Watermelon juice is sooooo refreshing and revitalising! It turns out recent research is showing that it can have some significant health benefits too.
Here’s 6 good reasons to eat more watermelon, better still, make watermelon juice its so simple!
1. Lycopene for Your Heart and Skin
Lycopene is responsible for the beautiful red colour of watermelon pulp. It is a powerful antioxidant, known to protect your cardiovascular system from free radical damage and studies have shown people who eat a lot of lycopene rich foods have a lower instance of heart disease.
Lycopene benefits also include protecting your skin from UV damage that can lead to photo aging, wrinkles and skin cancer.
Research has even found a lower incidence of many other cancers with a higher intake of lycopene rich foods in the diet. This large meta-study of the protective effects of lycopene against cancer found evidence for a reduction of colon, stomach, prostate, pancreatic and lung cancer with higher lycopene intake from foods.
2. Citrulline for Better Blood Flow
The amino acid citrulline is found in particularly high amounts in watermelon juice. Citrulline can be converted in your body into arginine, an essential amino acid for improving blood flow and relaxing blood vessels.
This positive effect on your cardiovascular system can have some interesting health benefits, from relaxation when stressed, to more energy with better blood flow and reducing muscle soreness after exercise.
There have even been suggestions that the health benefits of watermelon juice could include a natural ‘Viagra’ like effect in the bedroom.
3. Weight Loss Benefits
The same amino acid citrulline that watermelon juice is so rich in, has also been shown in animal studies (due to its conversion to arginine) to interfere with the accumulation of fat in fat cells. It does this by blocking the effects of an enzyme called TNAP involved in fat storage.
4. Anti-inflammatory Watermelon Juice
Eating watermelon or drinking the juice before heavy exercise can have an anti-inflammatory effect, according to this research. Watermelon is rich in flavonoids, carotenoids like lycopene and beta-carotene and other compounds that fight inflammation called triterpenoids.
All of these beneficial health nutrients increase the more you allow a watermelon to ripen. So once you buy them, make sure you let your melons ripen for a while and turn fully red before you eat or juice them.
5. Vitamins and Minerals
While perhaps not as impressive as its antioxidant carotenoids or unusual amino acid content, watermelons still contains useful levels of vitamins and minerals.
In the vitamins, watermelon is particularly high in vitamin C, as well as having more than enough beta-carotene that could be converted into vitamin A in your body if needed. There are also smaller amounts of B vitamins.
Potassium and magnesium are well represented in watermelon’s minerals, and particularly if you juice or blend it, the seeds contain good levels of iron and zinc.
6. Watermelon Juice for Kidney Health
Watermelon juice is great for your kidneys, having a highly cleansing effect when you drink it. It helps to flush out ammonia and uric acid and has even been known to help with kidney stones.
Watermelon seeds can have an even more pronounced effect on your kidneys, so it’s recommended to buy your watermelons with the seeds if you’re using the juice for kidney cleansing.
Here’s how to make Watermelon Juice (Serves 1):
- Slice 1 inch off your watermelon
- Peel and chop, put (seeds and all) into a blender
- Drink Juice!