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The health benefits of watermelon include the prevention of kidney disorders, high blood pressure, the prevention of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, heat stroke, macular degeneration and impotence.

The question is, why is there so much craze for the watermelon? At first glance, it may seem like nothing more than a big ball of water.  We all know that there is nothing more refreshing than a big, chilled wedge of watermelon on a hot, summer day and it does sport a stylish scientific name of Citrullus Lanatus, but what’s the real reason so many people flock to grocery stores every summer to buy a big, awkward fruit like this one? Well, it is hard to narrow it down to a single reason; there are actually a lot of them.

What Is Watermelon?

Watermelons are considered a vine-like flowering plant that is actually native to Southern Africa, and it is there that the wild varieties are in the greatest abundance, ranging from super sweet to bitter, and varying in size as well. They moved north to Egypt, and were cultivated in the Nile River Valley, and eventually moved east into China, roughly 1,000 years ago. Now, watermelon is grown around the world, and in 44 of the 50 states in America. It is specifically selected to grow larger and juicier, resulting in the huge fruits that many of us are familiar with. The green outer rind is hard and fleshy, and rarely eaten, while the interior is soft, red or pink flesh containing the many seeds; this is the part of watermelon which is typically eaten.

As for accessing the total medicinal benefits of watermelons, it is highly dependent on the variety of watermelon and the ripeness. Beta-carotene and lycopene is usually bio-available in the highest quantities once the watermelon is completely ripe, and don’t be afraid to eat some of the watermelon rinds; there are quite a few nutrients in there as well, particularly the roughage and fiber.

Nutritional Value Of Watermelon

The long list of healthy or beneficial effects of watermelons are mainly derived from its unique nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and organic compounds. These include significant amounts of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, fiber, protein, and a very large amount of potassium. Furthermore, they contain vitamin A, vitamin B6, niacin, thiamin, and a wide variety of carotenoids and phytonutrients, including lycopene!

These components of watermelons contribute to its major impact on health; let’s explore some more details of those benefits below.

Health Benefits Of Watermelon

Health benefits of watermelon include:

Treats Kidney Disorders

Watermelons contain a lot of potassium, which is very helpful in cleaning or washing out the toxic depositions in the kidney. Moreover, it is helpful in reducing the concentration of uric acid in the blood, thereby reducing the chances of kidney damage and the formation of renal calculi in that organ. In addition to this, being high in water content, it induces frequent urinating, which is again helpful for cleaning of the kidneys. Also, the antioxidants present in watermelon ensure good health of the kidneys for a long time and reduce signs of premature ageing like wrinkles and age spots on the skin.

Prevents Heat Stroke

Watermelon is effective in reducing both your body temperature and blood pressure. Many people in tropical regions eat this fruit every day in the afternoon during the summer to protect themselves from heat stroke. In India, you will find the fruit being sold by vendors on almost every street during the summer season. The high amount of water contained in watermelon also stimulates a release of excess liquid in the form of sweat, which cools your body further during hot summer days.

Regulates Blood Pressure

The good amount of potassium and magnesium that is present in watermelons is very beneficial in terms of bringing down blood pressure. Potassium is considered a vasodilator, meaning that it releases the tension of blood vessels and arteries, thereby stimulating increased blood flow and reducing the stress on the cardiovascular system. The carotenoids present in these fruits also prevent hardening of artery walls and veins, thereby helping to reduce blood pressure and the chances of blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, and atherosclerosis.

Prevents Cancer

Watermelons have been in the public eye more and more in recent years, primarily because of their impressive level of lycopene, a carotenoid phytonutrient compound that is increasingly being linked to cancer prevention. As the years go by and the studies continue to bring in consistent results, lycopene has been shown to significantly reduce the risks of prostate, breast, colon, lung, and endometrial cancer. All in all, between the antioxidant potential of vitamin C and the impact of lycopene, watermelon is a great anti-cancer fruit!

