I love watermelons, they would rank very high on my ‘favourite fruits’ list. Besides being sweeter than life, they also have health benefits. Generally, watermelons are 92% water content, thus being a great quenching fruit in the warm seasons, or when you want to spruce up your liquid intake from pure water to something sweeter. Moreover, watermelons are a great source of Vitamins A, C and B6, potassium, and have a higher source of carotenoid lycopene than any other vegetable or fruit.
The fruit is particularly beneficial for men and can add various health benefits such as;
Initially, it was believed lycopene was only found in tomatoes, but with advanced study and research, it was found watermelons have more of lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable. Around 8% of a watermelon’s content is lycopene.
Lycopene is known to have antioxidant qualities that help regulate the prostate, heart and skin’s health. Doctors at the University of Illinois at Chicago carried out a case study where the participants were given lycopene for three weeks after which they underwent a prostatectomy. After three weeks, the results showed significantly reduced damage to the prostate tissue.
Watermelon rind contains a high concentration of a phytonutrient called citrulline. Doctor Bhimu Patil who is the director of Texas A&M’s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Centre has been focusing his research on the health benefits offered by citrulline. In the research, he found out that citrulline has the ability to relax blood vessels, much like the treatment used for erectile dysfunction. Once ingested, citrulline boosts the body’s nitric oxide levels, which subsequently relaxes blood vessels, increasing blood flow throughout the body. While erectile dysfunction is caused by various factors ranging from psychological to physiological, an increase in blood flow has been shown to help mitigate the condition.
Professor Bahram H. Arjmandi of the Florida State University carried out a study that involved nine subjects who had hypertension. He included watermelon in their diet for six weeks, and at the end of the study, it was observed all the nine subjects recorded lower blood pressure. Watermelons have phytonutrients citrulline which warrants increased blood flow in the body, subsequently helping with hypertension. Furthermore, the study went ahead to find that patients could potentially ingest lower doses of antihypertensive drugs while paired with citrulline found in watermelon. However, more information and research are needed on the latter statement.
There are a few best ways to store watermelon, depending on whether it is whole or has been cut. If it’s whole, store it in a cool, dry and dark location and ideally consume it within four days. If it has already been cut, you can cut off the rind, cut the fruit into smaller pieces which you can keep in an airtight or cover one with an adhesive seal container and afterwards place it in the fridge.
Watermelons are a great fruit that is not only healthy but is also delicious. To reap maximum benefits, try and incorporate it into your diet at least once a day.