The Top 5 Watermelon Benefits for Your Health 

watermelon benefits

Why Is Watermelon Good for You? Find Out for National Watermelon Day!

Watermelon benefits your health by fueling your body with exactly what it needs, especially if you’re out in high temperatures. Packed with sugar and nutrients, high water content, easily portable…what’s not to love? It’s one of those foods that seems too good to also be good for you, but actually watermelon benefits your health in many ways you may not expect. 

Not that this is news. In fact, for just about as long as human history has existed, watermelon has been with us, from ancient civilizations to your summer BBQ. No wonder the favorite summertime fruit now is celebrated with National Watermelon Day!

In honor of National Watermelon Day, let’s dive into the history and then dig into the surprising ways watermelon benefits your health.  

Watermelon Through the Ages

The watermelon is a fruit in the gourd family of plants, and depending on the variety, can weigh anywhere between 2.5 and 45 pounds. Originating in Africa, watermelon has been with us for at least 5,000 years. They even make an appearance in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs! Watermelon was prized for its high water content conveniently packaged in a rugged outer shell. For civilizations in hot, desert climates, the advantages of a pre-packaged, portable water source like the watermelon were clear. Clearly, our favorite summertime fruit has been humanity’s juice box since the time of ancient civilizations!

As civilizations began to intermingle on a larger scale, the watermelon conquered more and more regions on the map. By the 10th century, the watermelon was cultivated beyond Africa in Europe, India, and China, eventually making it to the Americas with European settlement in the 16th century. 

So what has made the watermelon so appealing throughout the ages? It likely has something to do with the many ways watermelon benefits your health.

Why Watermelon Is Good for You

Watermelon Benefit #1: Watermelon Keeps You Hydrated

Watermelon is a classic treat on hot summer days, and for good reason. Watermelon is 92% water, providing nutrient-packed hydration that can be extra helpful when you’re out in the summer heat. Hydration is key to staying healthy in general, but if you’ve been sweating and losing fluids, it matters even more. Replenishing lost fluids maintains electrolyte balance, keeping your organs functioning properly, and protects you from heatstroke.

Watermelon Benefit #2: Nutrients Galore 

Watermelon packs a ton of nutrients, providing 4% of the daily recommended potassium and magnesium intake per serving. That means you’re replenishing the electrolytes you’ve lost sweating outside, which keeps all of your body systems, from your brain to your organs, functioning properly. 

Watermelon‘s vitamin C and vitamin A content make watermelon great for your hair and skin, too. Vitamin C helps your body make collagen, a protein that strengthens your skin and hair. So not only does one serving of watermelon benefit you on the inside, but it will show on the outside too in the form of radiant skin and luscious locks.

Watermelon Benefit #3: Watermelon Helps With Weight Loss

At 46 calories per cup, watermelon is a perfect nutritious, fat-free, guilt-free snack. While high in water, watermelons contain only about 6% sugar, making watermelon a perfect treat when you have a sweet tooth but are watching your calories. And, because of its high water content, watermelon keeps you feeling full longer.

Watermelon Benefit #4: Protection Against Chronic Diseases

Watermelon is loaded with plant compounds like lycopene and cucurbitacin E, which may help fight cancer and may be beneficial with metabolic disease like diabetes. Like other antioxidants, lycopene protects you from oxidative stress, which contributes to many chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. 

Lycopene may also lower blood pressure and cholesterol, which is great for heart health. Joining it is an amino acid called citrulline. Amino acids are protein’s building blocks, used in many vital functions of the body. Watermelon’s citrulline content boosts nitric oxide levels, which also helps lower blood pressure by helping blood vessels expand.

Watermelon Benefit #5: Watermelon for Better Vision

While research is still in progress on this question, it is possible that lycopene can also help ward off age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is fairly common, and in the elderly it can even lead to blindness. Though research is still in progress, it looks like these watermelon benefits are related to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

 

For more health-related topics, tips, and recipes, make sure to follow along with our Hospitality Health ER blog. There you can read even more about staying safe this summer in “Summer First Aid Kit Tips” or dig deeper on the physical effects of dehydration in “How to Stay Hydrated in Triple-Degree Weather.” For giveaways, updates, and COVID-19 tips, like us on Facebook and Instagram

 

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