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Wellness Wednesday: Watermelon For The Win!

Watermelon slice on a table

Wellness Wednesday: Watermelon For The Win!

Few things taste as sweet as a thick slice of watermelon when it’s hot outside. It’s the perfect summer treat: sweet, light, and refreshing. If you’re wondering if this green and red marvel is a healthy snack, read on as we look at the watermelon’s nourishing health benefits.

Excellent Source of Hydration

Watermelon is by no means a substitute for drinking plenty of water every day but it can help you stay hydrated. Watermelon has a high water content, comprising 92% water. If you’re looking for a tasty alternative to soda or fruit punch that packs a healthy and hydrating punch, a tall glass of watermelon agua fresca will hit the spot nicely.

Packed with Vitamins & Nutrients

Watermelons aren’t just full of seeds and ripe red flesh—they’re also a nutrient-rich fruit. Watermelon is a great source of antioxidants, which are compounds that help combat free radicals in your body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage your cells over time if they accumulate in your body. The damage free radicals can inflict can lead to a host of chronic health problems that include tissue damage, cardiovascular issues, cataracts, and cancer. Free radicals also can break down the collagen in your skin which can lead to the development of blemishes, wrinkles, dark spots, lines, and loose, sagging skin.

Watermelon is a rich source of:

  • Vitamin A 
  • Vitamin C 
  • Vitamin B6
  • Potassium 
  • Magnesium 
  • Fiber 
  • Protein

Watermelon provides a hefty dose of citrulline, an amino acid that can increase blood flow, cardiac function, cognition, and improve exercise performance. Citrulline can help keep your muscles from feeling sore.

It Fills You Up

An added perk of watermelon’s high water content is that it also has a low calorie density. That means it has very few calories for its total weight. Eating foods with low calorie densities can make you feel full; a well-timed watermelon snack can keep you from eating too much during the day.

Good For Your Heart & Eyes

Several of the nutrients in watermelon support good heart health. Watermelon's high content of citrulline, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, B6, and C can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke. Watermelon also contains the compound lycopene, which is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that can help combat age-related macular degeneration, a condition that can lead to blindness. Studies have also found that lycopene has cancer-battling benefits.

You Can Have Too Much Of A Good Thing, Though

Watermelon IS a fairly healthy fruit - in moderation. Too much of it, alas, can have some downsides. Watermelon is high in sorbitol and fructose (the source of its sweetness) and lycopene (which gives the fruit its bright red color). These two compounds in excess can cause water retention, which can lead to a host of discomforts that include bloating, gas build-up, flatulence, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. While these aren’t particularly serious conditions to worry about, they can end a day of chowing down on watermelon on a sour note. Experts recommend eating no more than 1-2 cups of watermelon per day (or 100-150 grams).

Article by Austin Brietta

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