Many of us enjoy the refreshing taste of fresh watermelon every now and then.
During the summer or when the weather suddenly turns warm, a cold slice of this fruit helps hydrate us.
What many of us don’t know about or haven’t tried is the fruit’s juice.
Many of the watermelon juice benefits stem from the fruit itself. But, by extracting the juice from the fruit, we can get more nutrients.
In this article, we focus on the health benefits of juicing the watermelon.
Watermelon Juice Health Benefits
1. Lower Blood Pressure
According to the American Heart Association, around 80 million adults in the U.S. are hypertensive.
Hypertension is the medical term referring to high blood pressure.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to chronic disease. These include kidney failure and stroke.
The problem with hypertension is that it doesn’t show any symptoms. At least not until much later. This is why it is often undiagnosed.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) estimates that close to 20% of people with high blood pressure are unaware of it.
Drinking watermelon juice is one way you can lower your blood pressure naturally.
One of the plant compounds found in watermelon is citrulline. Our body converts this phytonutrient into arginine, an amino acid.
According to the Watermelon Board, a serving of watermelon has 672 mg of citrulline. This makes it the best food source for this compound.
There’s another thing also worth noting.
The flesh of the fruit (the red part most of us eat) contains a good amount of citrulline. But, it is the rind, or the white ring around the flesh, that has the highest content.
Both citrulline and arginine play a role in the production of nitric oxide in the body. This molecule works to help our blood vessels relax and expand. The wider these passageways, the easier blood flows throughout our body. This is because the heart doesn’t have to pump as hard to push blood out to our extremities.
Thanks to nitric oxide production, our blood pressure decreases.
Studies on Watermelon and Blood Pressure
- Researchers at Florida State University observed watermelon supplements helped lower blood pressure level.
- In it, participants took watermelon extract supplementation for 6 weeks. The watermelon group showed a mean improvement of 15 mm Hg in their systolic blood pressure. Plus, a 7 mm Hg reduction in their diastolic blood pressure.
- Citrulline supplementation via watermelon also helps in reducing the stiffness of the arteries. Citrulline helps our blood flow much easier by making blood vessels more flexible. This allows for better pumping of blood by the heart.
- Another nutrient that watermelon is rich in is potassium. Potassium helps in lowering blood pressure as it balances the effects of sodium. Each serving of watermelon, which is about a 1/16 wedge of the fruit has around 314 mg of potassium. This gives us 8% of our daily RDA.
2. It Improves Your Cholesterol
Another benefit that drinking watermelon juice brings is better cholesterol.
Cholesterol is naturally present in our bodies. Our bodies need cholesterol to function properly.
But, too much of it, and too much of the wrong kind of cholesterol can lead to heart disease.
Lycopene is a compound that many are familiar with because of its presence in tomatoes. It is what gives the tomato that rich red color. More importantly, this carotenoid brings with it many health benefits.
Among them is the ability to lower blood pressure as well as cholesterol levels.
What many of us aren’t aware of is that watermelons, on a per cup basis, contains more lycopene than tomatoes. Each cup of watermelon yields 6 mg of lycopene while the same cup of tomatoes only has 4 mg. This gives you 50% more antioxidants with each cup.
In fact, the lycopene content in 1 slice of watermelon comes out to around 12,962 mcg of the phytonutrient. This amount is only matched by 1 cup of tomato juice or ½ cup of canned tomato puree. This makes watermelon a powerhouse when it comes to this compound.
A meta-analysis of various research on lycopneneshows us how it helps. They discovered that taking 25 mg or more of this antioxidant lowers LDL cholesterol by 10%. Participants also saw drops in total cholesterol and blood pressure.
3. Watermelon Juice Helps Prevent Heart Disease
Drinking a cup of watermelon juice helps reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Its high amounts of citrulline, lycopene and vitamin C work together in doing so.
The citrulline in watermelon lets our bodies produce more arginine. This helps:
- Your blood vessels relax and dilate to allow oxygen rich blood to get to your organs easier. So, the heart doesn’t pump as hard and the vessels themselves experience lower blood pressure. Better blood flow improves circulatory function. So much so, it even helps with problems like erectile dysfunction.
- Lower bad cholesterol (LDL). The reduces the particles that can form into plaque along your arteries.
These helps in not only lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Drinking watermelon juice it is an efficient way of increasing arginine levels in the body.
