Watermelon’s secret health benefits
There is nothing more refreshing than a chilled wedge of watermelon on a hot day, but it’s also a nutrient dense food rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that has been the subject of some intriguing studies.
One study found watermelon could significantly reduce blood pressure in overweight individuals both at rest and while under stress. Rich in lycopene, researchers are also interested in lycopene’s possible role in cancer prevention, while as a source of the amino acid citrulline, which is converted in the body into arginine, evidence suggests this may help improve blood flow in the arteries of the heart; and since arginine may help arteries relax and improve blood flow it may also aid in erectile dysfunction, however, scientific studies are as yet inconclusive.
To maximise lycopene benefits, allow the watermelon to ripen fully; the redder the watermelon becomes, the higher the concentration of lycopene, while levels of beta-carotene and phenolic antioxidant content will also increase. But above all kick-back and enjoy the succulent red flesh!
Workout tip: drinking watermelon juice before an intense work-out can aid in reducing muscle soreness the following day.
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