Three Benefits of Watermelon That May Surprise You
Watermelon is yet another example of a natural food that can enhance the quality of our health, from antioxidant protection to soothing muscle soreness. This is a summer fruit you do not want to miss!
Watermelon, like tomatoes, is a rich source of lycopene, an extremely potent carotenoid antioxidant.1 Lycopene has been shown to be protective against prostate cancer, helps to protect the skin from the sun’s rays, and benefits the cardiovascular system, as high circulating lycopene levels are linked to reduced heart attack and stroke risk.
Watermelon is also rich in the amino acid citrulline. Citrulline drives the production of nitric oxide, which is a key regulator of blood pressure.2 Studies conducted in adults with prehypertension or hypertension showed that the watermelon extract supplement groups experienced improvements in blood pressure compared to placebo groups.3,4
Watermelon, due to citrulline, could potentially reduce muscle soreness after exercise. One study found that athletes who were given 16 ounces of watermelon juice after intense exercise experienced lower levels of muscle soreness 24 hours later compared to athletes given a placebo drink.5
Watermelon becomes most ripe and delicious come August, so get ready to load up this summer on this juicy, refreshing, health-promoting fruit!
- Edwards AJ, Vinyard BT, Wiley ER, et al: Consumption of watermelon juice increases plasma concentrations of lycopene and beta-carotene in humans. J Nutr 2003;133:1043-1050. 2. Collins JK, Wu G, Perkins-Veazie P, et al: Watermelon consumption increases plasma arginine concentrations in adults. Nutrition 2007;23:261-266. 3. Figueroa A, Sanchez-Gonzalez MA, Perkins-Veazie PM, et al: Effects of watermelon supplementation on aortic blood pressure and wave reflection in individuals with prehypertension: a pilot study. Am J Hypertens 2011;24:40-44. 4. Figueroa A, Sanchez-Gonzalez MA, Wong A, et al: Watermelon extract supplementation reduces ankle blood pressure and carotid augmentation index in obese adults with prehypertension or hypertension. Am J Hypertens 2012;25:640-643. 5. Tarazona-Diaz MP, Alacid F, Carrasco M, et al: Watermelon juice: potential functional drink for sore muscle relief in athletes. J Agric Food Chem 2013;61:7522-7528.
Health and Wellness Associates