6 surprising health facts about watermelon you don’t know

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6 surprising health facts about watermelon you don’t know

(NaturalHealth365) There’s something about a cool slice of watermelon that’s a fixture of summertime. Watermelon harvest peaks in July, and it’s one of the most common offerings at backyard barbecues and parties through the warmer months.  Low in calories and packed with nutrients, it’s a snack or dessert that’s really good for you – as you’ll soon see.

Beyond its popularity as a go-to summer snack, watermelon also offers several health benefits.  So, grab yourself a slice, let the juice run down your chin, and discover a few surprising health facts, along the way.

Watermelon facts that prove it’s more than just a “tasty” treat

Fact #1: This delicious melon contains lycopene – which reduces stroke and cancer risk

While you’ve heard that tomatoes are one of the best sources of lycopene, watermelon contains more of this powerful carotenoid antioxidant. Lycopene offers a number of health benefits.

One study showed it reduced the risk of stroke by 55% in men.  Its powerful antioxidant properties also have been shown to protect against cancer, and it’s specifically been studied in reducing ovarian cancer in postmenopausal women.

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Fact #2: A great pre-workout drink to relieve soreness

If you always feel sore after working out, try juicing some watermelon and drinking it before your next workout. Watermelon juice contains l-citrulline, which is an amino acid that helps protect against muscle pain.

One study discovered that drinking watermelon juice before a workout had a significant impact on the amount of soreness experience 24 hours post-workout.

Fact #3: The rind and seeds offer health benefits, too

Are you spitting out the seeds and tossing the rind?  You’re missing out on some significant health benefits.

The rind contains chlorophyll, which offers health benefits, and it also provides more citrulline than the flesh of the watermelon. This amino acid is essential to heart health, a healthy immune system, and has been researched for its therapeutic value for many different conditions.

Fact #4: Watermelon is over 91% water

You probably knew that watermelon contains a lot of water, but it’s actually over 91% water. That’s why eating it on a hot summer day is a great way to prevent dehydration and stay hydrated, although you still need to get plenty of water.

Fact #5: Watermelon helps reduce blood pressure and improve heart health

Newer research highlights the role melon plays in heart health, specifically via lowering blood pressure.  Studies show that people who receive arginine and citrulline supplements from the extract of a melon have big improvement in blood pressure.

Fact #6: It offers an impressive variety of essential nutrients you may be lacking

Many Americans today are lacking vital nutrients like potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin B6 – all vitamins found in watermelon.  It’s also packed with magnesium, another nutrient that many people in the U.S. don’t get enough of in their diet.

Add more melon to your diet to receive BIG health rewards

While watermelon is at its peak, make sure you’re eating it often to enjoy all the health benefits it offers. Not sure how to pick out a good watermelon?  Look for one that has a buttery-yellow spot on the bottom – it’s a great indication of ripeness.

Watermelons should also be heavy for their size and have a smooth rind.

It’s super easy to slice up a watermelon and enjoy it by the slice, but you can use it in many other ways.  For example, try juicing it or adding it to smoothies.

You can also toss some cubes of watermelon into your favorite fruit salad.  No matter how you slice it (pun intended) – you can’t go wrong.  Enjoy!

Sources for this article include:

Herbalgram.org
ABCNews.com
Neurology.org
NIH.gov
NIH.gov
NIH.gov