Controls Diabetes

Diabetic patients, who are supposed to have a low energy and low sugar diet, often complain about starving since they don’t get to eat their staple diets, which gives them the feeling of being half fed. Watermelons can be a good supplement for them. In spite of being sweet in taste, a thick wedge will give you very few calories, since ninety-nine percent of its total weight is composed of water and roughage. Moreover, the various vitamins and minerals such as potassium and magnesium help in proper functioning of insulin in the body, thus lowering the blood sugar level. Arginine, another component found in watermelons, is very effective at enhancing the impact of insulin on blood sugar. Diabetic patients can also have curries, steaks, and salads made from watermelon rinds, which are even lower in sugar.

Heart Care

Lypocene, a carotenoid found in abundance in watermelon, improves cardiac functions. Beta-carotene, known for its remarkable antioxidant and anti-ageing properties, also keeps you young at heart and prevents age-related cardiac problems. The roughage in watermelon and its very low energy, along with help from vitamin-C, carotenoids and potassium (potassium cuts the risk of a heart attack), helps to reduce cholesterol and keep your heart safe from a variety of dangerous conditions.

Macular Degeneration

Don’t worry about eye health and macular degeneration if you eat plenty of watermelons, because, between the beta-carotene, vitamin-C, lutein, and zeaxanthin, your eyes are well protected. They will ensure the protection of your eyes from age-related blindness and degeneration, and these antioxidants will protect your eyes from other age-related ailments such as drying up of eyes and optical nerves, as well as glaucoma.

Cures Impotence

Arginine, present in watermelon, is beneficial in curing erectile dysfunction, and the stimulating nature of the chemical can boost libido, reduce frigidity and give a kick start to your love life after you enjoy a few slices of watermelon together!

Other Benefits: Lypocene is found to be effective in repairing damaged tissues. Watermelon seeds are rich in beneficial fats and proteins. Watermelons also contain phytonutrients which have very good effects on the health and proper functioning of internal organs, eyes, and the secretion system.

Do you ever struggle with things like distraction, insomnia, easy weight gain or energy crashes? I sure have, at various times. From talking to lots of people about their health, I’ve realized probably all of us have these symptoms to some degree. I’ll explain how your mind can be a trigger of many of these symptoms and how you can help it work better.

I’ve proposed that most of our modern symptoms can be traced back to the stress response. This response was a good thing when we lived like cavemen and cavewomen, but in the modern world, it gets set off far too often in situations in which it is no longer helpful. If we can keep this stress response in check, we will feel happier, have better relationships and fewer health issues.

As hard as we try to manage the many events around us, our mind alone can be one of the biggest triggers of the stress response.

It’s Normal To Be Fearful

Imagine your great, great, great (1,000 more greats) grandmother roughly 20,000 years ago. She is fast asleep near a fire when she hears a branch break from the dark forest nearby. She could assume it was something harmless (like the wind) and go back to sleep, or she could feel fear and panic and alert the rest of her tribe to a possible predator.

Those who panicked easily felt more stress, but also survived better and produced easily-panicked offspring, like us.

Mark Twain said:

I . . . have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.

It is important to realize that all of our minds are fearful. This is normal. The moment we are free of distraction or habit, our minds start trying to figure out around which corner the next danger might be lurking. These imagined fears can turn on the stress response, even when they are fleeting or below the level of awareness.

Sometimes these fears are so strong that they break into the surface of our awareness in the form of annoying and intrusive thoughts:

  • “That will never work.”
  • “They are going to laugh at me.”
  • “Who are you trying to kid?”
  • “I can’t stand the way my hair looks.”
  • “Wow, the last thing I said really sounded stupid.”

When I was in college, I needed to have roommates in order to pay the rent. As annoying as some of them were, none were as annoying as the daily, self-chatter I heard from my own mind.

The Present Moment

The more focused your mind is in the present, the less it can upset you with unwelcome, possible, future scenarios. As we move through the day, our minds will become more and more detached from the present.

You may have heard that spending hours a day, for decades, on meditation can help calm this internal chatter. I’ve trained in many types of meditation over the years. Some seemed as complex as I imagine brain surgery would be and took over an hour each day to do properly. My best intentions and discipline would carry me along for some time in these practices, but inevitably, life and my other interests would get in the way, so I’d soon be off track. Maybe you have gone through this pattern with meditation also.

