Health benefits of watermelon

Watermelon is not only a delicious and refreshing fruit, but also has a lot of health benefits associated with it.

According to the www.healthline.com website, watermelons contain up to 46 calories per cup, but are high in calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A and many healthy plant compounds. These are some health benefits of watermelons.

* Helps you hydrate.

Eating food that have high water content is as important as drinking water to hydrate yourself. Watermelons are 92 per cent water. High water content is one of the reasons that fruits and vegetables help you feel full.

* May improve heart health.

Several nutrients in watermelons have specific benefits for heart health. Watermelons contain citruclline — an amino acid that may increase nitric oxide levels in the body. Nitric oxide helps your blood vessel expand and that lowers blood pressure. Other vitamins present in watermelons include vitamins A, B6, C magnesium and potassium.

* Contains compounds that may help prevent cancer.

Lycopene and other individual plant compound have been studied by researchers for their anti-cancer effects.

Lycopene is a red carotenoid pigment present in tomatoes, berries and many other fruits.

* Can help improve digestion

Healthy digestion requires lots of water and a small amount of fibre — both of which are present in watermelons. Fibre provides bulk for your stool while water helps keep your digestive tract moving efficiently.

Consuming food that rich in water and fibre like watermelon can be very helpful in promoting normal bowel movements.

* Is good for skin and hair

Vitamins A and C are present in watermelon and they are important for skin and hair health. Vitamin C helps your body make collagen — a protein that keeps your skin supple and your hair strong.

Vitamin A helps create and repair skin cells — without Vitamin A your skin can look dry and flaky.

Watermelon juice recipe

Ingredients

* 1/2 seedless watermelon — peeled, coarsely chopped

* 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger

* 2 tablespoons lemon juice

* Mint leaves, to serve

* Ice cubes, to serve

Method

* Place watermelon, ginger and lemon juice in a blender and blend until smooth. Add sugar if desired.

* Strain through a fine sieve into a serving jug. Add mint and ice cubes and stir to combine. Serve immediately.