Loaded With Lycopene
The cheery red color comes from lycopene, an antioxidant. Studies show it may help curb your risk of cancer and diabetes when part of a healthy lifestyle. Watermelon has more of this nutrient than any other fruit or veggie, even more than tomatoes. To load up on lycopene, choose a melon with bright red flesh rather than yellow or orange. And the riper, the better. Also, seedless melon tends to have more lycopene than those with seeds.
Watermelon is rich in an amino acid called citrulline that may help move blood through your body and can lower your blood pressure. Your heart also enjoys the perks of all the lycopene watermelon contains. Studies show that it may lower your risk of heart attacks. Of course, your whole lifestyle affects your heart health. So make sure you also work-out, don’t smoke, limit saturated fat, and keep up with your doctor’s advice.
Protects Your Joints
Watermelon has a natural pigment called beta-cryptoxanthin that may protect your joints from inflammation. Some studies show that over time, it could make you less likely to get rheumatoid arthritis.
Easy on Your Eyes
Just one serving of watermelon gives you more than 30% of the vitamin A you need each day. This nutrient is one of the keys to keeping your eyes healthy. Food is the best ways to get all the vitamins and minerals that your body needs.
Naturally Sweet Hydration
Juicy watermelon is 92% water, so it’s a simple way to help stay hydrated. Every cell in your body needs water. Even a small shortage can make you feel sluggish.
Soothes Your Skin
Vitamins A, B6, and C in watermelon help your skin stay soft, smooth, and supple. Because it’s loaded with water, melon also makes a great face mask.
Satisfies Your Sweet Tooth
A cup of ice cream will set you back around 300 calories. You can enjoy the same amount of watermelon for just 40 calories. And unlike many other desserts, it’s fat-free, low in cholesterol and has no sodium. Plus, the water in it will help you stay fuller longer. To make an easy sorbet, puree some watermelon in your blender, add a squeeze of lime and pop in the freezer until it hardens.
Boosts Your Workout
Watermelon’s high water content, antioxidants, and amino acids may make for a better workout. It’s also high in potassium, a mineral that could cut down on cramps at the gym. You can sip watermelon juice after you sweat too. Doing so could help prevent muscle soreness, as long as you don’t push yourself too hard.
Won’t Spike Your Blood Sugar
Trying to keep your blood glucose levels steady? You’re in luck. Watermelon has a glycemic index (GI) value of 80, about the same as a bowl of cornflakes. But it’s got few carbs. That means its glycemic load (how quickly it enters your bloodstream and how much glucose it can produce) is a mere 5. Enjoy a slice without guilt!
Easy to Digest
If you have a digestive condition like Crohn’s or colitis, the list of what not to eat during a flare-up can be long. You can put a watermelon on your “yes” list. Its soft, fleshy fruit is easy for even an inflamed gut to digest (just don’t eat the rind or the seeds if you need to limit fiber).