The mere thought of biting into a chilled watermelon or sipping chilled watermelon juice during summer is a refreshing thought. What many do not readily realise is that not just they are not just a refresher, but they are also loaded with multiple health benefits. Another surprising fact is that they have been in use since 5000 years ago and are referred to in ancient literature. There are about 300 varieties and are easily available during summer.
Many may think that watermelon is loaded with water. However, there are also multiple compounds including vitamins and minerals; vitamins C, A, B1, B5, and B6; minerals like potassium and magnesium, and compounds like carotenoids and lycopene. These have multiple benefits on the health and so watermelon can be consumed without any second thought in abundance.
Read on to know some of the wonders of this melon.
- Hydration: One of the best remedies to avoid the ill effects of summer is to improve hydration levels, and there could be no better way to do this than with watermelon (eat it or drink it!) It is 92% water, and therefore leaves you refreshed and rejuvenated.
- Heart health: Lycopene helps reduce cholesterol, reduce thickening of artery walls, and reduces oxidative stress. The various minerals and vitamins also add to the heart health qualities of watermelon. The citrulline in it also increases nitric oxide level in the body, which expands or dilates blood vessels and improves blood pressure.
- Anti-inflammatory benefits: The lycopene and Vitamin C reduce the levels of C-reactive protein which are responsible for inflammation. The antioxidant levels also lower inflammation, thereby reducing the onset of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
- Eye health: Watermelons, through their anti-inflammatory effects, reduce the onset of age-related macular degeneration. Those who already have it can also see the delayed progression of the condition, thereby prolonging vision loss.
- Muscle soreness: Those who have muscle soreness should reach out for a slice of watermelon to get instant relief from this soreness. Watermelon also improves exercise endurance and performance, and the added benefit on the heart also improves exercise tolerance.
- Skin and hair benefits: These benefits come from multiple sources in the melon. The vitamin A helps improve skin regeneration, vitamin C helps collagen formation and improved skin tone. Lycopene and beta-carotene help control the damage caused by sun exposure and pigmentation.
- Digestive benefits: The very nature of watermelon almost completely water and high fibre directly benefits the stomach. It cleanses the stomach and promotes bowel movement. Not just the red portion, even the rind and seeds are beneficial as there is a lot of citrulline and chlorophyll which are also healthy. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist.