If you are like me, you have been waiting for those hot summer days and open-toe shoes. One of the best things I remember as a child is eating fresh watermelon outside on a hot summer day. As I got older, I was introduced to putting blackening seasoning on fresh-cut watermelon and fell in love again with watermelon. Now in my late 40s, I have a watermelon smoothie for dinner or a midday snack. Besides watermelon being a delicious and refreshing fruit, many health benefits exist when consuming watermelon. Here are some.
Watermelon Delight Smoothie
- 1 Blender
- 1 cup Seedless Watermelon
- 2 shavings Fresh Ginger
- 1/2 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 3 Ice Cubes
- 1/2 scoop Plantbase protein powder with water optional
- Add all ingredients into blender and blend
8 Health Benefits of Watermelon
1. Hydration: Watermelon contains a lot of water, making it an excellent choice for hydration. Staying hydrated is essential for maintaining body functions, regulating body temperature, and supporting overall health.
2. Nutrient-rich: Watermelon is low in calories but rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It contains vitamins A and C, essential for maintaining healthy skin, boosting the immune system, and promoting healthy vision. Watermelon also provides potassium, which helps maintain proper heart function and regulate blood pressure.
3. Antioxidant properties: Watermelon contains lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that gives it its red color. Lycopene has been linked to a reduced risk of certain types of cancer, including prostate, breast, and lung cancer. It also helps protect against damage from free radicals, which can contribute to aging and various diseases.
4. Heart health: Watermelon’s high levels of lycopene and other beneficial compounds help promote heart health. Lycopene has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and improving lipid profiles. The fruit also contains citrulline, an amino acid that may help improve blood flow and reduce inflammation.
5. Eye health: The vitamin A and beta-carotene content in watermelon benefit eye health. These nutrients help protect against age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and maintain overall vision.
6. Digestive health: Watermelon is a good source of fiber, which aids digestion and helps prevent constipation. Consuming fiber-rich foods like watermelon promotes regular bowel movements and supports a healthy digestive system.
7. Exercise recovery: Watermelon is known to help with post-exercise muscle recovery. It contains citrulline, which can enhance athletic performance and reduce muscle soreness. The natural sugars in watermelon can also provide a quick energy boost.
8. Skin and hair health: The high water content of watermelon helps keep the skin hydrated and may contribute to a healthy complexion. The vitamin A and C content and other antioxidants can also help protect the skin from damage caused by the sun and environmental factors. Additionally, watermelon contains silica, a mineral that promotes healthy hair and nails.
7 Benefits of Cayenne Pepper
In addition to healthy watermelon, Creating your smoothie from our recipe will introduce cayenne pepper to your diet. Cayenne pepper has nutritional benefits as well. Here are some benefits of consuming cayenne pepper.
1. Pain relief: Cayenne pepper contains a compound called capsaicin, which has been used for centuries as a natural pain reliever. Capsaicin reduces the amount of substance P, a neurotransmitter that sends pain signals to the brain. It is often used topically in creams and ointments to relieve muscle and joint pain, including arthritis and neuropathy.
2. Digestive health: Cayenne pepper stimulates digestion and promotes the production of enzymes that aid in the breakdown of food. It can help relieve indigestion, bloating, and gas. Additionally, cayenne pepper has been shown to help increase the production of stomach acids, improving digestion and nutrient absorption.
3. Metabolism boost: The compound capsaicin in cayenne pepper has thermogenic properties, meaning it can increase metabolism and promote calorie burning. It may increase your body’s heat production and energy expenditure, temporarily boosting metabolism.
4. Weight management: Due to its ability to increase metabolism and reduce appetite, cayenne pepper may aid in weight management. Some studies suggest that consuming cayenne pepper may help curb cravings and reduce calorie intake. However, it is essential to note that its effects on weight loss are modest and should be used as part of a balanced diet and exercise regimen.
5. Heart health: Cayenne pepper has been associated with heart-healthy benefits. Capsaicin has been shown to help lower blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels and improving blood flow. It may also help reduce LDL cholesterol levels and triglycerides, both risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.
6. Nasal congestion relief: Cayenne pepper can help relieve nasal congestion and sinusitis symptoms. It acts as a natural decongestant by thinning mucus and promoting sinus drainage. Capsaicin in cayenne pepper can also temporarily desensitize the nerves that trigger nasal congestion.
7. Anti-inflammatory properties: The capsaicin in cayenne pepper possesses anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is associated with various diseases, including heart disease, arthritis, and certain types of cancer. Including cayenne pepper in your diet may contribute to overall anti-inflammatory effects.
It’s worth noting that while watermelon offers many health benefits, it should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. It’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional if you have any specific health concerns or conditions.