Worried About the Summer Holidays? Eat Watermelon!

 

By Joy Stephenson-Laws, Managing Partner

 

Fourth of July is quickly approaching! Where does the time go? 

 

I know this year’s Fourth will be different. It isn’t advised to congregate in groups, and in many areas of the country beaches will be closed and firework shows are cancelled. If you’re feeling down about how COVID-19 is impacting your summer plans, try to remember that we can always be proactive about our happiness and well-being by taking care of our nutrition.

Healthy eating is one of the most effective and controllable ways to be proactive about our happiness. For example, a study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that as many as 30 to 35 percent of cancer-related deaths are linked to diet. And there is a vast body of evidence which suggests that a nutrient-void, inflammatory diet may contribute to depression. And, of course, a poor diet full of ultra-processed foods may lead to obesity, diabetes, hypertension and other health issues.

Celebrate Independence Day by eating watermelon!

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is all about watermelon!

You can read here all about his summer cocktail called the “Watermelon Manarita,” which, as you probably have already guessed, is a play off of a traditional margarita.

Now, I personally don’t enjoy drinking alcohol. I just don’t have the tolerance for it. Drinking alcohol just makes me want to go to sleep, and I don’t care for the potential health consequences of drinking alcohol such as promoting inflammation throughout the body and depleting the body of essential vitamins and minerals, including zinc, vitamin C, magnesium, iron and more. These are all nutrients that I need to fight the coronavirus as well as other viruses and infections.

However, The Rock’s cocktail does contain fresh watermelon. This is great for a number of reasons. For one, watermelon is 90 percent water. And because alcohol is very dehydrating, combining your booze with fresh watermelon is a great way to help keep yourself hydrated while drinking. (Of course, it is always best to drink in moderation if you do drink alcohol as well as sip water while having a cocktail).

You can also make this cocktail without the tequila or simply slice up some watermelon for delicious holiday snacking.

Not only is watermelon delicious but there are many nutrients and potential health benefits of eating this fruit.

Potential health benefits of eating watermelon.

  • Watermelon may help fight inflammation.

Watermelon is full of anti-inflammatory compounds like lycopene. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an underlying cause of diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer, is chronic inflammation. 

“Lycopene has been shown to have anticancer activity against breast cancers by a variety of mechanisms and with varied potency depending on the genetic mutations of the cancer,” reports the NIH. 

“Dietary lycopene has been associated with decreased risk of death from prostate cancer.” 

  • Watermelon may reduce muscle soreness.

Watermelon is rich in L-citrulline, an amino acid that may help provide relief from sore muscles, according to a study conducted by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

In the study, participants were given either natural watermelon juice, watermelon juice with added L-citrulline or just a juice without L-citrulline an hour before a period of exercise. Participants who drank the natural watermelon juice or the juice with added L-citrulline reported less muscle soreness 24 hours post workout. The important takeaway from this study is watermelon juice in its natural form was just as beneficial as the enhanced juice.

  • Watermelon may help prevent kidney stones.

Because of its high water content, watermelon is a natural diuretic, which means it removes waste due to increased urine production. According to Harvard Health, your water intake is key in helping prevent kidney stones. “Drinking extra water dilutes the substances in urine that lead to stones. Strive to drink enough fluids to pass 2 liters of urine a day, which is roughly eight standard 8-ounce cups,” reports Harvard.

  • Watermelon may boost your immunity.

With COVID-19 still being a major threat, now is the time to do everything in our power to boost our immune systems.

One cup of watermelon contains 12.5 mg of vitamin C. This vitamin has proven to improve immune function and shorten the duration of certain ailments, including the common cold. On top of that, vitamin C may help wounds heal more rapidly. This includes wounds after surgery

  • Watermelon may help protect those precious peepers.

Watermelon is very rich in vitamin A, an antioxidant that may help maintain healthy vision, especially as you age. Vitamin A also reportedly maintains healthy skin and helps with neurological and reproductive function.

There are so many reasons to eat watermelon this Fourth of July. For a fun, festive recipe, try these watermelon mint popsicles. (Mint is an herb with very powerful properties).

As always, if you are taking any medications or have any health concerns, it is advised to seek the advice of a competent healthcare professional regarding what foods you are including in your daily diet.

 

Happy Fourth of July! Stay safe and healthy! 

 

Enjoy your healthy life!

 

The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here. 

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