Watermelon is a delicious and refreshing fruit that’s also good for you.
It contains only 46 calories per cup but is high in vitamin C, vitamin A and many healthy plant compounds.
Here are the top 9 health benefits of eating watermelon.
1. Helps You Hydrate
Drinking water is an important way to keep your body hydrated.
However, eating foods that have a high water content can also help. Interestingly, watermelon is 92% water .
What’s more, a high water content is one of the reasons why fruits and vegetables help you feel full.
The combination of water and fiber means you’re eating a good volume of food without a lot of calories.
2. Contains Compounds That May Help Prevent Cancer
Researchers have studied lycopene and other individual plant compounds in watermelon for their anti-cancer effects.
Though lycopene intake is associated with a lower risk of some types of cancer, study results are mixed. The strongest link so far seems to be between lycopene and cancers of the digestive system.
It appears to reduce cancer risk by lowering insulin-like growth factor (IGF), a protein involved in cell division. High IGF levels are linked to cancer.
In addition, cucurbitacin E has been investigated for its ability to inhibit tumor growth.
3.May Lower Inflammation and Oxidative Stress
Inflammation is a key driver of many chronic diseases.
Watermelon may help lower inflammation and oxidative damage, as it’s rich in the anti-inflammatory antioxidants lycopene and vitamin C.
In a 2015 study, lab rats were fed watermelon powder to supplement an unhealthy diet. Compared to the control group, they developed lower levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein and less oxidative stress.
In an earlier study, humans were given lycopene-rich tomato juice with added vitamin C. Overall, their markers of inflammation went down and antioxidants went up. Watermelon has both lycopene and vitamin C.
As an antioxidant, lycopene may also benefit brain health. For example, it may help delay the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.