Thursday, June 2, 2016

Watermelon has been dubbed a new superfood

Experts now say that watermelons are packed with vitamins, aid hydration and can even give you clearer skin.

But does it live up to the hype? Here's why you should seriously consider adding watermelon to your diet...


Juicy watermelon flesh is a perfect pick-me-up for skin. We all lose collagen as we age - it's the main reason why our skin starts to look wrinkled.

Melons are packed with beta-carotene, which helps counteract the damage. Eat a good helping of a melon (roughly 180g) and you've had around 20 per cent of your daily requirement of vitamin C, which helps build and maintain collagen, the major structural protein in the skin.


Watermelons owe their gorgeous red colour to the powerful antioxidant lycopene. Weight for weight, you'll find even more of it in the flesh of a watermelon than in a raw tomato.

Eating food rich in lycopene cuts the risk of stroke by almost 20 per cent. One study revealed that people with the highest levels of lycopene were 55 per cent less likely to have a stroke than those with the lowest.

'Lycopene improves the function of our blood vessels and protects against damage from cholesterol in the bloodstream,' says nutritionist Dr Sam Christie, who works with supplement company Nature's Best.

For maximum benefit, pick a super-ripe watermelon with flesh that is especially red.


Thanks to their high levels of lycopene, watermelons boost our immune systems - so they're perfect to help fight off a cold.

More and more research suggests that lycopene can help to destroy early cancer cells. 'Lycopene is such a powerful antioxidant it can disarm free radicals that strain our immune systems, such as pollution, before they harm our bodies,' says Dr Christie.

One study found that lycopene suppressed the growth of breast cancer tumours in mice, while another reported it was instrumental in preventing the growth of prostate cancer cells. Unlike many fruits and vegetables, watermelon can be kept in a fridge for seven days before there is even a slight reduction in lycopene.


If your muscles ache after a workout at the gym or when you've spent too long hunched over your computer, try a slice of melon. Watermelons are rich in potassium, which helps to regulate the actions of your nerves and muscles.

What's more, the potassium helps your body to retain calcium, resulting in stronger bones and joints.

Melons also contain citrulline to help improve circulation. This amino acid takes its name from the Latin for watermelon: citrullus lanatus.

'Watermelons are great at transporting water in and out of our cells. They help circulation and keep our whole body hydrated,' says Dr Christie.


Watermelons contain choline, a nutrient found in eggs, turkey and broccoli, which helps to regulate our internal body clocks.

So, if you've had a series of late nights, a slice of juicy melon could help. The choline will help to keep you alert and focused - its other use is in aiding memory.


With zero fat and just 40 calories per serving, you can eat as much melon as you like without worrying about piling on the pounds. Watermelons are virtually calorie free, and their 92 per cent water content is great at helping your body flush out nasty toxins.

And, if you are feeling bloated through water retention, the citrulline they contain will help to get your kidneys working more efficiently.

Preliminary studies in animals suggest citrulline may also reduce the accumulation of extra fat in our bodies by blocking the activity of a particular enzyme, TNAP (tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase).


Citrulline, which converts into a substance called arginine in the body, also plays a big part in promoting a healthy blood flow.

To prove the point, scientists at Texas A&M University studied the impact on one particular part of the male physique. 'We discovered that arginine boosts nitric acid and has the effect of relaxing the blood vessels - the same basic effect that Viagra has,' says researcher Dr Bhimu Patil.

But before you start feeding your partner watermelon at bedtime, be warned. He'll need to eat several kilos to see any effect.

Source: dailymail

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