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Why we love watermelon

Why we love watermelon

They may be tricky to crack into, but once you do there's nothing more refreshing than a cold bite of watermelon. It's crunchy texture and sweet taste is enough to cool you down on a hot summer's day, but there are plenty more benefits to be had.

Its vivid red colour is all down to a powerful antioxidant called lycopene, which is also found in tomatoes. However, there's loads more found in the flesh of a watermelon, and the benefits of this antioxidant include reducing the risk of having a stroke. A study discovered those who boasted high levels of lycopene in their system were 55 per cent less likely to have a stroke than those whose levels were at the at the lowest.

"Lycopene improves the function of our blood vessels and protects against damage from cholesterol in the bloodstream," nutritionist Dr Sam Christie, who works with supplement company Nature's Best, told MailOnline.

Lycopene has also been linked to decreasing the chances of cancer, giving people even more of a reason to tuck into watermelon.

The fruit boasts high levels of vitamin C too, making it the perfect food to eat when starving off a cold. It helps our immune system as well as aiding the healing process of wounds, as the enzymes used to form new skin cells struggle to function without vitamin C.

If you suffer muscle pain, a chilled slice of watermelon might help ease the discomfort. As its rich in potassium, it will help regulate your nerves and muscles and get you back to normal movement in no time. On top of this, potassium lends a hand in your body's ability to retain calcium, which improves the strength of joints and bones, and the citrulline in watermelon improves circulation.

"Watermelons are great at transporting water in and out of our cells. They help circulation and keep our whole body hydrated," Dr Christie added.

Any inflammations can be treated with a good portion of watermelon thanks to the nutrient choline in the fruit. It reduces chronic inflammation, plays a part in the transmission of nerve impulses and keeps cellular membrane structures solid.

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