Watermelon is one of my favorite super fruits. It’s sweet, juicy and delicious. What’s not to love?
But don’t let that sweetness fool you. Just because it tastes like a treat doesn’t mean it’s not packed full of goodness. If you’re looking for fruits that boost immunity, watermelon ticks the boxes with plenty of healthy nutrients, including vitamins A and C.
Watermelon also contains lycopene – it’s how it gets its pretty red color. The brighter the red, the more of the rich antioxidant it contains. Watermelons contain more lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable. Even more than tomatoes and we all know how red they can be!
Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, it’s also figure-friendly. Yes, watermelon contains just 46 calories per cup, making it one of the lowest-calorie fruits out there!
Watermelon wedges are great for healthy on-the-go snacks, but that’s not the only way to enjoy it. Sweet, juicy watermelons are perfect for juicing too.
Here I’ll share some of the benefits of juicing watermelon, as well as 3 easy watermelon juice recipes you can try yourself at home.
Benefits of watermelon
1. Great for hydration
We all know how important drinking water is for hydration, but did you know that there are high water content foods that can also help? Unsurprisingly, watermelon is one of them. The name kind of gives it away doesn’t it?
Watermelon is 92% water, so it’s great for hydration. What’s more, fruit and veg with high water content can help you feel fuller for longer, so you’re less likely to overeat.
Speaking of eating, if you fancy a sweet treat, watermelon is always a winner. Unlike a cup of ice cream, which will set you back 300-odd calories, you’ll find just 46 in a cup of watermelon. It’s fat-free, low in cholesterol and free from salt. If you fancy an alternative to juicing watermelon, try pureeing it in your blender, adding a squeeze of lime and sticking it in your freezer to harden. You’ll end up with a delicious watermelon sorbet that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
2. May help prevent cancer
Scientists have been examining plant compounds in watermelon, and there have been signs, they could potentially help to prevent cancer – although study results are mixed.
The strongest links have been found between a compound found in watermelon called lycopene and its ability to lower the risk of cancers of the digestive system. It is thought to lower IGF (Insulin-like Growth Factor) in the body, a protein involved in cell division that has been linked to cancer.
Cucurbitacin E, another compound found in watermelon, has also been studied for its ability to prevent tumors.
3. Good for your heart
Eating and juicing watermelon promotes good heart health. Lycopene is thought to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It’s also been linked with reducing the stiffness and thickness of the artery walls.
Watermelon also contains citrulline, an amino acid that can increase nitric oxide levels in the body, thus helping to expand blood vessels and regulate healthy blood pressure.
This juicy fruit is packed full of a wide range of other important vitamins and nutrients great for your heart, including vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, magnesium and potassium.
Of course, you’ll only feel the heart benefits of watermelon if you take other actions too. Regular exercise, avoiding smoking and limiting saturated fat are all essential to maintaining a healthy heart.
4. Lower inflammation linked with chronic diseases
Acute inflammation is perfectly normal and our bodies’ way of protecting against injury and infection. The problem is when inflammation becomes chronic, leading to various diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease, and cancer.
Eating an anti-inflammatory diet can help to lower inflammation linked with chronic disease and one of the best foods to eat is watermelon.
Watermelon is rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants like lycopene and vitamin C.
A study in humans found that those given lycopene-rich tomato juice with added vitamin C had lower markers of inflammation and higher markers of antioxidants. As watermelon contains both lycopene and vitamin C, it is assumed that it would have the same effect.
Watermelon also contains a natural pigment called beta-cryptoxanthin, which may protect your joints from inflammation and could reduce your chances of getting rheumatoid arthritis.
5. Prevent AMD
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common eye problem that can cause partial blindness in older people. Early signs can include vision loss, shadowy patches in your central vision and fuzziness.
Consuming lycopene in watermelon can help to maintain good eye health. It’s potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties protect against oxidative damage and therefore help prevent AMD.
Watermelon is also packed full of vitamin A, which is essential to good eye health. A single serving will give you at least 30% of the vitamin A you need each day.
6. Relieve sore muscles
Love exercising but hate the sore muscles that come with it? I may have a solution!
Do you remember how I mentioned citrulline earlier and its ability to increase nitric oxide in the body? Well, it’s also great for relieving muscle soreness.
