That matters because lycopene is thought to act as a super antioxidant, stopping free radicals from damaging your cells and messing with your immune system. Some research even suggests that lycopene, typically found in red fruits and vegetables, may help fight heart disease and several types of cancer. The juice can relieve muscle soreness.
A Spanish study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that drinking watermelon juice can actually be quite soothing after a grueling workout. Athletes who consumed a little more than 16 ounces an hour before exercise had less muscle soreness and a lower heart rate within a day.
That may be because watermelon contains a natural substance called citrulline that's been tied to improved artery function and lower blood pressure. But you'll need to look beyond the pink flesh if you really want to load up on citrulline -- it's most concentrated in the rind.
If that's not your thing, you can always save it for pickling or preserving later, Sass says. It's a fruit and a vegetable. Talk about an overachiever. Like most fruits, watermelon is the product of a seed-producing plant and has a signature sweet taste. But it can be traced back to the squash, pumpkin and cucumber family known as Cucurbitaceae.
Remember how you can eat the rind? The dual nature of watermelon makes it all edible, so there's no excuse to leave any part behind. It's packed with, well, water. Now this is a food with some serious hydration power. That's a big deal seeing as how being dehydrated is bad for your health. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that women with even mild dehydration experienced headaches, poor concentration, fatigue and worse moods.
More reason to whip up some watermelon recipes, stat. We may syndicate the publicly available content of our community areas to unaffiliated third-party websites, using RSS or other technologies.
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