Five Reasons to Eat Watermelon Frequently

Couple eating a melon.
Nothing is as refreshing as biting into a slice of watermelon on a hot summer day and letting the juices drip down your chin.

Consisting mainly of water, about 92%, this succulent fruit is soaked with loads of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Very low in calories, research shows that making watermelon a regular part of your diet will give you a number of health benefits. From hydration to heart health, to less inflammation in your body, once you learn about the many health benefits of this fruit you may never look at watermelon the same way again.

1. It soothes sore muscles.

According to a new study in the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry, drinking watermelon juice before a hard workout helped reduce athletes' heart rate and next-day muscle soreness. That's because watermelon is rich in an amino acid called L-citrulline, which the body converts to L-arginine, an essential amino acid that helps relax blood vessels and improve circulation.

2. It helps heart health.

Postmenopausal women experienced improved cardiovascular health after six weeks of taking commercially available watermelon extract supplements containing citrulline and arginine.

3. It could be a natural Viagra. A slice of cool, fresh watermelon has effects similar to Viagra, researchers say

Improved circulation can benefit more than just the heart, as at least one watermelon researcher has pointed out. But you'd probably have to eat an awful lot to achieve the desired effect--and eating too much could cause unfortunate side effects since watermelon has long had a reputation as a natural diuretic.

4. It's rich in vitamins and minerals, but low in calories.

Given its name, you might assume the fruit has little nutritional value—and it is more than 90 percent water. But a 10-ounce (300-mL) wedge of watermelon packs in about one-third of the recommended daily value of vitamins A and C, as well as a modest amount of potassium (9 percent of the daily value).

5. It could even combat cancer.

Watermelon is among the best dietary sources of lycopene, an antioxidant linked to both the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer, although scientists are still investigating the details of that connection.
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