Watermelon is one of Americans favorite summer fruits, making its debut around Memorial Day and peaking around Labor Day. But did you know it brings powerful nutritional benefits to the table?
1) Watermelon helps flight heart disease by lowering blood pressure, due to the amino acids citrulline and arginine, which promote relaxation of the blood vessels. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26947668
2) Watermelon helped lower total cholesterol and LDL levels in mice in a study at Purdue University. And while we aren’t mice, this fruit is one of Nature’s concentrated sources of nutrients that show promise in lowering our lipids too.
3) Watermelon helps improve post-exercise recovery due to its high water content, along with potassium and citrulline. Eat a bowl of watermelon or throw it in a blender with a pinch of sea salt and some coconut water to guzzle when you get off the trails.
4) Watermelon is rich in lycopene, that bright red phytonutrient that helps prevent non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), America’s latest obesity-related epidemic. This occurs independent of alcohol intake and appears to be driven by refined carbohydrates. Chuck the bad stuff and enjoy this nutrient-rich fruit while protecting your liver.
Note: To increase lycopene absorption, eat it with fat…like the extra-virgin olive oil and feta cheese in my Watermelon, Cucumber, Sheep Feta and Mint Salad.