The good news is we now know it doesn’t take heroic efforts to get major benefits. By doing nothing more than lying down and resting for a few minutes, you can transform your mind and lower your stress response. You’ll feel more alert and energized, better focused on your goals, have fewer headaches, less digestive symptoms and sleep better.

A Simple Technique

Try this crazy, simple technique for just five minutes each morning for the next week, and see how you feel:

  1. Set a timer for five minutes.
  2. Lie on your back.
  3. Focus your eyes on a spot on the ceiling.
  4. Count each time you breathe in.
  5. If you lose count, start over.

When the timer goes off, you’re finished. That’s it.

It Really Does Work!

In my clinic, I’ve seen that this simple technique lowers anxiety scores and improves the measured levels of stress hormones, sleep and short-term memory. Some people see benefits in the first few days!

The reason this works is because it trains your mind to stay present through thinking about your breath and visually watching a fixed point. It is brief enough that you don’t get antsy and agitated, as many can during prolonged, formal meditation. By having your eyes open, it also keeps your mind from wandering as easily.

I challenge you to test it for just two weeks. Watch the nature of your mental chatter as you go along, and see if it improves. You might be surprised how much better you feel when you don’t have to deal with so many of what Mark Twain called, “the troubles that never happened.”

The following are steps to take if you want to live longer…

Don’t overeat

If you want to live to 100, leaving a little bit of food on your plate may be a good idea. Author Dan Buettner, who studies longevity around the world, found that the oldest Japanese people stop eating when they are feeling only about 80% full.

St. Louis University researchers have confirmed that eating less helps you age slower; in a 2008 study, they found that limiting calories lowered production of T3, a thyroid hormone that slows metabolism—and speeds up the ageing process.

Live healthy, live longer

Making just a few changes in your lifestyle can help you live longer.

A recent study found that four bad behaviors—smoking, drinking too much alcohol, not exercising, and not eating enough fruits and veggies—can hustle you into an early grave, and, in effect, age you by as many as 12 years.

Fortunately, you can do something to correct these and other unhealthy behaviours. Adopt the following nine habits to keep your body looking and feeling young.

Get busy

Having satisfying sex two to three times per week can add as many as three years to your life. Getting busy can burn an impressive amount of calories—sometimes as much as running for 30 minutes. (Which would you rather do?)

Regular sex may also lower your blood pressure, improve your sleep, boost your immunity, and protect your heart.

Reach out

Research shows that you’re at greater risk of heart disease without a strong network of friends and family. Loneliness can cause inflammation, and in otherwise healthy people it can be just as dangerous as having high cholesterol or even smoking.

Loneliness seems to pose the greatest risk for elderly people, who are also prone to depression.

Eat fruits and vegetables

Getting fewer than three servings of fruits and vegetables a day can eat away at your health. Nutritional powerhouses filled with fiber and vitamins, fruits and veggies can lower your risk of heart disease by 76% and may even play a role in decreasing your risk of breast cancer.

As an added bonus, the inflammation-fighting and circulation-boosting powers of the antioxidants in fruits and veggies can banish wrinkles.

Focus on fitness

Daily exercise may be the closest thing we have to a fountain of youth. A 2008 study found that regular high-intensity exercise (such as running) can add up to four years to your life, which isn’t surprising given the positive effects working out has on your heart, mind, and metabolism.

Even moderate exercise—a quick, 30-minute walk each day, for example—can lower your risk of heart problems.

We all want a lean and healthy body, and regular exercise is the only way to have it. But due to the busy lifestyle in this 21st century, we can barely manage enough time to do it. If you have been thinking about exercising regularly for some time, this article is here to motivate you with reasons why you need to hit the gym right now.

1. For an improved memory

Regular exercise not only provides more oxygen to your brain but also boosts your memory power. Recent studies have shown that increased blood flow due to vigorous exercise has a part to play in improving memory power.

2. For more energy

You may feel tired and weak after an intense training session. But with proper rest and nutrition, you will surely have more energy than ever before.

3. For better sleep

Suffering from insomnia? Don’t worry, just start exercising on a regular basis and this problem will be gone in no time. However, remember to exercise in the morning or afternoon instead of right before going to the bed.

