Sticky summer hands rinsed in trickling pools and sprinklers can mean only one thing: watermelon season has arrived! Not only are watermelon slices loaded with flavor and hydration, but they also offer your body bountiful health benefits that will see you skipping throughout the summer.
Native to South Africa, these beautifully dense globes of health have travelled the world, rising to popularity as the ultimate summer essential, both for enjoyment and as an investment in wellbeing.
Here are some of the intriguing kicks that you’ll get out of your next juicy indulgence:
- IT IMPROVES CIRCULATION
Watermelon flesh and rind contains a substance known as citrulline. Surprisingly, citrulline levels are highest in the rind, which encourages us not to just toss it aside, but rather to gnaw at it or blend it into a smoothie. When citrulline is digested and converted, it relaxes your blood vessels, which improves circulation, and reduces blood pressure.
- IT’S A NATURAL APHRODISIAC
When citrulline is digested, it converts to a substance known as L-arginine, which relaxes blood vessels- everywhere. This not only boosts libido, but also prevents and improves erectile dysfunction.
- IT IMPROVES YOUR EYESIGHT
Vitamin A is key for optimum eye health, and watermelon contains a decent dose of it through its rich source of beta-carotene. Each slice also contains lycopene and Vitamin C, offering therapeutic prevention of night blindness, macular degeneration and other age-related vision challenges.
It comes as no surprise that watermelon is made up of 92% water, which offers your body abundant hydration, preventing the retention of excess fluid. However, it’s the 8% of watermelon’s miraculous composition that really does the trick, containing low doses of sodium, and plenty of calcium, magnesium, potassium and other essential re-hydrating electrolytes, which rid the body of excess toxins and fluid.
- IT’S A NATURAL MOOD ELEVATOR
The bright color and fragrance alone can lift your mood, but more importantly, watermelon is an excellent source of B vitamins, which literally release ‘happy signals’ in your brain. The rich source of Vitamins B and C can significantly elevate your mood, stimulating the balance of hormones and making your feel great from the inside out.
- IT PREVENTS HEAT STROKE
Studies have revealed that when the outside temperature is above your core body temperature, it reduces your productivity by up to 75%! Watermelon not only offers the essential re-hydration needed on hot summer days, but also promotes cooling through the release of sweat, thereby preventing the dangerous effects of heat stroke.
- IT PROMOTES WEIGHT LOSS
Because watermelon is so dense in water and rich in nutrients, it helps you feel full without packing in the calories. 1 Cup of watermelon contains less than 50 calories and contains absolutely no fat or cholesterol. It also contains some dietary fiber, which offers you the feeling of total satiation, along with a clean, healthy and full tummy.
By drinking just one cup of watermelon juice pre-workout, your heart rate will be reduced, your blood vessels will be more relaxed and the uric acid and toxins in your body will be flushed out more easily. This means that your muscles will build up less lactic acid, as well as benefiting from the L-arganine essential amino acid power that watermelon contains.
- IT’S A POWERFUL ANTI-OXIDANT
Watermelon has the highest concentration of lycopene found in any fruit or vegetable; step aside tomato! Lycopene serves as a powerful anti-oxidant, which not only makes you look younger, but also protects you from developing degenerative diseases such as cancer, diabetes and stroke.
- IT KEEPS YOUR KIDNEYS HEALTHY
Watermelon eases strain on the kidneys while ridding your body of excess fluids by offering the necessary support to your liver while processing ammonia. It also promotes the flow of urine, being a natural diuretic that is far more soothing than stimulant like caffeine and alcohol. This helps rid your kidneys of toxins, keeping them healthy and hydrated, long term.