- Despite popular belief that watermelon is made up of only water and sugar, watermelon is actually considered a nutrient dense food, a food that provides a high amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for a low amount of calories.
- Watermelons have become synonymous with summer and picnics, and for good reason. Their refreshing quality and sweet taste help to combat the heat and also provide a guilt-free, low maintenance dessert for kids and adults alike to enjoy.
- So here are some benefits of watermelons:
- 1 Watermelon and Kidney Disorders
Contrary to what the name may imply, there is more to watermelon than just water. In fact, watermelons actually have a very abundant supply of both calcium and potassium, each of which contributes to helping flush out the toxins in the body’s kidneys .
Even better, the calcium provided by watermelon is important for regulating cell functions, maintaining cell structure, and benefitting the cell differentiation process.
Extra calcium also aids in reducing the concentration of uric acid in the blood. Too much uric acid can cause hyperuricemia, which will make you very sick.
By decreasing any extra amounts of this acid, the calcium and potassium in watermelon help to reduce the chances of kidney diseases. Although these two compounds are very important, we can’t forget about water, the namesake of this beneficial fruit. Watermelon’s high water content induces frequent urination, which, once again, is always helpful in cleansing the kidneys and keeping them functioning properly.
Just as drinking several glasses of water is beneficial, watermelon will provide you with an ample amount of hydration while also adding a sweet taste and delicious texture.
2. Watermelon and Asthma Prevention
Asthma affects nearly 9% of children and almost 7% of adults. Of this figure, about 70%–90% of people with asthma also suffer from something known as exercised-induced asthma, where any type of physical exertion leads to asthma-like symptoms. When we breathe normally, our nose clears, warms, and moistens the air around us.
On the other hand, during physical exercise, we end up breathing harder, faster, and deeper through our mouths, so the air that enters our lungs is colder and drier than usual. In people with asthma, the bronchi are highly sensitive to such dry air and might swell up as a result, leading to being unable to breathe fully—an asthma attack.
People without asthma, however, do not have bronchi in their lungs that are as sensitive and therefore do not overreact when coming in contact with cold, dry air. Studies have found that there may be a link between the consumption of certain nutrients and a person’s risk for asthma.
One of the nutrients in question is ascorbic acid, or vitamin C.
Many tests have been conducted to determine if vitamin C helps protect the hyperactive airways of people with exercise-induced asthma. Results are varied, so no conclusive evidence can be determined.
Although research has not found a statistically significant answer, numerous patients in such studies benefit from vitamin C treatment therapy, suggesting that although we have not found an answer yet, vitamin C might help treat or prevent asthma.
3. Watermelon and Digestion
Some factors can cause constipation, including medication, lack of fiber intake, poor diet, and illness, but the number one cause is usually inadequate fluid consumption. Drinking plenty of water every day can eliminate this unfortunate and uncomfortable problem.One of the most common gastrointestinal problems is constipation, which is characterized by a slow gastrointestinal transit, a hard stool, and difficulty in passing stool.
Fluids in the diet are usually absorbed by the proximal small intestine, but when not enough fluids can be absorbed, such problems as constipation and other gastrointestinal issues can occur. Because watermelon has both a rich water and fiber content, this juicy fruit easily helps promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.
Although we emphasize that there is more to watermelon than just water, the water content of this fruit is nonetheless important. Instead of simply drinking the recommended nine to thirteen glasses of water per day, you can treat yourself to a healthy snack of sliced watermelon while also promoting your digestive health.
4. Watermelon and Skincare
We all turn to vitamin C when we feel that sore throat coming on or when we notice a slight cold developing, but vitamin C actually helps with much more than just preventing sickness.
Vitamins C and E are the most important natural antioxidants for antiaging benefits because their small molecular weights allow them to penetrate the skin and induce the production of collagen, which is vital for keeping your skin smooth and healthy.
This promotion of collagen production also helps protect the skin from sun damage—chronic photodamage from too much exposure to UV rays of the sun manifests itself as extrinsic skin aging and wrinkles.
Research aimed at preventing photoaging includes sun avoidance, sun protection, and therapy that promotes collagen production.
Fortunately, vitamin C does just that! Because vitamin C is not synthesized by the body, it is important to add the adequate amount of this vitamin into your daily diet.
Citrus fruits, guava, chili peppers, and watermelon are all hearty sources of vitamin C.
As they say, beauty truly does start from within, which means that protecting your skin begins with what you put into your body.
5. Watermelon and Erectile Dysfunction
Aased on these same estimates, it was concluded that the prevalence of this condition could double over the next twenty-five years, suggesting the importance of finding a cure for impotence.A recent study estimated that nearly 1 in 52 men worldwide experience some degree of impotence.
Fortunately, doctors and researchers have been studying the problem and seem to finally understand the underlying biology.
After much research and false claims over the past fifty years, doctors now know that it is the relaxation, not the stimulation of the smooth cavernous veins in the penis that cause an erection.
This parasympathetic and non-cholinergic mediated process requires nitric oxide, which is synthesized from L-arginine by NO-synthase (18).
Since L-arginine is the precursor to nitric oxide and arginine is readily found in watermelon, we would want both together.
Several studies have tested this theory about watermelon and its arginine content.
One study tested forty men with impotence and treated them with L-arginine, a placebo, or a dual-therapy of L-arginine and pycnogenol.
