Love watermelon? Your body does too! These 15 health benefits of watermelon include the prevention of kidney disorders, high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes and more. It is by far, one of the most powerful body-healing fruits out there!
This amazing fruit is incredibly hydrating (up to 92% water) and is naturally low-fat. It is nutrient dense, and provides a high amount of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and crucial phytonutrients. The health benefits of watermelon are beyond anything you could ever imagine – this fruit is a true healer, and is just waiting to be eaten (so what are you waiting for?).
Here are 15 incredible health benefits of watermelon:
Effective Kidney Cleanser
Watermelon is a natural diuretic, which means that it improves the flow of urine, but doesn’t strain the kidneys (unlike alcohol and caffeine). It helps the liver process ammonia (waste from protein digestion), which eases kidney strain while getting rid of excess fluids.
Watermelon is one of the most alkalizing fruits on the planet! Eat when fully ripe to receive the highest concentration of alkalizing minerals.
Watermelon contains the compound choline, which reduces chronic inflammation. It also contains the carotenoid lycopene, which is beneficial in reducing inflammation and neutralizing free radicals.
As mentioned above, watermelon is a natural diuretic and helps increase urine output. This is beneficial because it helps keep the kidneys clean and reduces toxic load in the body. It also helps with reducing the effects of edema, a condition where excess water gets trapped in the tissues of your body, particularly the ankles, feet, hands and arms. Watermelon can help eliminate this excessive fluid throughout the body by reducing water retention.
Reduces Cancer Risk
Loaded with antioxidants, particularly vitamin C (one of the strongest antioxidants), watermelon can help reduce free radical formation, one of the main triggers of cancer formation. Lycopene, which is highly concentrated in watermelon, has also been linked with a decreased risk of prostate cancer in many different studies.
Improves Liver Function
Watermelon helps the liver process ammonia, a waste from protein digestion. Too much ammonia in the body (caused by eating too much animal protein, or other) can lead to Hepatic Encephalopathy, where the brain loses function due to a faulty liver unable to remove toxins from the blood.
Maintains Eye Health
The health benefits of watermelon also extend to our eyes. Beta-carotene is rampant in watermelon (the rich red hue is a good sign it contains plenty of it!). Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body, and helps produce the pigments in the retina of the eye. It protects against age-related macular degeneration as well as prevents night blindness.
Strengthens The Immune System
The vitamin C content in watermelon is astoundingly high. Vitamin C is great at improving our immune system by maintaining the redox integrity of cells and thereby protecting them from reactive oxygen species (which damages our cells and DNA). Vitamin C also helps our immune system produce antibodies to fight disease and illness.
Great Source of Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), is abundant in watermelon, and helps assist in the creation of serotonin (the “happy” chemical in the brain), GABA and dopamine. It is also involved in several of the steps involved in carbohydrate metabolism, and is required by heme (a component of hemoglobin in the blood) for its production. Lack of this vitamin is associated with chronic inflammation.
Watermelon is one of those foods that help boost your skin’s antioxidant protection against UV radiation. It is high in lycopene (40% higher than tomatoes), a red carotenoid that protects the skin against sunburn and skin cancer. It is also high in vitamin C, which prevents premature aging and skin cancer by keeping free radicals at bay.
Helps Muscle and Nerve Function
Watermelon is a wonderful source of the natural electrolyte, potassium, and thus helps regulate the action of nerves and muscles in our body. Watermelon has also been shown to reduce muscle soreness and improve recovery time in athletes. This effect has mainly been attributed to the amino acid citrulline found in watermelon.
Fights Heart Disease, Heart Attack and Stroke
Eating watermelon reduces pressure on the aorta and on the heart! Why? Watermelon contains the compounds arginine and citrulline, both of which reduce high blood pressure (by helping relax blood vessels) and therefore reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Lycopene is another heart-saver (and is concentrated in high amounts in watermelon), as it helps protect against heart disease.
Digestion and Regularity
If you’re having problems going to the bathroom, no problem! Watermelon can fix that for you! Watermelon contains a perfect balance of water and fibre, which helps prevent constipation and promotes regularity. If they come with black seeds, make sure you eat those, too! They’re high in zinc and will provide even more roughage to improve bowel movements.
Strengthens The Bones
Dietary lycopene, whether from watermelon or tomatoes, reduces oxidative stress. Why does this strengthen our bones? Oxidative stress reduces the activity of osteoblasts and osteoclasts (two major bone cells involved in the pathogenesis of osteoporosis). This means that when you eat watermelon, you’re helping prevent and even reverse this process. Watermelon also contains a high level of potassium, which improves calcium retention in the body, resulting in stronger bones and joints.
Reduces Body Fat
Watermelon contains citrulline, and citrulline has been shown to reduce the accumulation of fat in our fat cells. Citrulline blocks the activity of TNAP (tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase), which makes our fat cells create less fat, thus helping to prevent over-accumulation of body fat.