With watermelon season nearly upon us, it’s time to acknowledge and share the numerous benefits of this incredible fruit. Known as ‘Citrullus lanatus’ from the Cucurbitaceae family and originating in the southern parts of Africa, over time, people have debated whether it is actually a fruit or vegetable. Well, however you choose to classify it, we can all enjoy consuming it and being creative in getting our daily dose of delectable summery goodness, read on for our Top 5 Health Benefits of Watermelon!
1. Excellent source of vitamins and minerals
A cup of watermelon only contains approximately 46 calories but contains a high amount of vitamins A, B6 and C. The antioxidant vitamin C helps your immune system fight off infections and also aids in reducing the signs and conditions of aging, such as cataracts. Vitamin A boosts eye health, as well as being required for healthy skin and hair, while vitamin B6 helps with the formation of red blood cells.
Staying true to its name, it contains 92% water and studies have shown that it could even be more hydrating than good old H2O itself! Eating watermelon is a sweet, tasty way to take in important electrolytes and stay hydrated.
3. Post-workout snack
We know it will help with rehydration and electrolyte replacement but did you know it also serves to replenish depleted glycogen stores, which refuels tired muscles? Studies have also shown that the amino acids in watermelon can help alleviate muscle soreness. So next time you’re heading out for your workout, pack some pink chunks or quickly whizz up a homemade watermelon drink for some serious post-exercise nutrition!
4. Helps the heart
Lycopene is the powerful antioxidant responsible for the pinky/red colour in watermelon and it’s also important for maintaining a healthy heart. The red-pink fleshed variety contain more lycopene than the less common yellow-white flesh ones. They also contain citrulline, an amino acid that strengthens the heart and circulatory system as well as lowering blood pressure. Now before you go and throw its rind away, take note that citrulline is more present in the rind than in the actual flesh, so throw the white and green bits in a blender as well, add some lime, some ice and sip away!
5. Great for skin and hair
The numerous vitamins, minerals and high water content contained in this melon all play their part in hydrating the skin and promoting healthy hair growth, but who said it was only for consumption? There are many different ways you can physically apply watermelon to the skin and the hair. Watermelon face masks keep the skin hydrated and moisturised, dip a cotton bud in some watermelon juice and apply it to oily parts of the face and acne-prone areas, or put your hair in a melon hair mask to help prevent hair breakage.
Get creative with this fruit and add chunks or wedges to salads, smoothies or enjoy it frozen. Cosmetically lather your hair and face with it. As with any food, watermelon should be enjoyed in moderation but it’s so much more enjoyable knowing the amazing health-giving powers it possesses. How do you use it, got a recipe? Tell us below or @ Keep fit Kingdom !