By: Alexandra Tringali
There’s nothing better in the summer than a fresh, juicy watermelon; it makes for a great picnic snack or post-barbeque dessert. In addition to being incredibly refreshing and delicious, the watermelon is full of nutrients that benefit your whole body, like your immune system, brain, and heart. Whether you prefer red or yellow, seedless or not, the benefits of watermelons – sometimes called the pin – are countless! Check out these top five healthy benefits below, so you’ll have yet another reason to eat this fruit all season long!
1. Helps You Keep a Healthy Heart
Watermelon is full of lycopene, a nutrient that not only gives fruit such as tomatoes its bright red color, but also keeps the heart strong, and all heart functions up to speed, while acting against free radicals. (Free radicals are atoms that are not paired with an electron, and therefore are highly reactive. They interfere with cellular components involved with DNA and the cell membrane. When free radicals interact with cells, the cells could die.) Watermelon also has lots of potassium, which reduces the risk of heart attacks and bad cholesterol, improves blood circulation, and even regulates heart rate.
2. Strengthens Joints & Bones
Lycopene and potassium not only helps with heart function, but also with bone health as well. The lycopene and potassi- um found in watermelon decrease the risk of osteoporosis, while the potassium also helps the calcium aiding in the health of joints and bones.
3. Keeps the Immune System Sharp
Watermelon, like many other fruits, contains a lot of vitamin C, which not only wards off less common diseases like scur- vy, but also strengthens the immune system and helps your body’s healing processes.
4. Watermelon for Weight Loss
Watermelon is 90% water, and therefore extremely low in calories. It’s a healthier option for a snack than your go-to bag of chips, and makes for a much better dessert option than your banana split. Watermelon also contains citrulline, an organic compound that is converted to the amino acid arginine by our bodies. This amino acid aids in the burning of fat.
5. Naturally Reduces Inflammation
As briefly mentioned above, watermelon helps your body’s healing processes, which makes watermelon a natural anti-in- flammatory. The large number of flavonoids, carotenoids (including lycopene!), and triterpenoids are molecules that aid in reducing inflammation throughout your body.