The Health Benefits of Watermelon
On a scorching, hot summers day, there is nothing more refreshing than a large slice of juicy, watermelon. The burst of sweetness and bright red color is both uplifting and delicious.
This vine-like flowering plant is actually native to Southern Africa, where many wild varieties grew in abundance and ranged from super sweet to bitter. Watermelon is both a fruit and a vegetable and the rind, flesh and seeds, can be consumed in various ways from soup to pickles. It can be served with a pinch of sea salt which helps to balance the potassium and high water content. It actually makes the watermelon taste even sweeter.
Watermelon has a long list of health benefits because of its unique nutrients. These include high levels of vitamin A and C, calcium, magnesium, fiber, protein, and potassium. It also contains a wide variety of carotenoids (pigments that give vegetables their amazing colors) and phytonutrients, including lycopene.
The amazing benefits of watermelon:
- Watermelon contains a rich supply of the amino acid, citrulline which can help artery function, reduce muscle soreness, and relax blood vessels. Citrulline also provides other cardiovascular benefits such as increased blood flow and a drop in blood pressure.
- Watermelon is good for weight management as it helps you to feel full for longer and is very low in calories, containing less than a gram of fat per slice.
- Watermelon is at least 90% water which is perfect for staying hydrated in hot weather. It is also good for lowering body temperature, and preventing heat stroke.
- Watermelon is rich in phenolic compounds like flavonoids, carotenoids, and triterpenoids which makes it a wonderful choice for antioxidant and anti inflammatory health. Choose a lovely, ripe watermelon because then the levels are even higher. The antioxidants in watermelon can also slow down the aging process especially wrinkles and age spots.
- Watermelon is a good source of vitamin C which is vital for immune health and healing in general.
- It is also a lycopene-rich food, (the pigment that gives watermelon its vibrant red color) and can help to build stronger bones. The high potassium levels, which help to retain calcium in the body, are also nourishing for the bones and joints.
- The wonderful red of watermelon also means it is high in beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is super nourishing to the eyes, skin, hair, teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, and mucus membranes.
- Watermelon is a natural diuretic and is helpful for washing out any toxic deposits in the kidneys. It can also help to lower the concentration of uric acid in the blood. Watermelon contains glutathione which can improve liver function and help lower colesterol.
- Watermelon can be good for diabetes as the mild, sweet taste is very satisfying and gives few calories. At least ninety percent of its total weight comes from water and roughage. The potassium and magnesium content aid in the proper functioning of insulin in the body, thus helping to keep blood sugar levels down.
- The high water and fiber in watermelon is great for colon health as it helps the elimination process. A common problem for people with colon issues is dehydration. Incorporating more liquids into the daily diet is key in achieving a cleaner colon, and smooth digestion. Watermelon helps to lubricate digested food and provides hydration to help break it down.
A watermelon fast is a wonderful and simple way to cleanse and detox the body. It is one of our favorite fasts at SHA. A fast is a great way to get started with a healthy eating plan as it resets your appetite, and eliminates cravings for unhealthy foods.
This super easy one means you get to enjoy a large bowl of freshly cut watermelon, nothing else, for 3-4 meals throughout the day. You can fast for one day or more if your health allows. You can also make a delicious juice from watermelon, including the rind. This part has a high concentration of minerals and makes balance with the sweetness of the flesh.
Whether you’re interested in doing a watermelon fast or not, watermelon is a great fruit to include in your daily diet during the summer to reap all the health benefits it provides.