It’s a hot summer day. The barbecue is warming up. But before whatever’s getting grilled is ready, there’s a whole table of tasty starters to tackle – and the scene would hardly be complete without a watermelon.
As it happily turns out, everyone’s favorite summertime treat is one of the best possible things we could munch on, any time of year.
What Do They Have?
That’s thanks to the full suite of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients packed inside this delicious fruit.
Just a partial list of all the healthy goodness found inside a watermelon inclues:
The granddaddy of Good for Us, this famous vitamin is involved in so many bodily functions, it’d take another article all together to list them all.
Suffice it to say, if you’re happy with your teeth, bones, joints, hair, skin or nails – you can thank vitamin C for that. (And if you’re not happy? Try a little more vitamin C! It plays a role in helping maintain all of those body parts – and more!)
Better vision? Check. Smoother skin? Check. Boosted reproductive health? Check.
Vitamin A truly covers it all. Oh, and did we mention that it also helps our hearts, liver and lungs stay healthy? Yep – this vitamin pretty much does it all!
This periodic table entrant may officially be considered a mineral, but inside the body it acts more like an electrolyte, meaning it helps facilitate the millions of electrical impulses that run through our bodies every day.
Potassium is also a big player when it comes to maintaining general fluid balance within the body – something that can pay dividends when it comes to keeping things running smoothly.
One of the most versatile compounds out there, magnesium essentially represents all the potential of raw energy within the body.
That’s because this mineral plays a big role in the way the enzymes in our bodies function – giving it a seat at the table any time any sort of chemical reaction occurs. Though, magnesium is known to be particularly helpful when it comes to muscle movement, energy creation and gene maintenance.
A rare but powerful carotenoid, lycopene has a hand in everything from boosting heart health to lowering risk for diabetes and certain cancers.
Acting as an antioxidant inside our bodies, the substance is known for turning things red. And while tomatoes typically get most of the credit for famously housing this compound, watermelon actually contain more lycopene than any other fruit!
What Do They Do?
These minerals, vitamins and nutrients are surely all individually impressive. But when they work together, they really make a beautiful picture of health.
Just a few ways watermelons can help us flourish include:
Help With Cancer Prevention
This is primarily attributed to watermelon’s preternaturally large supply of the antioxidant lycopene, and while there is some contradicting science on the matter, the strongest link between watermelon and cancer prevention is centered around cancers of the digestive system.
But another chemical compound found inside the wonder fruit – called cucurbitacin E – is also being investigated for its cancer prevention properties, including its purported ability to help stop tumor growth.
Improved Heart Health
Chalk up another win for the impressive lycopene.
The chemical compound has also been linked to heart health, thanks to its ability to help keep both blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check, as well as its reported connection to keeping artery walls more on the elastic side.
But when it comes to heart health, watermelons also benefit from the presence of vitamins A, C and B6, as well as its stores of magnesium and potassium, which all do their part to help our tickers keep the beat.
Help Keeps Eyes Strong
At this point, we’re thinking we should’ve named this article “All the Awesome Things Lycopene Can Do.”
The wonder compound strikes again, with its role in helping protect our vision by fighting off effects of inflammation and oxidative damage.
Vitamin A is another key player in eye health, with a particular penchant for keeping our cornea’s clear and clean.
Naturally Nicer Skin and Hair
Vitamin A is also great for our skin, helping create and repair skin cells and preventing a dry and flaky look.
Vitamin C plays a big role, as well, with its ability to help the body produce a miracle compound called collagen, which helps keep skin full and moisturized, hair long and lustrous, and bones and joints well lubricated.
And, once again, lycopene also plays a role here, acting as a natural type of sunblock, that can help protect your skin cells from harmful sunrays – on the inside.
With a healthy dose of magnesium helping keep bodily fluids at their appropriate levels, watermelon could be a boon for warding off bloating and just generally keeping things running smoothly.
But the fruit also benefits from a high water content and enough fiber to keep everything moving, in the healthiest possible way.
What Does That Mean?
If it’s a hot summer day, we’d argue that there’s no better thing to snack on than watermelon, period.
But even if the sun’s not shining, these fruits make for fantastic choice, especially if you’re concerned with:
- Maintaining eye health.
- Hoping to ease some digestive distress.
- Getting a hydration boost.
- Keeping up your heart health.
With so many potential benefits wrapped inside such sweet—and low-calorie!—fruit, it doesn’t take much melon scratching to realize how great watermelons really are.