While dieticians have long known the value of watermelon nutrition, the public is just now finding out how healthy a watermelon really is. For instance, a cup of watermelon has vitamin A for healthy eyes, vitamin C to help strengthen your immune system, vitamin B6 which helps the brain to make chemicals for psychological health, and potassium, which every cell in the body needs for water balance.
Anti-oxidants are among the newest discoveries known to benefit human health. In addition to vitamins C and A, watermelon nutrition also consists of a very powerful carotenoid anti-oxidant called lycopene. Lycopene helps to neutralize free radicals which can cause cell damage. One of the benefits of this neutralization is that it reduces the body’s ability to oxide cholesterol. That means there is less cholesterol sticking to blood vessel walls--this prevents heart attacks and strokes. Other positive benefits of this anti-oxidant include reduction of the severity of asthma attacks and decreasing the inflammation that can cause rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
While many people know that tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene, the discovery of a high amount of lycopene in watermelon has not been as well publicized. Lycopene has been studied not only on animals but it has gone through consider human testing as well These studies have shown that this anti-oxidant protects us from prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, endometrial cancer and colorectal cancer.
Watermelon nutrition also consists of B vitamins that give us energy. Watermelon is a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of vitamin B1 as well as many other vitamins and minerals. A watermelon delivers more nutrients per calorie to the body than any other fruit. In addition, consuming watermelon as one of your three daily servings of fruit can lower your risk of such eye diseases as macular degeneration.
A watermelon is low in calories as well as in fat (including saturated fat) and cholesterol. Eating watermelon increases a person’s amino acids, specifically arginine and citrulline. These amino acids are vital for maintaining blood flow and artery health, both of which are important to good cardiovascular health.
Other conditions and diseases that are aided by watermelon consumption include kidney and bladder problems, constipation, fluid retention, and skin problems such as itchiness and blemishes. Other forms of watermelon, such as juice or dried watermelon seeds are also a good source of anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals. They have more sugar though than raw watermelon so be careful if you are trying to cut down on sugar consumption.
Most people eat watermelon as a summer treat, but watermelon is actually available year round. Now that the many positive health benefits of watermelon are being explored, it might be a good time to make watermelon an everyday part of your diet.