Looking beyond the known superfoods, specifically superfruits like apples and oranges, watermelons don’t look as beneficial. But as we shall see, watermelons can be known for a bit more than their summery vibe and refreshing taste.
1. They contain Citrulline
Citrulline is an amino acid that gets converted to L-arginine (another amino acid) within our body, and this is used to synthesize nitric oxide (NO)
. NO helps by dilating our blood vessels, thus decreasing blood pressure and making watermelon quite a healthy part of your meal. NO is also known to increase the plasticity of your neural pathways/synapses (which is something people often strive for) as more plasticity means growth of memory, which is linked with productivity.
2. They contain a good amount of water
Having a 92% water content, this fruit will make sure to keep you hydrated along with feeling light. To no surprise, it comes very close to the 96% water content that cucumbers have, and along with cantaloupe is the highest on the list for water content in fruits.
3. They contain lutein and zeaxanthin
These compounds are great for keeping your eyes healthy and hydrated, along with protecting your eyes from high-energy UV rays. Some people even take supplements containing these compounds. In the long run, eating foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin has been proven helpful in delaying diseases
4. They contain Lycopene
Lycopene is a chemical that helps fight oxygen radicals in our body
. Oxidative stress, caused by oxygen radicals forming, can cause cell senescence or aging, leading to cells not dividing much due to their DNA being poorly maintained. Lycopene also has benefits in reducing the risk of heart disease and even has some preventative measures that stop cancer-causing molecules from modifying cell proteins to become active without the cell’s instruction.
5. They house a variety of minerals and vitamins
Though we are only expected to consume very little of these vitamins as compared to components like carbs, watermelons contain more Vitamin C and Potassium than you think, which are great for your skin, teeth, heart health, etc. They also contain vitamins in small quantities: like Vitamin A, which are chemicals responsible for important functions like cell differentiation (cells organizing themselves and developing certain parts to function as a specific cell type), or Vitamin B5, which is useful in metabolism and the making of blood cells.
It's worth noting that watermelon rinds, often overlooked, offer similar benefits, including high citrulline content and increased fiber. Some people even enjoy preparing them by stir-frying or pickling
. Especially when I start losing my appetite, or am very tired, fruits like watermelon bring me happiness and keep me full of electrolytes, but more scientifically speaking, they have many health benefits. While watermelons may not store as much Vitamin C as oranges or tout the "an apple a day" adage, their hydration and nutritional value make them a worthwhile addition to your diet.