Participants who drank 780 grams (3 cups) of watermelon juice daily for 3 weeks saw their arginine levels increase by 12%. Those on the higher dose of 1,560 grams (6 cups), saw a 22% rise in their body’s arginine levels.
Lycopene meanwhile, helps reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is hardening of our arteries. This happens when plaque builds up.
When healthy, arteries are very flexible. This allows them to adjust like stretchy pants do when we slim down or gain weight. Doing so allows more blood to pass when the heart pumps it out.
By preventing atherosclerosis, it protects you from heart attacks, stroke and early death.
4. It Improves Your Eye Health
When it comes to eye health, many doctors will tell you to eat fruits and vegetables.
They especially recommend those that have red, yellow, orange and pinkish colors.
The compounds present in these foods are the reason for their unique colors. These compounds are good for your vision. And, they protect against age related eye disorders.
A great example of a fruit that’s loaded with eye healthy compounds is watermelon.
- Each wedge slice of this fruit provides over 30% of our daily vitamin A requirements.
- Watermelon also contains a lot of lycopene. This compound is needed to produce beta carotene. It is beta carotene that gets converted into the active form of vitamin A, Retinol, that the body can use.
- If that’s not enough, think about its antioxidant benefits. Each watermelon juice or slice of the fruit, gives you antioxidant rich flavonoids. These include lutein and zeaxanthin. Both are carotenoids that are found in the eye’s the lens and retina. They protect the tissues of the retina from damage. Doing so protects your vision and eye health even as you age.
The National Eye Institute notes that these antioxidants cut risk of age related macular degeneration by 25%.
These carotenoids work to prevent blurred, or partial loss of vision. These are some effects of age related macular degeneration and developing cataracts.
5. Drinking Watermelon Juice Helps Reduce Muscle Soreness and Hydrates You
One of the things everyone is familiar with is muscle soreness after exercise.
This is especially true if you’ve been away from the gym or having done your workouts for a while.
Strenuous exercise can also lead to muscle soreness even for experienced individuals.
There’s some good news. Drinking watermelon juice before working out helps prevent that soreness.
Research shows that the citrulline in watermelon juice reduces muscle soreness from exercise. The study gave athletes 500 ml of watermelon juice and enriched watermelon juice.
Both juices reduced muscle soreness the following 24 hours.
Another benefit of gulping a glass of watermelon juice is it helps with hydration. You also replenish your body’s electrolytes.
The fruit, as its name implies, is composed of over 90% water. This helps you with hydrating before your workouts.
Watermelon is also high in potassium. One wedge of the fruit has 320 mg of potassium. That’s 10% of our daily recommended intake.
Potassium is important for counteracting the effects of sodium in our bodies. Together the two compounds help regulate our water balance.
For this reason, sports drinks include potassium. This lets it replenish the amounts you lose when you sweat. Doing so prevents cramps or experiencing too low levels of the mineral.
6. It Improves Insulin Sensitivity
Insulin is a hormone that plays a very important role in our body’s proper functioning.
It allows our body’s cells to absorb and use the glucose from food.
After eating a meal, our intestines covert the carbohydrates we consume into glucose. Glucose is the energy source our cells can use.
To do so, our pancreas need to secrete insulin.
This hormone acts as the key to open insulin receptors that are on our body’s cells. Only then can glucose enter these cells.
In people with insulin resistance, your pancreas produce insulin. But, the insulin receptors on the cells don’t respond to the insulin.
In this case, it’s like the key you have won’t open the locks. This results in glucose not being able to enter the cells. Instead, they’re left circulating in our bloodstream.
When this happens, you suffer from high blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes is the condition that it deteriorates to if left untreated for a long period of time.
7. Nutrients in Watermelon are Good for the Skin
We all love to have healthy, smooth looking skin.
The water content of watermelon helps keep our skin hydrated. It also contains a few vitamins that help keep skin looking good.
These are vitamins A and C.
Most of us are familiar with the skin healing and anti-aging properties of vitamin E.
What isn’t as well known is that vitamins A and C play a part in keeping our skin looking good, regenerated and healthy.
Each wedge slice of watermelon contains 32% of the daily vitamin A requirements, and 38% of our vitamin C RDA. This makes it a great source of these skin beneficial nutrients.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that plays a role in boosting our immune system and helps prevent skin aging. The skin is in fact the first layer of defense of our immune system. It keeps germs and other foreign objects from entering our bodies.
