July is National Watermelon Month not only because a slice of watermelon is the ultimate summer treat, but also because the harvest of watermelons peak this month. Since we are right in the middle of peak season, we are sharing some great information about this healthy fruit.
Watermelons are over 90% water, however they are also packed with nutrients. This delicious and refreshing fruit has significant levels of vitamins A, B6 and C, lots of lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids. Plus, this wonderful summer treat is fat-free, sweet, light and low-calorie.
7 Health Benefits of Watermelon from livescience.com:
- Heart health
Watermelon’s high levels of lycopene are very effective at protecting cells from damage and may help lower the risk of heart disease, according to a study at Purdue University. Also, the fruit’s concentrations of citrulline and arginine are good for your heart. Arginine can help improve blood flow and may help reduce the accumulation of excess fat. A study published in the American Journal of Hypertension found that watermelon extracts helped reduce hypertension and lower blood pressure in obese adults.
2. Anti-inflammatory properties
Lycopene is an inhibitor for various inflammatory processes and also works as an antioxidant to neutralize free radicals. Additionally, the watermelon contains choline, which helps keep chronic inflammation down, according to a 2006 article published in Shock medical journal.
Watermelons can help you stay hydrated. Their water content can help keep you hydrated, and their juice is full of good electrolytes. This can even help prevent heat stroke.
The watermelon contains fiber, which encourages a healthy digestive tract and helps keep you regular.
5. Skin and hair benefits
Vitamin A is stellar for your skin, and just a cup of watermelon contains nearly one-quarter of your daily recommended intake of it. Vitamin A helps keep skin and hair moisturized, and it also encourages healthy growth of new collagen and elastin cells, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Vitamin C is also beneficial in this regard, as it promotes healthy collagen growth.
6. Muscle soreness
Watermelon-loving athletes are in luck: drinking watermelon juice before an intense workout helps reduce next-day muscle soreness and heart rate, according to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. This can be attributed to watermelon’s amino acids citrulline and arginine, which help improve circulation.
7. Cancer prevention
Like other fruits and vegetables, watermelons may be helpful in reducing the risk of cancer through their antioxidant properties. Lycopene in particular has been linked to reducing prostate cancer cell proliferation, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Watermelon is a tasty after dinner sweet treat and is also great in salads, soups, drinks, smoothies, frozen treats and more. Remember all the reasons why watermelon is wonderful and pack it for your next picnic or include it in your summertime meals!