4. For a stress-free life

Stress may be a part of your life, but you have the chance to fight it off with regular exercise. Endorphins released in the brain while exercising efficiently reduce stress, making you feel better at all times.

5. For superior immunity

Just exercise 3 to 4 times a week and soon your immune system will be strong enough to fight off flu, viruses and other diseases. Some researchers proved that those who exercise regularly are half as likely to get a cold than those who don’t do it at all.

6. For better sex

We all know regular exercise helps improve blood circulation all over the body. Thus, it helps increase sexual stimulation and reduces erectile dysfunction.

7. For superior confidence

Hitting the gym on a daily basis helps you look good and stay fit. When you feel better about yourself, you feel confident in doing whatever you do.

8. For living longer

It’s a known fact that staying fit and healthy is the key to living a long life and avoiding premature ageing. One study found that you will get the same benefits of quitting smoking if you take part in regular training sessions. Moreover, you can expect to add 10 to 20 more years in your life expectancy if you live on a proper diet and stay fit at all times.

Let’s admit that it’s hard for us to manage even one hour every day to go to the gym. No matter what, you must try your best in order to live a happy and fulfilling life.

With rates of successful conceptions dropping rapidly across the western world, and expensive IVF treatments becoming increasingly more common, there has never been a better time to empower women in taking control of their circumstances by ensuring that their bodies are vibrant and healthy while trying to conceive. Here are top 3 takeaways for improving your chances of falling pregnant.

1. Reduce Stress

Stress can be a major influencing factor when it comes to conception. In fact, if you’re struggling to fall pregnant, you may have already received advice along the lines of, “Just let yourself relax and it will happen.” As condescending as this may feel, there may actually be some truth to it.

The hypothalamus is the part of your brain that is responsible for regulating emotions, appetite and the hormones that cause your ovaries to release eggs. If you’re stressed, there’s a chance that your ovulation will occur later than it should; or not at all. Therefore, if you’re currently planning intimate moments based on your ovulation cycle, you may be missing that window of opportunity.

Negative stress isn’t the only type of stress that can affect ovulation; positive stress such as the stress associated with a wedding or planning a vacation can also result in a similar outcome. Naturally, these situations vary from woman to woman, with some finding that even a minor disruption in their routine can change their cycle, while others can experience high levels of stress without noticing any effect at all. While stress may impact the time at which you ovulate, it generally won’t diminish your overall chances of falling pregnant. If you know how to identify where you are in your cycle, there’s still a good chance of successful conception.

2. Increase Your Intake Of Good Fats

Worryingly, most supermarket shelves these days are littered with “97% Fat-Free” and “Reduced Fat” products which are the antithesis of a wholesome, natural fertility diet. Marketing and misinformation are the driving forces behind our society’s collective ignorance in this area, and yet good quality fats are one of the most fundamental factors in preparing your body for pregnancy. A Harvard University Nurses’ Health study found that the more low-fat products a woman consumed, the less likely she was to fall pregnant; while women who consumed full-fat foods increased their chances noticeably. In 2010, a similar Dutch study showed that women who consume a Mediterranean-style diet (naturally high in good quality fats) increase their chances of falling pregnant by up to 40%.

Good fats are essential in creating hormones that maintain the function of a female’s reproductive system. When women start consuming a low-fat diet, their estrogen levels drop which has the potential to severely disrupt their menstrual cycle.

As you might be aware, not all fats are created equal, and therefore it is important to select the right types of fats to incorporate into your diet. Avoid any processed fats and aim for products that are available in their natural state such as eggs, whole dairy products, nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil and carefully sourced fish products.

3. Eliminating Chemical Intake

Thanks to our species’ apparent desire to pollute whatever natural landscapes we enter, synthetic chemicals can be found in almost every environment – the air you breathe, the water you drink and the food you eat. Reducing your body’s intake of chemicals involves much more than just “going organic” or throwing out the aerosol deodorant; it’s a full-scale lifestyle change and one that can dramatically affect your chances of falling pregnant.

Let’s start with the obvious – eating organic food. If a woman is consuming fruits and veggies that are covered in pesticides, meat products that have been pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones, and heavily processed snack foods; their body is not going to be the pristine environment in which a new life should be nurtured. Eating local, organic produce and free range, grass fed meats is an excellent way to start reducing the amount of toxicity in your body in preparation for falling pregnant.

