Why you should eat lots of watermelons

vandmelon.JPG

I almost can’t be bothered. I’m leaning in over a big box of watermelons at the local supermarket, thinking that it's not for a fragile older lady's body to drag this 4-6 kilo fruit ball home to a fourth floor appartment with no lift. Nevertheless, moved by later sinking my teeth into its hopefully sweet and juicy meat, and to nourish my body and my mind with its distinctive beneficial lycopene, citrulline and vitamins, I dare the trouble.

I've come across how to avoid choosing a dry one that tastes of over diluted juice, as I want to indulge lots of this delicious low-calorie fruit this in summer that's brilliant at hydrating body and skin, it helps improve the body's heat tolerance, it has powerful antioxidant properties, plus it is a good source of vitamins and minerals that can help fight inflammation.

In addition, watermelon is very beneficial if you:

  • Want to strengthen your skin.
  • Want to relieve muscle pain after exercise.
  • Suffer in the summer heat.
  • Want to improve heart health.
  • Considering some viagra-like stuff

Find out how to pick the perfect watermelon at the bottom of this post.

This post contains affiliate links. You can read about my affiliate policy here.

The three special nutrients in Watermelon's

Watermelons are particularly rich in three very beneficial substances, namely lycopene, citrulline and nitric oxide.

1. Lycopene

Watermelon is a very rich and stable source of lycopene, with up to of 4,5 mg per 100 g - the redder the melon the more lycopene.

Lycopene is a powerful carotenoid antioxidant that gives fruits and vegetables there pink or red colour (like tomatoes, watermelons, guava, grapefruit etc.). It's most often associated with tomatoes, but watermelon is actually a more concentrated source.

Lycopene's antioxidant activity has long been suggested to be more powerful than that of other carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, and many studies prove that lycopene is helpful in strengthening the cardiovascular system, preventing certain cancers, and in protecting the skin against UV radiation - which at the same time makes it a powerful tool for keeping the skin young and juicy.

More PROPERTIES OF lycopene:

  • A powerful antioxidant.
  • Increases the levels of pro-collagen, a molecule, which gives, skin its structure, and loss of which leads to skin ageing and lack of elasticity.
  • Protects against sunburn in the form of less redness caused by UVB radiation.
  • Protects against cell damage and improves the cell communication, energy and work.
  • Appears to up regulate the production of the body’s protective enzymes at the antioxidant response element of the DNA.
  • Prevents cancers like, prostate, colon, cervix, lung and breast.
  • Can slow the growth of tumours in particular when combined with alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E).
  • Protects against cardiovascular disease.
  • Some tests with birds have shown that lycopene can diminish heat stress-related responses in the body.                     

As Lycopene is fat-soluble and prefers to cooperate with vitamin E, have some vitamin E-rich olive oil with your watermelon for best uptake.

2. Citrulline

Watermelon is one of the richest sources of L-citrulline, and the white part of the rind, which is edible too, contains more citrulline than the pink flesh. Some citrulline is stored in the liver, where it together with other amino acids helps to detoxify the body.

L-citrulline is an amino acid and antioxidant, which in the kidneys is also converted into another amino acid called L-arginine. L-arginine plays a key role in cell division, wound healing and removal of ammonia from the body.

3. Nitric Oxide

L-arginine is also a precursor to nitric oxide, which causes blood vessels to open, helps them relax and work better, thus improving blood flow. This can be useful for treating or preventing many diseases as well as sexual issues. Nitric oxides also stimulate the release of growth hormone, insulin and other substances in the body.

Nitric oxide not only increases blood circulation, it's also an über-neurotransmitter that balance the levels of all other neuro-transmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, and endorphin - which are neurotransmitters that have a major influence on our mood and motivation - note that the role of antidepressants such as Prozac is to increase serotonin.

5 more good reasons to sink your teeth into watermelons more often

1. The skin

I’ve noticed that several major cosmetics brands such as Estee Lauder use watermelon extract in their anti-age products.

They do that, among other reasons, because watermelons contain large amounts of lycopene and citrulline and is rich in vitamins A, B6 and C, as well as good carbohydrates –  which is one super cocktail extremely good for keeping your skin moist, firm and helpful for wound healing and skin re-growth.

Additionally, watermelon provides manganese, which has been shown to benefit the health and appearance of your skin by contributing to the production of collagen, an important structural component in skin’s elasticity. Manganese also acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, reducing swelling and infection in the skin.

2. Watermelon for training

The watermelon’s supply of the amino acid l-citrulline is effective at reducing muscle soreness. One study showed that after 24 hours of supplementing with watermelon juice, athletes (men) experienced improved heart rates that were more beneficial for muscle recovery in addition to less overall soreness and muscle aches.

Furthermore. The benefits of watermelon include providing vitamin C, which has been shown to protect cartilage and bones, are used in repairing tendons and ligaments, and help speed wound healing and scar tissue.

3. Anti-inflammatory and pain killer

Watermelons contains the anti-inflammatory antioxidant lycopene as well as cucurbitacin E, which reduces the activity of the pain and inflammation-causing enzyme cyclooxygenase – the same enzyme blocker used in painkillers like aspirin and ibuprofen.

4. Sex and Watermelons

Watermelon is also nicknamed "Nature's Viagra" because of its high content of L-citrulline, which, as mentioned above, is converted into arginine and nitric oxide. Nitric oxides ability to help relax the blood vessels can deliver more blood to areas like the genitals. More blood in those areas makes penis harder and vagina moister. In fact, citrulline supplementation has been found to improve erection hardness in men with mild erectile dysfunction (as you call it...).

5. Other good nutrients

While being very low in calories (about 46 calories in a cup), watermelon also contains an impressive variety of other important nutrients in which many people are lacking.

A cup (154 grams) of watermelon has many other nutrients as well, including these vitamins and minerals: 

  • Vitamin C: 21% of the RDI.
  • Vitamin A: 18% of the RDI.
  • Potassium: 5% of the RDI.
  • Magnesium: 4% of the RDI.
  • Vitamins B1, B5 and B6: 3% of the RDI.

Tips

  • To get as much citrullin out of your watermelon and in to your body as possible. Eat some of the white part of the rind too – you can add it to your smoothies and juices.
  • Drink fresh made watermelon juice. Watermelons is approx. 92% nutritional water - so one whole watermelon provides a lot of juice. But it tastes so delicious and it’s a great health elixir for mind, body and skin.
  • Have a teaspoon of olive oil with your watermelon for optimum nutrient uptake.
  • Eat watermelon on a fairly empty stomach and wait about half an hour before you eat again to avoid gas...

how to pick the perfect watermelon

Sources:

  • The Wisdom of Menopause af Christiane Northrup  (2012) 327-329
  • https://www.truthinaging.com/ingredients/citrulline
  • http://helsenyt.com/frame.cfm/cms/id=7830/sprog=1/grp=8/menu=3/
  • http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/l-citrulline-uses-and-risks#1
  • http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/07/21/watermelon-nutrition.aspx
  • https://draxe.com/benefits-of-watermelon/
  • http://www.livestrong.com/article/491796-benefits-of-l-arginine-and-l-citrulline/
  • http://sund-forskning.dk/artikler/c-vitamin-0/
  • http://maddata.dk/ernaering-i/vandmelon-ra/475
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16029672
  • http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/watermelon#section5

Disclaimer

BodyHanne Robinson