6, and C; about 30% of your daily value, each. Vitamin A is vital in bone health and growth, as well as to strength of your immune system. There’s also about 7% of your daily magnesium intake per 2 cup serving. Magnesium is key in keeping your metabolism running, as well as digesting protein and fatty acids.
It Can Improve Sexual Health
According to a study done by AgriHealth Today out of Texas A&M seems to think so. Watermelon also contains citrulline, an amino acid that promotes healthy blood flow. Their research found that this elements to watermelon could help men suffering from erectile dysfunction. “It’s a great way to relax blood vessels, without any drug side effects,” the study says. Citrulline has also been seen in assisting the effect of hypertension and improving cardio vascular health.
Watermelon Juice Relieves Muscle Soreness
Tackling the stair after leg day just became much easier. A study out of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry will having you rejoicing. According to their research, drinking watermelon juice before an intense workout will reduce your next-day muscle soreness. This is attributed to citrulline and arginine, amino acids that work together to help circulation. This gets more blood into your muscles, easing them into recovery. Not to mention it’ll keep you hydrated during your sweat sesh. Take that, leg press!
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What’s your favorite way of eating watermelon?