Few things say summer more than biting into a sweet, juicy slice of watermelon. While this picnic must-have is cooling and thirst-quenching, it’s also a nutritional powerhouse! In addition to being a delicious summer treat, watermelon offers cardiovascular, bone, electrolyte, antioxidant and fat-blocking health benefits. Here’s some other reasons why watermelon is surprisingly good for you!
Watermelon Health Benefits
Hydration. Watermelon is 92% water and a great source of many vitamins and nutrients, including potassium which helps with water balance and hydration.
High lycopene content. Lycopene helps to protect heart, prostate, skin and possibly bone health, too. Lycopene is found in the red flesh of the watermelon. Lycopene discourages inflammation and neutralizes free radicals.
Citrulline boosts Nitric Oxide. Citrulline is an amino acid that is converted to arginine in the kidneys. Arginine has been found to increase blood flow and improve other aspects of cardiovascular health.
Fat prevention. There is also some evidence that arginine may inhibit accumulation of fat in fat cells by blocking activity of an enzyme (TNAP).
Nutrient-dense. The 8% of the watermelon beyond the water provides a good source of Vitamin A, C, pantothenic acid, copper, and biotin.
Anti-inflammatory. Cucurbitacin E, which a tripterpenoid, blocks activity of cyclooxygenase which is a pain-, fever- and inflammation-causing cytokine. Cucurbitacin E also neutralizes nitrogen-containing molecules circulating in the body.
Watermelon Fun Facts
- Watermelon was used as a canteen by early explorers.
- Watermelon is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, making it a cousin to the squash, pumpkins, cucumber and other melons like cantaloupe.
- Native to Africa, 1,200 varieties are grown worldwide.
- With 42,000 acres, watermelon is the largest horticultural product in Texas; Texas ranks 3rd in US watermelon production.
Enjoy watermelon this summer and feel good about treating your body well! Stop by any Peoples location for a bottle of our PharmFresh Back Porch blend – an organic and irresistible combination of watermelon and mint, cold-pressed daily! Available in 8oz, 13.5oz and 32oz glass bottles.
by Julia Strickler, ND*. Julia is available for consultation at Peoples Central, Westlake and South locations.
*Naturopathic doctors are not currently licensed in the state of Texas.