Hands down our favorite summer fruit is watermelon. Sources say that the sweet juicy fruit with enormous health benefits originated in South Africa, where it is found growing wild. In the 19th century, a man by the name of Alphonse de Candolle considered the watermelon to be indigenous to tropical Africa.
It’s disheartening to hear about so many African Americans refusing to eat watermelon on account of racist stereotypes. Check out the article African Americans and the Watermelon Stereotype written a few years back on Huffingtonpost.
And then read below the long list of reasons why we should eat watermelon. Happy “National Watermelon Day.”
Health Benefits of Eating Watermelon
Watermelon is very cleansing, alkalizing, diuretic and mineralizing. It is very effective in promoting intestinal elimination and keeping the body free from toxic wastes.The juice is easily digested and provides loads of vitamins and minerals. Drawing from the rich antioxidant and beta-carotene, the health benefits of watermelon are immense.
Alkalizing: The key to fighting and preventing diseases is to create an alkaline environment in your body. Watermelons are rich in nutrients that are alkaline-forming in the body, neutralizing the toxic condition of the body resulting from excessive intake of acid-forming foods.
Anti-Inflammatory: Recent studies have discovered that watermelons have 1.5x the lycopene content of tomato when compared in the same volume. Lycopene is a super antioxidant that is anti-inflammatory that help prevent inflammation that can lead to cancer.
Asthma: The powerful antioxidant in watermelon reduces toxic matters in the body, that in turn reduces asthma attacks.
Prevents Heat Stroke: Watermelon is effective in reducing both your body temperature and blood pressure. Many people in tropical regions eat this fruit every day in the afternoon during the summer to protect themselves from heat stroke. In India, you will find the fruit being sold by vendors in almost every street during the summer season. The high amount of water contained in watermelon also stimulates a release of excess liquid in the form of sweat, which cools your body further during hot summer days.
Prevents Cancer: Watermelons have been in the public eye more and more in recent years, primarily because of their impressive level of lycopene, a carotenoid phytonutrient compound that is increasingly being linked to cancer prevention. As the years go by and the studies continue to bring in consistent results, lycopene has been shown to significantly reduce the risks of prostate, breast, colon, lung, and endometrial cancer. All in all, between the antioxidant potential of vitamin C and the impact of lycopene, watermelon is a great anti-cancer fruit!
Diabetes: Diabetic patients, who are supposed to have a low energy and low sugar diet, often complain about starving since they don’t get to eat their staple diets, which gives them the feeling of being half fed. Watermelons can be a good supplement for them. In spite of being sweet in taste, a thick wedge will give you very few calories, since ninety nine percent of its total weight is composed of water and roughage. Moreover, the various vitamins and minerals such as potassium and magnesium help in proper functioning of insulin in the body, thus lowering the blood sugar level. Arginine, another component found in watermelons, is very effective at enhancing the impact of insulin on blood sugar. Diabetic patients can also have curries, steaks, and salads made from water melon rinds, which are even lower in sugar.
Arthritis: The rich beta-carotene and vitamin C content in this big fruit do wonders in quenching inflammation that contributes to conditions like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
Bladder problems: Its cleansing and natural diuretic effect is totally healing for kidney and bladder problems. Drinking juice of watermelon rind may also help to break down kidney stones for elimination.
Prevent Macular Degeneration: Found in several parts of the eye, lycopene helps protect against oxidative damage and inflammation. It may also help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This is a common eye problem that can cause blindness in older adults. Lycopene’s role as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound may help prevent AMD from developing and getting worse.
Constipation: Drink a big jumbo glass of watermelon juice to relieve constipation. It is very effective in aiding the elimination of wastes.
Electrolytes: Watermelon juice is rich in various minerals and provide electrolytes to replenish electrolytes lost after a good workout. At the same time, it also helps reduce muscle soreness and healing of muscle cramps.
Eye health: Watermelons contain high levels of beta-carotene that is converted in your body into vitamin A. This nutrient protects the eyes from age-related macular degeneration and night blindness.
Fluid retention: Its diuretic action helps to eliminate excess fluids from the body, reducing water retention, especially for women during their monthly menstruation cycle and in pregnant women.
Itchiness: As watermelon juice cleanses the body of toxic wastes, it also greatly reduces itchiness that result from toxicity of acidosis.
Prostate Cancer: Lycopene (from red watermelons) has been extensively researched for its anti-oxidant and cancer-preventing properties. It is reported to be especially protective against prostate cancer.
Skin Blemish: Use watermelon externally by applying a small piece liberally on your face. Leave for ten minutes, then wash off with warm water, followed by a splash of cold water.