The amino acid is available as a supplement and is often taken by athletes. However, studies have found that it’s most effective at relieving muscle soreness when it’s consumed by juicing watermelon.
Next time you hit the gym, treat yourself to a fresh glass of watermelon juice after and see if it makes a difference.
7. Maintain healthy skin and hair
Watermelons are rich in vitamins A and C, both of which are essential to healthy skin and hair.
Vitamin C is crucial in collagen production, a protein that will keep your skin supple (and youthful-looking) and your hair strong.
Vitamin A helps to generate and repair skin cells. If your skin is feeling a little dry and flaky, likely, you’re not getting enough vitamin A, so grab a watermelon and get juicing!
You may also be interested to hear that lycopene and beta-carotene found in watermelons can protect your skin from sun damage. We’re not saying skip the sun cream (that’d be a silly idea) but it’s worth considering how you can protect your skin from the inside too.
While we’re talking skin, how do you fancy making a fruity facemask? Mix 1 tablespoon of watermelon juice with 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt. Spread it all over your face and leave it for 10 minutes, before rinsing and patting dry. The watermelon face mask will hydrate your skin, leaving it smooth to touch and supple.
8. Improve digestion
We’ve already mentioned how great watermelons high water content is for keeping you hydrated but it’s also essential for healthy digestion.
Watermelons also contain a small amount of fiber, which is important for promoting normal bowel movements. It provides the bulk of your stools while the water helps to flush things out, keeping your digestive tract working, as it should.
It’s good news for those with digestive conditions like Crohn’s and Colitis too. I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about all the foods you can’t eat during a flare-up but I’m pleased to say watermelon gets the thumbs up. The soft, fleshy fruit is easy to digest, so it shouldn’t cause you any problems. It’s always worth checking with your GP just to be on the safe side though.
How to choose a watermelon for juicing
After reading through all those wonderful benefits I bet you can’t wait to get juicing watermelon! But first, let me tell you how to pick the best watermelon for juicing.
Not all watermelons are created equally. You want one that’s free from dents, nicks, and bruises. It should have a yellow spot on the bottom – that’s a sign it’s ripe. A juice watermelon should feel heavy and when you cut into it, it should have a lovely red color.
Always wash your watermelon before you slice into it, so you don’t transfer bacteria. Eating or juicing watermelon fresh is best but you can store it in your fridge for up to 5 days. Alternatively, stick it in your freezer. It won’t stay crisp but it’ll be great for juicing at a later date.
Watermelon juice combinations
Got all that? Now it’s about learning the best fruits and vegetables to pair your cold pressed watermelon juice with. Here are a few of my favorites:
One of the best things about watermelon is that it has a very mild flavor and is therefore very versatile. You can make lots of different watermelon juice combinations so you’ll never get bored.
Watermelon juice recipes
Wondering where to start with juicing watermelon? Take a look at some of the best watermelon juice recipes below…
Refreshing watermelon and cucumber juice
Ingredients (1 serving):
- 3 cups of diced watermelon
- ½ cucumber cut up
- A small handful of mint leaves
- A squeeze of lime juice
- Push diced watermelon and cucumber pieces through your juicer
- Blitz mint leaves and squeeze in lime juice
- Serve and enjoy
Watermelon and wheatgrass juice
Ingredients (1 serving):
- ¼ watermelon
- ½ inch wheatgrass
- ¼ beet
- 1 carrot
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 spring of mint
- Peel the watermelon, carrot, and beet if preferred (the rinds although full of nutrients can be a little bitter)
- Push all ingredients through your juicer
- Pour into a glass and enjoy
Watermelon green juice
Ingredients (2 servings):
- 1/4 watermelon (keep rind if you don’t mind the taste)
- 1/2 medium cucumber
- 1 bunch of kale including stems (remove lower portion)
- A squeeze of lime juice
- Feed ingredients through your juicer
- Serve and enjoy immediately
- Store any remaining juice in a refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 48 hours
Discover the benefits of juicing watermelon
You know the benefits of watermelon; you’re armed with fantastic recipes, now all that’s left to do is have a go at juicing at home! If you haven’t already, I’d recommend investing in a Slow Masticating Juicer for cold pressed watermelon juice and other fresh fruit and vegetable juices. It’ll preserve their goodness and create the highest yield of juice, so you benefit all-round!
What are your favorite recipes for juicing watermelon?
Share in the comments below!