Researchers found that the L-arginine did indeed improve sexual functioning but was even more beneficial when paired with the other drug.
6. Watermelon and Hair Growth
Male pattern baldness is a landmark in time that no man wants to pass.
On the other hand, just as unwanted is the thinning of hair in women as they age.
The effect of hair loss is not just a superficial physical effect, but it has also been documented that is takes an emotional toll on the patient as well.
The mammalian hair follicle contains papilla and dermal sheath cells and undergoes a cycle of growth as the follicle ages.
Certain growth factors are believed to cause the epithelial cells in the hair follicle tissues to proliferate and differentiate, leading to thicker and more abundant hair.
Since a derivative of vitamin C, l-Ascorbic acid 2-phosphate, is known to stimulate human fibroblasts and osteoblasts, researchers have suggested that such a supplement may be useful for hair growth.
Indeed, when hair follicles were isolated and treated with this compound, scientists saw significant growth stimulation in dermal papilla cells as well as an elongation of the hair shaft.
Such findings may suggest that vitamin C promotes the growth of hair follicles, which is one more reason why vitamin C-rich watermelon should be an essential part of everyone’s diet.
7. Watermelon and Weight Loss
Because watermelon is composed of so much water, it is by no means unusual to hear that eating watermelon may help to reduce fat or lose weight.
This property of the fruit, however, may be attributed to more than just its high water content.
The high levels of citrulline in watermelon mean that when our body processes this amino acid it can convert it into another amino acid called arginine.
Recently, several studies have been finding evidence that the more conversion there is from citrulline to arginine, the more the amino acids block the activity of an enzyme called tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase, TNAP.
Interestingly, blocking the metabolic activities of this enzyme may help to prevent excess accumulation of fat in fat cells.
The reason this occurs is thought to begin with arginine’s function in the body.
Researchers have found that arginine stimulates lipolysis and the expression of several genes responsible for fatty acid oxidation
The more fatty acids that are oxidized into carbon dioxide and water, the more your body also reduces your amount of stored body fat.
Although more research must be done in this area to specifically prove arginine’s role in helping reduce body fat, it certainly cannot hurt to make sure you have enough arginine and watermelon in your daily diet!
8. Watermelon and Wound Healing
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is involved in all phases of human wound healing.
The recommended daily amount of vitamin C is around 60 mg, but many researchers are beginning to find that supplements of this nutrient that are far above the recommended daily amount may actually have a beneficial role in speeding up would healing.
When tests were conducted by giving patients anywhere from 500 to 3,00 mg of vitamin C to subjects recovering from surgery, with an illness, other injuries, and ulcers, doctors found that the wound healing in subjects who were vitamin C deficient could be significantly accelerated with ascorbic acid supplements.
The reasoning behind this lies in the process of wound healing.
During the initial inflammatory phase, neutrophils are clustered in the injured area, and then they are required to self-destruct and clear from the area as the wound heals.
To do so, vitamin C is required so that the neutrophils can perform apoptosis.
During the proliferative phase, vitamin C is needed to help with the synthesis, maturation, and degradation of collagen as well as scar formation.
Finally, completely after the wounding, plasma levels of ascorbic acid decrease dramatically, so we must replenish the supply of this nutrient to continue and even speed up the healing process.
Because watermelon is so rich in vitamin C, it is a perfect candidate if you want more vitamin C.
9. Watermelon and Immune Support
Many of our mothers probably instilled in us the urge to drink a glass of orange juice when we start to feel a cold coming on, and they were right.
Many citrus fruits, such as oranges, contain an abundance of vitamin C, which helps fight off those common colds.
Less well known is that watermelons also contain a hearty amount of vitamin C. When we get an infection, illness, or are under a lot of stress, the vitamin C concentrations in our plasma and leukocytes rapidly decline.
Therefore, our bodies our lacking in a vitamin that we greatly need when we are sick, so supplementing vitamin C when you are sick or beginning to get an illness has had much success in improving the human immune system.
It helps your immune system by improving antimicrobial and natural killer cell activities as well as lymphocyte proliferation, which is the type of blood cells that are called for during infections and illnesses.
Research has also proven that adequate daily intake of vitamin C ameliorates symptoms and shortens the duration of infections, such as the common cold.
Watermelon is an additional fruit that provides rich helpings of vitamin C to help strengthen our immune system.
10. Watermelon and Bones HHealth
Many people always think of “milk” or “calcium” when we hear about improving our bone health.
Along with improving our cardiovascular health, lycopene has also been found to improve our bone health and prevent unnecessary bone loss as we age.
Lycopene is exactly what it is categorized as an anti-oxidant. It reduces oxidative stress caused by free radicals, which in turn reduces the activity of osteoblasts and osteoclasts. These nasty bone cell categories are the ones that are usually involved in the onset and pathogenesis of osteoporosis.
Additionally, one study discovered that another way lycopene exerts its protective effect on our body and our bones is by suppressing bone resorption, which significantly inhibits bone loss.
Luckily, watermelons are packed with both lycopene and a bit of calcium as well, which makes for a superfood that your bones will love!
Author: Akwesi Osei
An avid reader and writer who has written articles for HypeNationGh, LoudsoundGh and akwesiosei.wordpress.com.
Currently the blogger and owner of The Health Bro