Loaded With Lycopene
The cheery red color comes from lycopene, an antioxidant. Studies show it may help curb your risk of cancer and diabetes as part of a healthy lifestyle. Watermelon has more of this nutrient than any other fruit or veggie — even tomatoes. To load up on lycopene, choose a melon with bright red flesh rather than yellow or orange. And the riper, the better. Also, seedless melon tends to have more lycopene than those with seeds.
Some pigments help protect plants from the sun. Oddly enough, just eating them may shield your skin, too — at least a little. The lycopene in watermelon may make it less likely that you get sunburned. But that’s not for sure, so keep using your broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF of 30 or higher every day.
Watermelon is rich in an amino acid called citrulline that may help move blood through your body and can lower your blood pressure. Your heart also enjoys the perks of all the lycopene watermelon contains. Studies show that it may lower your risk of heart attacks. Of course, your whole lifestyle affects your heart health. So make sure you also work out, don’t smoke, limit saturated fat, and keep up with your doctor’s advice.
Protects Your Joints
Watermelon has a natural pigment called beta-cryptoxanthin that may protect your joints from inflammation. Some studies show that over time, it could make you less likely to get rheumatoid arthritis.
Easy on Your Eyes
Just one serving of watermelon gives you more than 30% of the vitamin A you need each day. This nutrient is one of the keys to keeping your eyes healthy. Foods are the best ways to get all the vitamins and minerals that your body needs.
Soothes Your Skin
Vitamins A, B6, and C in watermelon help your skin stay soft, smooth, and supple. Because it’s loaded with water, melon also makes a great face mask. Mix 1 tablespoon of watermelon juice with the same amount of Greek yogurt. Spread over your face and leave on for 10 minutes to slough off any dry, dull skin. Rinse and pat dry.
Satisfies Your Sweet Tooth
A cup of ice cream will set you back around 300 calories. You can enjoy the same amount of watermelon for just 40 calories. And unlike many other desserts, it’s fat-free, low in cholesterol, and has no sodium. Plus, the water in it will help you stay fuller longer. To make an easy sorbet, puree some watermelon in your blender, add a squeeze of lime, and pop in the freezer until it hardens.