Over four thousand years ago, in what is now Northeast Africa, watermelons were likely originally domesticated (1Trustworthy Source).
Its sugary and juicy nature makes it an ideal thirst-quencher on hot summer days.
This massive orb is covered in a vivid green skin that conceals vibrant crimson flesh. It’s a great source of minerals including vitamin A and C and antioxidants.
Here are nine of watermelon’s most advantageous health features.
1. Helps you stay hydrated
For optimal bodily health, it’s crucial to maintain an adequate water intake.
There are a wide variety of body activities that rely on water (2 Trusted Source), including temperature regulation, normal organ function, nutrition supply to cells, and mental acuity.
Water is essential for optimum bodily function, and eating foods with a high water content may help you get enough of it.
Watermelon is a wonderful way to get your recommended eight glasses of water per day (3Reliable Source) because it has 92% water.
Due to its high water content, this melon also has a low calorie density, meaning it has a very small number of calories relative to its overall weight.
2. Packed with nutrients and beneficial plant compounds
Watermelon contains a variety of nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A and C. It’s also relatively low in calories, containing just 46 per cup (152 grams) (5Trusted Source).
Here are the nutrients in 1 cup (152 grams) of raw, diced watermelon:
- Calories: 46
- Carbs: 11.5 grams
- Fiber: 0.6 grams
- Sugar: 9.4 grams
- Protein: 0.9 grams
- Fat: 0.2 grams
- Vitamin A: 5% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin C: 14% of the DV
- Potassium: 4% of the DV
- Magnesium: 4% of the DV
3. May have anticancer effects
Lycopene and cucurbitacin E are only two of the plant chemicals in watermelon that may have anticancer effects.
Some research suggests that consuming foods rich in lycopene may reduce the chance of developing cancer, including prostate and colorectal cancers (9, 10, 11, 12).
The hormone insulin-like growth factor (IGF) drives cell development, and lycopene is thought to function by reducing its blood levels. Specifically, cancer develops when cell division is out of control (13Trustworthy Source).
In addition, cucurbitacin E has been shown to decrease tumor development via increasing autophagy in cancer cells. Your body uses autophagy to dispose of dead or malfunctioning cells .
More studies involving humans are still required, though.
4. May improve heart health
Watermelon has several elements that may be beneficial to heart health.
Worldwide, heart disease is the number one killer. Lifestyle variables, such as food, have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, namely heart attack and stroke .
Lycopene’s potential to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure has been suggested by research. In addition, it may protect cells from the oxidative stress brought on by excessive cholesterol .
The amino acid citrulline found in watermelon has been shown to increase NO production. Blood pressure is reduced because nitric oxide causes blood capillaries to dilate .
5. May reduce inflammation and oxidative stress
Many chronic disorders may be traced back to persistent inflammation.
Watermelon’s high vitamin C content and potential anti-inflammatory benefits from lycopene suggest it may be a healthful food choice (3Trustworthy Source).
Supplementing an unhealthy diet with watermelon powder reduced oxidative stress and lowered levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein in rats (19Trustworthy Source).
In addition, 31 overweight persons with elevated inflammatory markers were given 500 mg of vitamin C twice a day for 8 weeks in a research. Inflammatory indicators were significantly lower in this group compared to the control group (20 Trusted Source).
Lycopene’s antioxidant properties may potentially make it effective in preventing or slowing the development of Alzheimer’s disease. However, additional study is required (21).