Big, sloppy slices of watermelon served at a picnic table are the quintessential Summer snack. Sweet enough to be dessert but, as several studies show, good for our health as well. (And only 84 calories per wedge!)
1. Soothes Sore Muscles.
According to studies, drinking watermelon juice before a hard workout helps reduce your heart rate and next-day muscle soreness. That’s because watermelon is rich in an amino acid called L-citrulline, which the body converts to L-arginine, an essential amino acid that helps relax blood vessels and improve circulation.
2. Helps Heart Health.
Studies show postmenopausal women experienced improved cardiovascular health after six weeks of taking commercially available watermelon extract supplements containing citrulline and arginine. Such supplements are also known to help alleviate high blood pressure in obese, middle-aged adults
3. Natural Viagra.
Improved circulation can benefit more than just the heart, as one research pointed out. But you’d probably have to eat an awful lot to achieve the desired effect. Eating too much could cause unfortunate side effects since watermelon is known to be a natural diuretic.
4. Rich in Vitamins and Minerals, Low in Calories.
Given its name, you might assume the fruit has little nutritional value and it is more than 90 percent water. But a 280gm wedge of watermelon packs in about one-third of the recommended daily value of vitamins A and C, as well as a modest amount of potassium (9 percent of the daily value).
5. Combat Cancer.
Watermelon is among the best dietary sources of lycopene, an antioxidant linked to both the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer, although scientists are still investigating the details of that connection.