Soaring summer can be enjoyed with sweet watermelon juice. It is available during summer and belongs to cantaloupe family.
Watermelon is a rich source of antioxidant like Vitamin A and C which protect from free radicals, thus providing protection from cancer, inflammation and heart disease.
Watermelon is a summer fruit and loaded with health-boosting nutrients.
Let’s have a look at what benefits they can provide.
Need a good source of water that can quench your thirst and fight back summer heat stroke?
Watermelon a summer fruit can be your best partner to quench your thirst and fulfills water need, provide a good dose of nutrient, and fight the summer heat.
During summer, you might be looking for some good drink option, instead of choosing any sugar-loaded drink, prefer watermelon smoothies. They are loaded with health-boosting nutrients with a small amount of fiber, and 92% water.
A low-calorie drink but loaded with health-boosting nutrients, fiber and mostly water is the best option than any sports or sugar-loaded drink. Along with the juice is loaded with electrolytes which help to prevent heat stroke.
Wrap up: Watermelon is low-calorie food but with high water content. It can quench thirst and prevent heat stroke.
2. Protects from Cancer
Lycopene in watermelon which gives it red color is a powerful antioxidant.
Human studies have found that watermelon juice can raise the level of lycopene and beta-carotene in the blood. (1)
Antioxidants/phytochemical-rich diet disrupts the production of free-radicals and protects from many types of ailment caused due to those free radicals.
According to the National Cancer Institute, lycopene has been linked to reducing prostate cancer cell proliferation. In a study, people with a low-fat diet, vitamins, and lycopene had improvement in the quality of life. (2)
Lycopene has been associated to protect from many types of cancer.
Administration of lycopene at an early stage has the ability to slow down cancer cell progression.
Female consuming watermelon has five times less risk of cervical cancer.
Insulin-like growth factor (IGF), a protein involved in cell division – can contribute to cancer progression. As the IGF signal can lead to cancer, inhibiting IGF can be the best approach to prevent cancer.
With lycopene, it is also a good source of Vitamin C and A, a powerful antioxidant.
Vitamin C and vitamin A, both provide protection from free radicals by neutralizing them before they cause any damage to healthy cells.
Wrap up: With high lycopene, vitamin C and vitamin A, it has a high antioxidant property which provides protection from many types of cancer and tumor.
3. Heart Health
Heart disease is a lifestyle disease and the number one cause of death worldwide.
Lifestyle, especially unhealthy diet is responsible for increased risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart attack and stroke.
The first priority should be to improve diet or to be more specific – eating routine and food choice.
Watermelon heart health-boosting nutrients like vitamin A, B6, C, magnesium, potassium. Along with these, lycopene intake is associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Risk of heart attack, ischemic strokes and atherosclerosis are due to oxidation of Low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol). Lycopene protects the damage to LDL cholesterol – preventing the buildup of plaque in arteries which block the blood flow. It also lowers the thickness of the internal layer of the blood vessel – reducing the risk of myocardial infarction. (7, 8)
You might have about the benefit of eating due to high lycopene content, but, lycopene is readily available through the watermelon.
Citrulline is an amino acid that may increase nitric oxide level in the body. Citrulline is metabolized to arginine and those nitrogenous substrate arginines are used in the synthesis of nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide relaxes the inner muscles of blood vessels, causing them to widen and increase blood circulation. With a wider blood vessel, there is an improvement in blood flow and it also lowers blood pressure. (11)
Potassium also reduces the risk of heart attack by positively impact the blood pressure. Modern day diets lack sufficient intake to dependency on processed while cutting the intake of fruits and vegetables. Sufficient intake of potassium can lower the risk of heart attack or stroke. (12, 13)
Wrap up: Water contains a wide range of heart health-boosting nutrients. To improve heart health you can eat watermelon as well as focus on eating healthy.
4. Lower Inflammation & Oxidative Stress
Inflammation is the key behind many of chronic diseases.
Lycopene is watermelon that provides it anti-inflammatory property which works as an antioxidant to neutralize free radicals.
With lycopene, it also contains vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant. Both lycopene and vitamin C lowers the inflammation by neutralizing excess free radicals.
Watermelon is rich in antioxidants and other bio-active components which can reduce oxidative stress. In a study, red fed on watermelon lowers inflammatory marker C-reactive protein and reduce oxidative stress. (14)
Consumption of lycopene and vitamin C rich foods can reduce the marker of inflammation improving inflammatory status in overweight and obese people. Watermelon contains both lycopene and vitamin C making it perfect food to fight inflammation and oxidative stress. (15, 16)
Choline in watermelon is found to suppress inflammation, according to Shock Medical Journal. (17)
Wrap up: Lycopene and vitamin C in watermelon can reduce the marker of inflammation improving inflammatory status in the body thus protecting from chronic diseases.
