Big, juicy slices of watermelon are a delightful treat in the summer and at only 84 calories per wedge, there is absolutely no reason to not eat this fruit to your heart’s desire! Watermelons are one of the most refreshing, thirst quenching fruit available all year round. Watermelon is not only delicious, but also very nutritious. Studies have shown that deep red varieties of watermelon have displaced tomatoes as the lycopene king. Watermelons are very beneficial to our health and could even be a natural Viagra! Read on:
1. It soothes sore muscles:
According to a new study in the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry, drinking watermelon juice before a hard workout helped reduce athletes’ heart rate and next-day muscle soreness. That’s because watermelon is rich in an amino acid called L-citrulline, which the body converts to L-arginine, an essential amino acid that helps relax blood vessels and improve circulation.
2. It helps heart health:
Postmenopausal women experienced improved cardiovascular health after six weeks of taking commercially available watermelon extract supplements containing citrulline and arginine, according to a study published earlier this year by Florida State University physiologist Arturo Figueroa. And in a 2012 study, also led by Figueroa, such supplements helped alleviate high blood pressure in obese, middle-aged adults.
3. It could be a natural Viagra:
Improved circulation can benefit more than just the heart, as at least one watermelon researcher has pointed out. But you’d probably have to eat an awful lot to achieve the desired effect–and eating too much could cause unfortunate side effects, since watermelon has long had a reputation as a natural diuretic. Watermelon has an ingredient (arginine) that delivers a Viagra-like effect. Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, the same basic effect that Viagra has, to treat erectile dysfunction and maybe even prevent it. Extra nitric oxide can also help treat angina, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems.
4. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals, but low in calories:
Given its name, you might assume the fruit has little nutritional value—and it is more than 90 percent water. But a 10-ounce (300-mL) wedge of watermelon packs in about one-third of the recommended daily value of vitamins A and C, as well as a modest amount of potassium (9 percent of the daily value).
5. It could even combat cancer:
Watermelon is among the best dietary sources of lycopene, an antioxidant linked to both the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer, although scientists are still investigating the details of that connection.
6. Younger looking skin:
Achieve that younger looking skin with just 2-cups of watermelon daily. Research showed that watermelon cuts the risk of sun related skin damage by 40%. That’s because watermelon is nature’s richest source of lycopene, an antioxidant that scavenges the UV-induced free radicals that cause sunburn and wrinkling.
7. Improves sleep:
Watermelons can help improve sleep. By eating a few slices of this fruit after dinner, you can extend the deep stages of sleep by 27%. The reason is watermelon’s polysaccharide carbohydrates rev the body’s output of serotonin. When levels of serotonin increase at night, the brain is less sensitive to disruptive stimuli (like noise) during sleep.
8. Boosts energy:
A daily serving of watermelon has been shown to boost energy levels by up to 23%. This is because watermelon contains vitamin B6, which the body uses to synthesize feel good dopamine. It also contains magnesium which assists in the body’s formation of adenosine triphosphate. Like a rechargeable battery, this nucleotide fuels cellular function for all-day energy.
9. Heal wounds faster:
Watermelons can help in healing of wounds and other skin problems faster. The fruit is packed with the amino acid citrulline, which the body converts to arginine. Arginine speeds the delivery of white blood cells to injury sites, plus spurs the growth of new skin tissue. Study show that these processes can help skin heal 3 times faster.
Fun fact for juicier watermelon slices – Long-term refrigeration can sap nutrients and flavor from the fruit. But to guarantee the tastiest fruit, place watermelon in the fridge for 30 minutes before slicing it. A quick chill causes the fruit’s cells to constrict. This means the juice stays in the slices instead of running out onto the cutting board.