Each year, the average American consumes about 17 pounds of watermelon. It’s delicious, incredibly sweet and refreshing, but it’s more than a substitute for dessert. Watermelon is packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients that can help your body.
Let’s take a closer look at the five amazing health benefits of eating watermelon. If you’re planning a barbecue or picnic in the coming weeks, make sure to share the following facts with your friends and family.
1.) Watermelon keeps you hydrated. This is probably the most obvious fact, but it’s still interesting. The average watermelon is 92% H2O. When you’re properly hydrated, it’s easier to maintain body temperature, your joints remain lubricated and your internal organs function as they should. Even better? Water fills you up quickly. When you eat a filling snack like watermelon, you’re less likely to consume more than your allowance of daily calories.
2.) Watermelon contains cancer-fighting properties. Certain compounds within the watermelon, including lycopene and cucurbitacin E, may have anti-cancer effects. Research suggests that people who consume watermelon regularly are also less likely to experience certain types of cancer, especially those that affect the digestive tract. When cancer does occur, research suggests cucurbitacin E keeps tumors at a more manageable size.
3.) It lowers inflammation and oxidative stress. Inflammation occurs when your immune system encounters an irritant, like bacteria, a virus or fungi. Inflammation is a perfectly normal response, but it significantly increases the risk of chronic diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. Watermelon is packed with antioxidants like vitamin C and lycopene. One study, conducted in 2015, fed rats watermelon to supplement a poor diet. The rats that ate the watermelon experienced lower levels of inflammation and improved quality of life.
4.) It can help you recover after a workout. Feeling sore or stiff after an intense workout? Grab a slice of watermelon! One of the amino acids found in watermelon, citrulline, helps relieve muscle tightness and inflammation. Perhaps even more interesting, is that watermelon juice helps your body absorb citrulline. There’s even some evidence to suggest it can enhance your endurance and speed up recovery times.
5.) Watermelon contains lots of fiber. Fiber is a critical component of healthy digestion. When you eat foods that are high in fiber, your stool becomes bulkier, softer and easier to pass. Regular bowel movements keep your digestive tract healthy and can even alert you to illnesses or other underlying health problems.