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With 92% of water content, watermelon (popularly called tarbuj) stands as the most refreshing, hydrating and cooling fruit that one can relish to beat summer heat, especially in tropical countries like India. Apart from its high water content and sweet taste, watermelon is packed with plenty of nutrients that makes it extremely healthy. Here are some health benefits of this super food you'll be surprised to know.
1# Keeps your heart healthy: Watermelons contain several bioactive compounds like citrulline, an amino acid that is metabolised to arginine. Arginine is used for the production nitric oxide, a compound that has a critical role to play in heart function. Studies suggest that watermelon reduces blood cholesterol levels and prevents development and progression of atherosclerosis that causes heart disease [1,2]. High potassium content in watermelon helps regulate hypertension, which is also linked to increased risk of heart disease.
2# Improves immunity: Watermelon is called an immune boosting food because it contains a host of vitamins -- vitamin B6,B1 and C and is also rich in minerals like manganese that are required in several cycles involved in immune system. Consumption of watermelon has shown to improve inflammatory responses by stabilising homeostasis of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines like interferons and interleukins . Here are some other foods that can help boost your immunity.
3# Helps prevent cancer: Being rich in flavonoids like lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene, beta-carotene andcryptoxanthin, watermelon protects the cellular DNA from free radical damage, preventing cancer .
4# Helps weight loss: An entire medium-sized watermelon contains about 18g of dietary fibre and plenty of water, making it a super food for those who want to kill hunger pangs and stay on track of their weight loss plan. Besides the fruit is extremely low in calories (30 calories for a 100g serving). Here's how you can include watermelon in your weight loss diet.
5# Refreshes you after a workout: Do workouts make your muscles pain significantly the next day? You should consider eating a few slices of watermelon then. According to a study published in Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry, drinking watermelon juice before working out could help reduce post day muscle soreness. This is because watermelon is rich in an amino acid called L-citrulline which gets converted into L-arginine within the body. L-arginine helps relax your blood vessels and improves circulation. Read more about the foods you should eat before and after a workout.
6# Keeps your kidney healthy: Watermelon is a natural detoxifying agent, owing to it high water and minerals content. The fluid helps flushing out of toxins from the body and helps the liver to process ammonia making it easier for your kidneys to get rid of excess fluids.
7# Keeps your eyes healthy: Watermelon is a rich source of beta-carotene, which gets converted into vitamin A by the body. Vitamin A is an essential nutrient that keeps your vision healthy, and prevents diseases like age-related macular degeneration and night blindness.
8# Makes your brain sharper: Vitamin B6, a nutrient present in watermelons is really good for your brain. This makes it especially good for young students who spend most of their time studying.
9# May improve your sex life: The humble watermelon exhibits viagra-like effect, helping those with erectile dysfunction enjoy their sex life. According to a recent study by Italian researchers, citrulline amino acid in watermelons improve blood flow and can alleviate erectile dysfunction.
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Image source: Getty images
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