Slicing into a chilled watermelon on a hot summer afternoon is nothing short of a celebration. Like their cucumber cousins, the entire watermelon can be eaten, although people tend to only eat the inner pink or yellow flesh. Here’s why you should consider watermelon more than just a refreshing summer treat:
They may prevent prostate cancer
Watermelons are high in lycopene, which gives them the same red pigment as tomatoes. Lycopene is a potent antioxidant studied extensively for its ability to protect men against prostate cancer. Try pairing your watermelon with some iced green tea — the antioxidants found in both may help prevent cancer in the way they work together in the body.
Watermelons are high in vitamin B1
This vitamin ensures a healthy nervous system and a lack of it — known as a thiamine deficiency — and can result in confusion and memory loss. Alcohol can also lead to thiamin depletion, which makes watermelon a great breakfast food after a night of indulgence.
They increase the production of arginine
Watermelons contain a unique amino acid called citrulline, which our bodies use to manufacture another amino acid called arginine. Arginine plays a direct role in the volume and direction of blood flow in the body. It’s currently being researched in treating erectile dysfunction, with promising results.
Watermelons are good for your heart
Watermelons are high in vitamin C, which is well researched in its ability to prevent the hardening of the arteries, increase the elasticity of the blood vessels and decrease inflammation. All of these factors can help prevent high blood pressure and heart disease.
Watermelons are the perfect post-workout snack
Not only are watermelons 92 percent water, they’re also full of magnesium and potassium. We often lose these two minerals, along with sodium, in our sweat during exercise, and they need to be replenished immediately. Potassium and magnesium are known as electrolytes because they help carry the electrical signals in the body and allow our muscles to contract and relax.
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