Lahore: No other fruit shouts summer quite like watermelon. It could be its refreshing taste or even the burst of color that adds vividness to your plate. In fact, there’s more to tarbooz than just its flavor; it boasts some commanding health benefits, too. As compiled from Huffington Post, Men’s Fitness, and Health magazines, grab more than just a few chunks of this nutritional gem today.
1. Jam-packed with lycopene: Lycopene is thought to act as a super antioxidant, stopping free radicals from damaging your cells and messing with your immune system. Recent research even suggests that lycopene, typically found in red fruits and vegetables, helps fight heart disease and several types of cancer. But don’t eat the delish fruit cold.
“To retain the most antioxidants in this delicious superfood, store your watermelon at room temperature before slicing,” says nutritionist Cynthia Sass, MPH.
2. Relieves muscle soreness
A Spanish study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that drinking watermelon juice or consuming the fruit can truly be quite soothing after a grueling workout. Athletes who consumed a little more than 16 ounces an hour before exercise had less muscle soreness and a lower heart rate within a day. Watermelon contains a natural substance called citrulline that’s been tied to improved artery function and lower blood pressure.
3. Fights depression
Watermelon is a scientifically proven mood booster and mood elevator because it’s crammed generously with vitamin B6. Research has confirmed that people who suffered from chronic depression and anxiety have lower levels of vitamin B6. The vitamin, in fact, acts as a neurotransmitter by producing serotonin in the body which leads to feel-good sensations. “Watermelon is an excellent source of antioxidants that specifically protect delicate brain tissue,” says Elizabeth Somer, a dietitian in Salem, and author of Food & Mood. “Watermelon helps lower the risk for inflammation associated with dementia and possibly depression,” she adds.
4. Detoxifies kidneys
The fruit sustains healthy kidneys because it contains a lot of potassium, which is very helpful in cleaning or washing off the toxic depositions in the kidneys. Moreover, it is helpful in reducing the concentration of uric acid in the blood, thereby lowering the chances of kidney damage and the formation of kidney stones. In addition to helping to prevent dehydration due to its high water content, it induces frequent urinating, which is again helpful for cleaning of kidneys.
5. Beneficial during pregnancy
Research suggests that pregnant women can rely on watermelon to keep morning sickness at bay. A study in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics found that daily consumption of the super fruit reduced the incidence of preeclampsia by 50 percent. Scientists have also discovered that watermelon is packed with vitamins A, C, and B6, as well as potassium and magnesium. These nutrients are significant for the development of your baby’s vision, brain, nervous and immune systems, and more. For you, potassium regulates water balance in the blood and body tissues during pregnancy.
6. Best breakfast food
As its name advocates, watermelon is an excellent way to hydrate in the morning. What’s less well known is this juicy summer fruit is chock-full of nutrients found in vegetables, that are imperative for eye health, cardiovascular health, and cancer prevention. Best of all, watermelon contains just 40 calories per cup, landing it on the ‘negative-calorie foods’ list that supposedly burns more calories during digestion than they add in. If you’re no stranger to the blender, add watermelon to your favorite fresh juice. The watery texture of the fruit makes it easy to liquefy without the help of a high-powered juicer — making it the perfect on-the-go brekkie.