(Natural News) Watermelon is a popular summer fruit because it’s sweet, juicy and refreshing. This amazing superfruit is also rich in vitamins and minerals. In fact, watermelon can offer many health benefits, such as promoting heart, skin and hair health.
Watermelon is a nutrient-rich fruit
Watermelon is a low-calorie fruit. A one-cup serving of watermelon (154 grams) only has 46 calories, which is lower than low-sugar fruits like berries.
One cup of watermelon also contains the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin A –18 percent of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Vitamins B1, B5 and B6 – Three percent of the RDI
- Vitamin C – 21 percent of the RDI
- Magnesium– Four percent of the RDI
- Potassium – Five percent of the RDI
Additionally, watermelon is full of the following antioxidants:
- Carotenoids – Carotenoids are plant compounds that include alpha-carotene and beta-carotene. Your body converts these compounds into vitamin A.
- Cucurbitacin E – Cucurbitacin E is a plant compound that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Studies also suggest that cucurbitacin E can help inhibit tumor growth.
- Vitamin C – As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps protect your cells from free radical damage.
- Lycopene – Lycopene is a type of carotenoid that doesn’t change into vitamin A. It is responsible for the bright red color of tomatoes, and studies have found that it offers health benefits like helping improve your eyesight, making your bones stronger and promoting brain health.
Watermelon can boost your cardiovascular health
Watermelon contains many nutrients that can improve your heart health.
In a study from the EXCLI Journal, researchers found that lycopene can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Additionally, the carotenoid may help prevent oxidative damage to cholesterol. (Related: Watermelon juice: A refreshing way to boost heart health and improve blood flow.)
Aside from lycopene, watermelon contains citrulline, an amino acid that is said to boost nitric oxide levels in your body. Nitric oxide helps the blood vessels expand, and this, in turn, helps lower your blood pressure.
Watermelon can boost your skin and hair health
Watermelon is rich in two vitamins that keep your skin and hair healthy: Vitamins A and C.
Vitamin C helps your body produce collagen, the protein that keeps skin supple and hair strong. Additionally, watermelon contains vitamin A that has a role in creating and repairing skin cells.
Not getting enough vitamin A can cause dry and flaky skin. The juicy superfruit may also help protect you from sunburns thanks to beta-carotene and lycopene.
Watermelon can help you stay hydrated
Drinking enough water helps you hydrate, but you can also do this by consuming foods with a high water content, like watermelon.
Watermelon is 92 percent water and consuming fruits and vegetables with a high water content can also make you feel full. Consuming watermelon, a fruit rich in water and fiber, can promote weight loss as it’s low in calories yet very filling.
Watermelon can help boost digestive health
The fiber and water content of watermelon are both crucial for your digestive health. Fiber helps provide bulk for your stool and water helps your digestive tract move efficiently.
Consuming fruits and vegetables rich in fiber and water can help promote normal bowel movements.
Watermelon sorbet recipe
If you’re craving a sweet treat, try making some watermelon sorbet.
Ingredients for 4 servings:
- 3 1/2 cups fresh seedless watermelon chunks (1/2 of a medium watermelon)
- 1/4 cup warm water, as needed
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- Raw honey (optional), to taste
- Freeze the watermelon chunks overnight.
- Place the frozen watermelon chunks in a food processor or heavy-duty blender. Add the lime juice, the let the ingredients sit for five minutes until they slightly thaw.
- Blend the ingredients until smooth. Add some warm water then press down with a spatula to make the mixture smoother.
- Serve immediately for a soft sorbet. You can also store the sorbet in a freezer-safe container and freeze for three to four hours if you want a firm sorbet.
Enjoy a slice of fresh watermelon to cool down on a hot day or serve watermelon sorbet for a sweet, nutritious treat.