Aside from fighting aging, vitamin C also prevents skin discoloration or hyperpigmentation.
Together with vitamin E, vitamin C is also used to protect our skin from the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun.
These UV rays speed up aging. It does this by damaging skin collagen and breaking down elastin. Both are very important components in needed to keep skin healthy.
Collagen is what gives our skin its suppleness and firmness. Elastin meanwhile, allows our skin to ‘bounce’ back to its original form after you squeeze or pinch it.
Damage to either the skin’s collagen or elastin results in saggy, wrinkled.
Vitamin A is another nutrient that helps give us youthful skin. It plays a part in the repair and growth of skin.
This is important since new skin keeps replacing old or damaged skin. Vitamin A is the ingredient that’s responsible for many of the Retin-A skin care products sold in stores.
Vitamin A also helps keep your hair and skin moisturized.
This is why getting your regular dose of vitamin A and C helps keep skin looking young and good.
Enjoying it through watermelon or its juice is a refreshing way to do so.
8. Drinking the Juice of Watermelon Helps Reduce Cancer Risk
Antioxidants clean up free radicals that are trying to latch on to other cells in our body.
In doing so, they reduce oxidative stress and lower our risk of cancer.
Lycopene, in particular, is valuable thanks to its heart protective benefits.
This compound reduces your risk of various types of cancer. Research indicates it works best against prostate, lung and stomach cancers.
Other studies note its effects on colorectal, pancreatic, breast and cervical cancer.
Lycopene helps in inhibiting cancer cells from proliferating. It interferes with the receptors that signal cell progression. This helps prevent development and spread of this dreaded disease.
9. It is Anti-Inflammatory
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to when there’s something wrong.
Inflammation occurs when our body mounts an inflammatory response.
It does this to help us heal or cope during emergency situations.
When we get injured, get cut or bruised, or even sunburned, the redness or swelling is the inflammation we see.
The acute inflammatory response works to take care of the damage.
This is part of the healing and regeneration process.
Sometimes, something goes wrong in the signaling of the cells. When this happens, inflammation can become chronic.
In chronic inflammation the body can’t turn off the initial inflammatory response. As a result, it ends up harming healthy cells.
Arthritis is the disease most associated with inflammation. While it is the most obvious, it isn’t the only one. Others include IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis, kidney disease, and cancer.
The antioxidants in watermelon and its juice help to act against inflammation. In part, thanks to lycopene and lutein.
The fruit also contains choline, which is usually grouped with the B vitamins. Choline helps in reducing chronic inflammation.
10. It May Help Reduce Body Fat
Recently, scientists discovered that arginine helps shift the partitioning of nutrients. By doing this, it promotes muscle gain over fat gain.
Here’s where watermelon and its juice can help. They both contain citrulline, which our bodies convert to arginine.
In a world where everyone wants to look slim and lean. Watermelon may help you keep the weight off and shed excess body fat.
Do note that the experiment used rats and not human subjects. This means we still need to see if it has the same effect on the human body.
How to Make Watermelon Juice
Now that we know the health benefits of watermelon juice, let’s get juicing!
There are many ways to get the juice out of your watermelon. But, what we want to do is get the most nutrition out of them.
Below, we show 2 ways you can use to make the juice at home. The first one is with a juice, which we recommend. And the second is with a blender.
Making Watermelon Juice Using a Juicer
Using a juicer allows you to get more nutrients out of the watermelon. It also lets you include the skin, seeds and rind along with it.
Type of Juicer
When it comes to juicers there are a few choices.
The best option is a masticating juicer. This machine works at slow speed to get every bit of nutrition from the fruit. This way you get the most benefit.
The compromise is, it is more expensive.
Another option is a centrifugal juicer. These are the most popular. They work faster. They’re more affordable as well. That’s why many people choose them.
Preparing the Watermelon for Juicing
To make the watermelon ready for juicing, you’ll need to cut it up to make it fit into the machine.
If you’re using a juicer, make sure to clean the outside of the fruit first. You should do this before cutting it up and placing it into your juicer’s feeding chute.
Cleaning it ensures that there is no soil, dust or dirt on the skin.
Making Watermelon Juice Using a Blender
If you’re using a blender you’ll need to cut up the flesh of the watermelon to cubes or chunks. This way your blender can get it to a smooth consistency.
The video below will show you how to make healthy, refreshing watermelon juice in few easy steps.