I'm sure we all have at least one childhood memory of taking a big bite into a slice of watermelon, letting the juices drip down our chins and then spitting the seeds as far as we could across the backyard. Even now, there are few things better than a big bowl of cold watermelon on a hot summer day. But with research supporting a number of health benefits associated with the fruit, we have even more reasons to eat more watermelon.
1. Helps You Lose Weight
Watermelon is over 90 percent water, making it not only hydrating but also very low in calories. At just 40 calories per cup, watermelon lets you add a lot of volume, vitamins and minerals and fiber to your daily food log without breaking the calorie bank.
2. Repairs Your Body Post-Workout
L-citrulline is an amino acid naturally found in watermelon. A recent scientific study published in 2013 by the American Chemical Study reported the amino acid found in the juice can help relieve post-workout muscle pain and soreness.
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3. Keeps You Hydrated
Watermelon is naturally rich in electrolytes, specifically potassium, which is essential for nerve and muscle function and responsible for converting blood sugar into glycogen.
4. Protects Your Heart
L-citrulline is not just good for muscle soreness: A study out of Florida State University found that people given a six-gram supplement of L-citrulline from watermelon extract for six weeks lowered their blood pressure and had improved arterial function, making watermelon an effective natural weapon against hypertension.
5. Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are chemicals that prevent (or slow) damage of cells from free radicals. Natural antioxidants are found in fruits and vegetables and watermelon is rich in one of them, lycopene. In addition to contributing to the melon’s rich pink/red color, lycopene can help fight against heart disease and play a role in lowering cholesterol. Watermelon contains the highest levels of lycopene compared to any other fruit or vegetable.
6. Great for Your Skin
Watermelon is a great source of vitamin A. Vitamin A is required for sebum production in the body, a nutrient that keeps hair and skin moisturized. Vitamin A is also necessary for promoting growth of all bodily tissues including hair and skin, and plays a key role in maintaining eye health.
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7. Keeps You Regular
Thanks to both the high water content and fiber, watermelon helps to prevent constipation and promote regularity and a healthy digestive tract. And more than just the tried-and-true fresh fruit, there are lots of options today for enjoying watermelon. You can now grab watermelon in pure cold-pressed juice format with the newly launched WTRMLN WTR whenever you need natural hydration and replenishment.
Readers - What facts about watermelon surprised you? Did you know that it provides so many health benefits? What are some of your favorite watermelon recipes? Leave a comment below and let us know!
Kim McDevitt, M.P.H., RD, is a Vega National Educator, runner, cooking enthusiast and plant-focused flexitarian. She has passionately built her career in nutrition. After noticing that her running performances were closely tied to what she was eating, Kim decided to study nutrition and pursue advanced degrees in dietetics and public health to better understand the power of food in performance. Today, Kim specializes in sports nutrition to enhance athletic performance and focuses on realistic and approachable ways for improving health through educated dietary choices within an active lifestyle.