The sweet, refreshing taste of fresh watermelon on a warm summer day is something that everybody can appreciate. Even better? The medical benefits of watermelon are wide and include the prevention of numerous diseases and illnesses, such as high blood pressure, strokes, kidney problems, heart attacks, diabetes, and even impotency. In fact, a paper published in May 2021 in the Journal of American Medical Association reported that watermelon has been used for centuries in the treatment of sexual impotency.
Why is this? Because it contains a compound that is believed to lower blood pressure. Not only does it have diuretic properties, but it also has a powerful antioxidant that lowers LDL cholesterol (bad) while raising HDL cholesterol (good). That’s quite a mouthful, so let’s break it down into its essential nutrients: potassium, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, carotenoids, flavonoids, and lycopene. Potassium is important for many functions, including muscle contraction, contractions of the skeletal system, nerve excitation, and muscle relaxation. It is a key mineral in maintaining fluid levels in the body and a key component of maintaining a healthy heart.
Sodium, which is found in everything from canned veggies to fried foods, is a salt substitute that can actually raise blood pressure and is often found in high quantities in people who are hypertensive. Potassium is important for regulating sodium levels and keeping fluids moving through the kidneys. Phosphorus is an essential nutrient that helps make proteins. Magnesium is a trace mineral that contributes to nerve and muscle contraction, blood vessel elasticity, and strength. Carotenoids are an amazing group of complex compounds containing lots of antioxidants that provide multiple health benefits, such as reduced cancer risk, reduced risk of heart disease, and preventing age-related deterioration.
Potassium and sodium are not the only benefits of watermelon. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that is found in nearly all fruits. An antioxidant, lycopene helps rid the body of harmful free radicals, which build up over time and lead to the development of certain cancers. Hot summer afternoons are the perfect time to eat a slice of fruit like the watermelons. A slice of watermelon helps boost your metabolism, leaving you with little energy to exercise. And, it’s the perfect pick me up after that big game of tennis.
Watermelon has so many nutritious benefits that it’s rare to find anyone who doesn’t include some sort of fresh watermelon in their diet. One popular method is to mash up the fruit and add granola or nuts to make a delicious smoothie. Another way to enjoy a fresh slice is to use it to make a delicious sauce for grilled fish, pasta, or even as a tasty topping on baked potatoes. All of these methods help increase the amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in your diet.
Watermelon contains a surprising amount of Vitamin C. The high level of this vitamin is what helps make watermelons a great food choice for diabetics. Lycopene also contains a surprising amount of beta-carotene. beta-carotene has been linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer and research has indicated that it may help prevent cancer, as well.
Watermelon is rich in potassium, a mineral that is necessary for several different bodily functions, such as regulating your blood pressure. A high potassium level is believed to contribute to stronger nails and healthier skin. Watermelon also contains about 24 grams of the vitamin c that is most beneficial to human health. In a healthy body, vitamin c helps fight off infections and maintain the body’s water balance.
Watermelon has several other health benefits, as well. The high water content is a natural diuretic that prevents dehydration in your body. The energy boost offered by this fruit is great for promoting healthy weight loss. The potassium and lycopene content help to promote healthy intestinal functions, which can help prevent constipation and promote weight loss. Finally, the calories in water are not particularly high compared to other fruits. So, while it may seem like a bad idea to eat watermelons due to the high calories, the benefits of the fruit far outweigh this minor drawback.