Summer is already here, and at this time of year eating fruit is much more appealing . Fruits are low-calorie foods with a high water content, so they help us to stay well hydrated, which is especially important at this time of year when the heat is on.
Benefits of watermelon
Watermelon is a delicious food that also contains many health benefits. Regardless of the type of watermelon, in the following lines you will find some reasons why you should include this delicious food in your diet.
The benefits of watermelon are as follows.
1. Helps you stay hydrated
Being hydrated is vital for the proper functioning of our body and to keep us alive , so consuming watermelon, with 92% water, is a tasty way to hydrate yourself. But not only that, if we want to control calories, water-rich foods help us feel more satiated. This, together with its high fiber content, is ideal for losing weight.
2. Aphrodisiac food
Watermelon is an aphrodisiac food that increases the levels of nitric oxide in our body and those of libido , according to a study by the University of Texas. This occurs because of citrulline, an amino acid that relaxes blood vessels and converts into arginine, which helps produce this compound. It is like a natural viagra.
3. Reduces illness
Watermelon is a food rich in lycopene, which is a type of carotde found in vitamin A . Its function is that of an antioxidant, and it gives many fruits and vegetables that reddish orange color. Lycopene is associated with the prevention of different diseases: arteriosclerosis, cancer of the prostate, breast, lung, bladder, ovaries, colon and pancreas, human papilloma virus (HPV), cataracts and asthma.
4. Helps prevent cancer
As you see in the previous point, this fruit helps to prevent cancer . Not only is lycopene useful in this sense, but it is the most important compound, especially for those cancerous diseases of the digestive system.
This substance also helps to reduce IGF or insulin growth factor which helps cancer cells grow. Vitamin E, present in this food, also inhibits the growth of tumor cells.
5. Helps improve vision
Vitamin A is also essential for our vision, as it promotes the development of retinal pigments and helps prevent macular degeneration and night blindness. This fruit, which contains lutein and zeaxanthin, has a protective effect on sight. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that may reduce the risk of developing cataracts.
6. Reduces muscle pain
Drinking watermelon juice after training is ideal for preventing muscle pain and reducing it if necessary . This is due to L-citrulline, an amino acid that seems to protect against muscle pain. One study claims that drinking watermelon juice before your workouts reduces muscle soreness by up to 24 hours.
7. Prevents heart disease
Different studies have found that consuming watermelon prevents heart disease . One of them highlights the role of this fruit in preventing heart attacks, thanks to the presence of citrulline and arginine. In fact, it is possible to find products with watermelon extract, and research has shown that people who consume them show significant improvements in blood pressure and cardiac stress.
Arginine is also a precursor to nitric oxide, which allows blood vessels to remain relaxed and open for blood flow, helping to lower blood pressure.
8. Helps to lose weight
Watermelon helps to have a slimmer and healthier body, as it is a fruit that contains few calories and is practically all water. According to research from the Journal of Nutrition, L-arginine speeds up the metabolism and promotes fat loss.
9. Anti-inflammatory effect
As I have commented in previous points, this fruit is rich in lycopene which, in addition to the benefits mentioned above, is also a natural anti-inflammatory as indicated by much research. Within the group of carotenoids, lycopene is the best in terms of the positive effects of inflammation, even better than beta-carotene.
10. Improve your skin health
One of the important components of watermelon is vitamin C, essential for the synthesis of collagen . This means that the skin will look healthier. Vitamin A is also very effective in treating wrinkles and sun spots and is vital for a healthy tan. This vitamin is necessary for cell regeneration and protects against some skin diseases such as psoriasis and vitiligo.
11. Improves hair health
But the presence of vitamin C and collagen is not only of vital importance for the skin, but also for the hair : it prevents hair loss, reduces dandruff, split ends, etc. Thanks to citrulline and consequently arginine, watermelon promotes hair growth. Moreover, these compounds, which increase the presence of nitric oxide in the body, improve the blood supply in the different areas of the body including the scalp.
12. Bone health
Again, lycopene has a beneficial effect on bones and keeps them strong, as it reduces oxidative stress and therefore the presence of osteoblasts and osteoclasts, two bone cells that are involved in the pathogenesis of osteoporosis. Watermelon is also rich in potassium, which together with calcium keeps bones and joints healthy.