Despite the popular opinion that watermelons are made of only water and sugar, watermelon is actually considered a dense nutrient food, a food that provides a high quantity of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants with low calories.
Watermelons have become a synonym of summer and picnics, and that’s for a good reason. The fruit’s refreshment and sweet flavor help beating the heat and also serve as a low calorie dessert for kids and adults to enjoy.
Along with melon, watermelons are a member of the botanic family of Cucurbitaceae. There are five common types of watermelon: with seeds, without seeds, mini (also known as personal), yellow and orange.
Along with tomatoes, watermelons were brought to the front line of recent research studies about high-lycopene foods. Lycopene is a carotenoid phytonutrient that’s particularly important to our cardiovascular health, and a growing number of scientists believe lycopene is also important to our bone health.
Between all the fresh fruits that are normally consumed, watermelon now answers to a bigger ingestion of lycopene (with the weight of consumed fruits) than any other fruit. Pink grapefruit and guava are two other important sources of lycopene fruits; these fruits are more commonly consumed as juices.
The benefits of watermelons to our health
Asthma prevention: the risks of developing asthma are smaller on people who eat a big amount of certain nutrients. One of these nutrients is vitamin C, that can be found in many fruits and vegetables including watermelon.
Blood pressure: A study published by the American Journal of Hypertension has conclued that the supplementation of watermelon extract has reduced blood pressure of the ankle, brachial artery pressure and carotid wave reflection on obese middle aged adults with Prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension. The watermelon allowed a better arterial function.
Diets that are rich in lycopene can help preventing cardiac diseases.
Cancer: As an excellent source of vitamin C, a strong antioxidant, as well as other antioxidants, watermelon can help beating the formation of free radicals well known for causing cancer. Lycopene ingestion has been linked to a decrease of prostate cancer risks in many studies.
Digestion and regularity: watermelon, because of it’s water and fiber, helps preventing constipation and promoting regularity to a healthy digestive tract.
Hydration: Composed of 92% of water and full of important electrolytes, watermelon is a good snack to have in hands during the hot summer months in order to avoid dehydration.
Inflammation: Choline is a very important and versatile nutrient in watermelon that assists our bodies in sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Choline also helps maintain the structure of cell membranes, helps in the transmission of nerve impulses, helps in fat absorption and reduces chronic inflammation.
Skin benefits: Watermelon is also great for your skin because it contains vitamin A, a nutrient needed to produce sebum that keeps hair hydrated. Vitamin A is also required for the growth of all body tissues including skin and hair.
Proper intake of vitamin C (a glass juice of watermelon provides 21% of daily needs) is also required for the construction and maintenance of collagen, which provides structure to the skin and hair. Watermelon also contributes to overall hydration, which is vital to having healthy skin, hair and a healthy view.
Libido: Watermelon has an important role to play in increasing male libido. Several ingredients contribute to increased desire and testosterone in men; both very important for sexual performance.