I liked it in my childhood – the idea of sliced watermelon and that occasional spitting of the seeds (though, I refrain from throwing the seeds away after understanding the real essence of seeds). It would be scorching outside the house, and I would be sitting on the couch inside the house, oblivious to what heat can mean. Watermelon, however, was a daily ritual in those hot summer days. Last summer, when my mother handed me a bowl of watermelon, I was curious and wanted to know what was going inside my body. This was what I found. Here are 6 benefits of watermelons that could transform your health, indeed.
1. Watermelon Juice: Best Pre-Workout Drink
Gearing up for a hardcore workout? Gulp some watermelon juice as this fruit consists of a vital amino acid that helps in easing post-workout muscle soreness. Research conducted on athletes says that L-citrulline (that vital amino acid I had just mentioned) is an excellent component of watermelon that not only reduces muscle soreness that follows vigorous physical exercise but also helps in bringing back the increased heart rate to normalcy (1). If you can’t move your arms after that intense session of weight lifting, relax and sip on some watermelon juice. Also, remember to drink some before hitting the gym the next day.
You could ask me, “If L-citrulline is the master that reduces soreness, can I have the supplements instead?” Let me tell you, the absorption of this amino acid in the body is maximum when it is taken in the form of watermelon juice rather than in any other form. In fact, even when the amount of this amino acid was increased and mixed in the juice, the absorption amount remained the same as consuming the natural watermelon.
2. A Great Source Of Lycopene
Another component of this fruit that provides you with a whole lot of health benefits is lycopene. You see that red/pink color of the pulp? That is because of this pigment called lycopene (the same pigment that makes tomatoes red and pink guavas pink.) This phytochemical is found in the readily available cis-isometric form, which is what makes watermelon a unique source of lycopene (2). This means that immediately after consumption of watermelon, the body has access to lycopene and there is no processing that is required (unlike the lycopene in tomato). Lycopene potentially prevents diseases like diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders, cardiovascular complications, and pathogenic attacks. So, this time you have that red, watery pulp sitting deliciously in your bowl, thank the lycopene for all it does to your body.
3. Rich In Antioxidants
As a result of various processes in the body, free radicals are formed that are harmful and can potentially damage the body. To neutralize the effect of these free radicals and to reduce the oxidative stress, one must provide the body with antioxidants. Apart from lycopene and citrulline, the other antioxidants present in watermelon are ascorbic acid and beta-carotene. They reduce the free radical damage in the body, which leads to problems related to blood vessels, heart diseases, and neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
4. A Natural Counterpart To Viagra
Remember I asked you to drink a glass of watermelon juice before hitting the gym and promised you that it would subdue your heart rate after the intense exercise? Yes, that happens because watermelon increases the blood flow to the heart. Not just to the heart, though. The citrulline, arginine, and nitric oxide that are present in the watermelon aid in relaxing the blood vessels that promote this blood flow in the entire body, and more importantly, to the genitals. This is exactly how viagra works – by promoting blood circulation to the lower parts of the body.
5. Storehouse Of Vitamins And Minerals. Added Bonus – Low In Calories
Just 30 cal per 100 grams of watermelon. 30? When was the last time I ate anything yummy that had just those many calories? For all the vitamins and minerals it showers on you, you could gorge on a lot of it anyway, that too guilt-free. By all the vitamins and minerals, I mean, vitamins A (improves eyesight,) B, C, and D. And by all the minerals, I mean potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and iron. Plus, don’t forget the 92% of water content in it. Also, every part of the fruit is edible and has some or the other health benefit. The seeds are full of protein, and the rind is an excellent source of dietary fiber.
6. Excellent For Pregnant Women
Watermelon proves to be an ally of a pregnant woman, taking care of several problems like the morning sickness, that intolerable heartburn, and also those muscle cramps. A glass of fresh juice in the morning is all it takes to ward off that nausea and discomfort that come with morning sickness. Also, for those repeated bouts of heartburn and regurgitation, watermelon is the best possible remedy that pregnant women must keep handy. One of the other symptoms that women have to put up with during the pregnancy period is muscle cramps, but consuming watermelon on a regular basis helps increase blood circulation and relaxes those cramping muscles.
Do you need more reasons to eat this juicy fruit? I think not. If you are wondering how to select that perfect watermelon to bask in the summer heat, read this. What are your summer memories with this desert fruit? Comment below to share with me.
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