7 Health Benefits of Eating Watermelon

Watermelon is the ultimate summer fruit, so it’s no surprise that the benefits of eating watermelon are often overlooked. Watermelons are high in nutrients and make an excellent addition to any diet, whether you’re trying to lose weight or not. The health benefits of eating watermelon include reducing your risk of kidney stones, helping with muscle cramps, and more! For more information on how to get all the watermelon benefits in one easy-to-swallow bite, keep reading!

1) Helps with digestion

While some fruits, such as grapes and avocados, take a long time to digest, watermelon digests quickly and is considered good for digestion. And since digestion aids nutrient absorption and waste removal, your skin benefits in turn. The water in watermelons is also good for hydration, which will help keep both your skin and hair healthy. Additionally, watermelons are often high in vitamins A and C; these vitamins aid everything from vision to immunity.

2) Prevents cancer

Lycopene in watermelons may prevent a number of cancers, including cervical cancer and prostate cancer. Studies show that higher intakes of lycopene are associated with lower risk for both men and women. A study conducted by Harvard School of Public Health found that people who ate at least 8 servings a week had a 15 percent lower risk for advanced prostate cancer and a 30 percent lower risk for localized prostate cancer compared to those who ate less than 1 serving per month. Lycopene works alongside other carotenoids to neutralize carcinogenic molecules before they can damage DNA.

3) Reduces the risk of diabetes

Because watermelon is mostly water, it keeps you hydrated and feeling full. It's also loaded with a variety of nutrients, including lycopene and beta-carotene. These phytonutrients are believed to help protect against certain types of cancer and age-related diseases. Consuming foods rich in lycopene can also reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes by inhibiting your body's ability to absorb glucose. Just one serving per day has been shown to lower blood sugar levels for up to 10 hours, which is especially beneficial for people at risk for diabetes or other metabolic disorders. So go ahead and enjoy that watermelon—you're doing your body good!

4) Protects your heart health

Watermelons are rich in lycopene, a compound that’s associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer. Lycopene is more abundant in red watermelons, but both green and red versions have high levels. According to one report from Brigham and Women's Hospital, just half a cup (85 grams) daily could be enough to significantly improve your health. While you're at it, you might as well eat watermelon seeds—they're also packed with lycopene!

5) Gives you more energy

Many people love eating watermelon because it is a natural way to boost energy levels and improve mood. The high levels of citrulline found in watermelons have been linked with reducing symptoms associated with stress and depression, making it a great fruit to help you beat fatigue. According to studies, just 3 grams of citrulline can increase levels by up to 50%, allowing you more energy throughout your day. If you feel like you need more pep in your step, consider adding some watermelon to your diet!

6) Maintains your weight

That’s because eating watermelon can help maintain your weight. The fruit is full of water and nutrients that keep you hydrated and satisfied, so you eat less in general. In fact, research shows that eating half a cup of watermelon before each meal can help cut overall calorie consumption by 20%. (1) Keep in mind that if you don't like watermelons, spinach or celery will achieve a similar effect. Just make sure to drink plenty of water while consuming these foods. The consumption of fluids with a meal has also been shown to lower blood pressure as well as reduce stress hormones and cholesterol levels.

7) Hydrates you

If you are feeling a little parched or if your throat is scratchy, try eating a few slices of watermelon. The fruit is 92 percent water, and it can help soothe your throat and rehydrate you. And since watermelons are a great source of both vitamins A and C, your immune system will thank you as well. Feel better in no time! Keeps you healthy: This sweet summer treat has an incredible amount of antioxidants. Antioxidants are important because they neutralize free radicals that can cause cell damage, premature aging, and even certain cancers. Antioxidants may also protect against heart disease and high blood pressure. In fact, one study found that people who ate lots of lycopene (the antioxidant found in tomatoes) had a decreased risk of prostate cancer by 35 percent! Watermelon is another food with high levels of lycopene, which makes it just as effective at fighting cancerous cells as its red-hued cousin—and much easier to eat when chilled during those hot summer months.