One of the best fruits to eat in summer is watermelon , which besides being very refreshing, contains many health properties. Together with the melon, it belongs to the botanical family Cucurbitaceae and both are very beneficial for the body.
Although some individuals think that this delicious fruit contains only water and sugar, watermelon is rich in nutrients and provides many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants . This fruit is a very healthy food and has a low amount of calories.
Watermelons and the summer period go hand in hand. Their refreshing quality and sweet taste help fight the heat, and for those who want to lose weight, this fruit is a very tasty dessert that doesn’t make you feel guilty when you eat it.
Properties and benefits of watermelon
There are different types of watermelon, some larger, some less rounded and others without the characteristic stripes. Regardless of the type of watermelon consumed, they are all highly healthy.
But… what are the properties of watermelon? In the following lines we present the health benefits of watermelon.
Watermelon is associated with summer and this is not surprising, since is a food with a high water content, 92% of its composition , and contains important electrolytes. It can be eaten at any time and is an ideal “snack” to take at any time. If we leave it in the fridge, it will not only be delicious, but also very refreshing. When the summer season approaches, watermelon becomes a very appetizing food.
2. Improves the immune system and prevents cell damage
This fruit is rich in vitamin C, which is essential for our immune system and therefore protects our body and helps us fight, for example, colds. It also maintains the redox balance of the cells and protects them from reactive oxygen species, which damage our cells and DNA.
3. Heals wounds wound healing
The role of vitamin C in wound healing has also been observed in numerous studies, since it is essential for the formation of new connective tissue . The enzymes involved in the formation of collagen, i.e. the main component of wound healing, are inefficient without vitamin C. In short, watermelon is involved in wound healing.
4. Improves bone health
Watermelon contains lycopene, which is especially important for our bone health . Dietary lycopene, which is present in some foods such as watermelon or tomatoes, reduces oxidative stress that normally slows the activity of osteoblasts and osteoclasts, two bone cells involved in the pathogenesis of osteoporosis.
Lycopene consumption is associated with healthier bones. Watermelon is also rich in potassium, which helps retain calcium in the body, resulting in healthier bones and joints.
5. Improves cardiovascular health.
Consuming watermelon in large quantities, according to many studies, correlates positively with improved cardiovascular function , as it increases blood flow through vasodilation.
A study conducted by the American Journal of Hypertension found that watermelon extract supplementation reduces ankle blood pressure, brachial blood pressure, and carotid pressure in obese middle-aged adults with mild hypertension.
6. Helps to lose body fat
Watermelon contains citrulline, which helps reduce the accumulation of fat in our fat cells . Citrulline is an amino acid that is converted into arginine with the help of the kidneys. When our bodies absorb citrulline, it has the ability to block the activity of TNAP (non-tissue-specific alkaline phosphatase), which causes our fat cells to produce less fat tissue, and therefore helps prevent excessive accumulation of body fat.
7. Improves eye health
This fruit is a great source of beta-carotene (hence the reddish color inside) that is converted into vitamin A. It helps produce the pigments in the eye’s retina and protects against age-related macular degeneration. It also prevents night blindness, keeps skin, teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, and mucous membranes healthy.
8. Diuretic effect
Watermelon is a natural diuretic that helps increase the flow of urine and protects the kidneys . It also intervenes in the process of eliminating ammonia from the liver. Watermelon is a natural diuretic and slimming agent that will help you stay fit and healthy.
9. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant
Watermelon is rich in phenolic compounds such as flavonoids, carotenoids and triterpenoids . The lycopene carotenoid in this fruit is beneficial in reducing inflammation and neutralizing free radicals.
The triterpenoid cucurbitacin E is also present in watermelon, and provides anti-inflammatory support by blocking the activity of cyclooxygenase enzymes that normally produce an inflammatory surge. Mature watermelons contain higher amounts of these beneficial phenolic compounds.
10. Prevents cancer
This fruit, as I mentioned earlier, is an excellent source of vitamin C, as well as other antioxidants. That is why it can help fight the formation of free radicals associated with the development of cancer . Lycopene intake has been positively linked to a decrease in the risk of prostate cancer, according to several research studies.