5. Macular Degeneration and Eye Health
With lycopene and vitamin, watermelon is responsible to lower inflammation and oxidative stress. With anti-inflammatory property, it can protect from Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). With high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, it can protect from development and progression of AMD. (18)
It also contains vitamin A, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin which also provide protection AMD.
Wrap up: With loaded antioxidants lycopene, vitamin C, vitamin A, and beta-carotene it reduces inflammation and prevents damage to the eye.
6. Muscle Soreness and Athletic Performance
Consuming watermelon juice over any of sugar-loaded sports drink can provide better benefits to your muscle soreness and athletic performance.
L-Citrulline, an amino acid is effective in reducing muscle soreness.
A study on athletes who were given with Watermelon juice, Watermelon juice with added Citrulline and placebo. Both, drink with watermelon juices helped to reduce muscle soreness after 24h. It as also found that with watermelon juice muscle soreness was better than only with citrulline.
The benefit of reduction in muscle soreness is credited to its effect on improvement in blood circulation. (19)
It is found that watermelon can increase the absorption of citrulline, making it more effective than just supplements.
Arginine is another compound that improves blood circulation thus promoting better muscle recovery.
A study found that citrulline can have a positive impact on athletic performance as they increase nitric oxide level and increases O2 uptake. (20)
Wrap up: With high citrulline and arginine, it improves blood circulation, reduces muscle soreness and improves athletic performance.
7. Skin & Hair Health
Vitamin C is required for healthy growth of hair. Free radicals can block the growth of hair and cause hair to age can be prevented with powerful antioxidant property vitamin C. (21)
Vitamin C is also required to create protein name collagen – an important part of hair structure.
Vitamin A is also required to keep hair healthy. (22)
Like hair, Vitamin C helps healthy skin as it helps the body to make collagen – required for a healthy and supple skin. (23)
It also protects from UV induced damage caused due to free-radicals. Antioxidants rich diets are associated with healthy and wrinkles free skin.
Wrap up: Vitamin C and Vitamin A are the most important nutrient for skin and hair health.
8. Digestion & Acid Reflux
Eating watermelon can be good for the digestive system as it is rich in water. It is found to help heal the digestive disease and reduce inflammation.
The benefit though fiber can’t be justified as it is very low in fiber, but water content makes it healthy food option for the digestive system. It can soothe the gastrointestinal tract and regulate pH levels and lessens acid production.
Wrap up: Its great for digestion and digestion related problems.
9. Kidney Stone
An increased potassium is responsible for lower calcium excretion, thus lower calcium in the urine. When there are calcium and other toxins in urine, it can promote deposition which is responsible for the kidney stone. (24)
Watermelon is a diuretic food which means it increases urine frequency.
Diuretic food increases urine production and takes the waste out of the body.
If you suffer from a kidney stone, you should try diuretic foods like watermelon as it doesn’t put stress of kidney as compared to coffee and alcohol. For kidney stone chose fruit and increase water intake to get rid of kidney stone.
Wrap up: A great diuretic food that can prevent kidney stone and also help to flush it out.
Thought on Snacking And Weight Loss
Watermelon is a great source of health-boosting nutrient. It is one of fruit which is lowest in calories – 46 calorie per cup (154 grams), lower than low-calorie berries. (25)
If you want to enjoy it as a snack, it will be best to hydrate, as 92% is water content. Its good for snacking but when the concern comes to weight loss, it’s little controversial.
Many recommended watermelon as the best food for weight loss. Yet, the nutrition profile doesn’t support those claims.
92% of watermelon is water, but it contains negligible or no fiber and protein, and no fat
Protein, fiber, and fat are all those nutrients play important role in satiety.
A diet with high protein, fat, and fiber are responsible for increased satiety and a reduced sugar craving. (26)
With the negligible amount of those satiety nutrients, you won’t feel full for long which is the result you will hunger pangs quickly after eating watermelon.
It can good food to eat but depending only on a single fruit won’t prove much beneficial for health as well as weight loss. If you are trying to lose weight, the best strategy is to eat varieties of food without staying over-dependent on a single food.
The concern with over-dependency on watermelon is quick absorbing sugar and no nutrients to slow down the digestion and absorption. It won’t be a problem if you drink a glass of juice or smoothie (best option). Problem is with consuming without taking care of portion.
The concern with the quick absorption of sugar is with people with diabetes, as watermelon can impact blood sugar. If care is taken with portion then those sugar rollercoaster can be avoided.
Watermelon is healthy still you need to take care and enjoy varieties of fruit.
If you want a refreshing drink that you can enjoy then try strawberry chia watermelon smoothies. With the addition of multiple ingredients, you can add missing nutrients like fiber, protein, and fat. (27)
You will come across many such combinations to make healthier smoothies. But the final though – Variety Is Key.