The water that you consume can also have a substantial impact on your wellbeing and the overall level of toxicity in your body. Most tap water in the U.S. contains chlorine, chloramine (the nastier version of chlorine) and fluoride – none of which are great for your health. Most bottled water, on the other hand, is full of BPA, an endocrine-disrupting chemical which is definitely not something you want infiltrating your reproductive system. The best option for clean water is either carefully sourced spring water in BPA-free bottles or a good quality filter for your tap.

The final stage of decreasing your chemical intake is to scrutinize the body care products, cleaning products, and other general household products that you’re using. Today, most of these products are a toxic cocktail of synthetic compounds which we have been told to rub into our skin and apply to our home environment without a second thought for the impact it might be having on our bodies. You can find natural alternatives to all of these products in most health food stores and online.

Trying to fall pregnant can be a nerve-racking experience for many couples and at the end of the day, you need to make choices that feel right for you. Being a parent is the most rewarding thing you will ever experience, so enjoy the journey and cherish every moment!

Some of the most interesting health benefits of thyme include its ability to reduce respiratory issues, boost the strength of the immune system, protect against chronic diseases, stimulate blood flow, prevent fungal infections, improve heart health, and relieve stress.

What Is Thyme?

The most common form of thyme has the scientific name Thymus vulgaris, and is an evergreen shrub that has been used in medicinal and culinary applications for thousands of years. The herb is native to the Mediterranean region and certain parts of Africa, and its use dates back to the Egyptian empire. In terms of its culinary use, the stems and the leaves are used in various dishes, either in whole or dried form. It is usually added to soups, sauces, meat dishes, and is used as a flavorful garnish. The leaves can be removed from the stems and ground into a finer spice, or the entire sprig can be added to flavour a larger dish or stew.

Its medicinal history includes the use of its essential oil, but the full list of health benefits of thyme essential oil can be found in a separate article on Organic Facts. The leaves can be brewed into a useful tea and a decoction can be made with carrier oils or creams to apply topically to the body. Now, let’s take a more detailed look at some of the health benefits of thyme.

Health Benefits Of Thyme

Anti-fungal Ability

The most famous active ingredient found in thyme is thymol. This organic compound has a wide range of effects on the body, including the ability to prevent fungal and viral infections, thereby reducing strain on the immune system.

Antioxidant Capacity

With one of the highest antioxidant concentrations in any herb, thyme has been praised for thousands of years as an overall health booster. The phenolic antioxidants found in thyme, including lutein, zeaxanthin, and thymonin all contribute to neutralizing and eliminating free radicals throughout the body. Free radicals are the dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism that can do major damage to your healthy cells by causing apoptosis or spontaneous mutation. These antioxidants help to prevent oxidative stress in all of your organ systems, as well as your neural pathways, heart, eyes, and skin.

Improves Circulation

The high concentration of iron and other essential minerals in thyme make it ideal for stimulating the production of red blood cells, thereby boosting your body’s circulation and the oxygenation of essential organ systems and extremities throughout the body.

Heart Health

The rich blend of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins in thyme have many small effects on the heart, but the potassium and manganese are particularly important. Potassium is a vasodilator, meaning that it can reduce the stress on the cardiovascular system by relaxing blood vessels and lowering blood pressure. This can extend your life by preventing atherosclerosis and avoiding strokes, heart attacks, and coronary heart disease.

Vision Booster

The concentration of carotenoids and vitamin A found in thyme make it an effective antioxidant agent for your vision health. Carotenoids can neutralize the free radicals in your ocular system and slow the onset of macular degeneration and prevent cataracts!

Boosts Immunity

The high levels of vitamin C found in sage make it a natural immune system booster. Vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells, which are the first line of defence in the body’s immune system. Vitamin C also plays a crucial part in the production of collagen, which is essential for the creation and repair of cells, muscles, tissues, and blood vessels.

Reduces Stress

One of the vitamins in thyme (B6) has a powerful effect on certain neurotransmitters in the brain that are directly linked to stress hormones. Regular inclusion of thyme in your diet can help to boost your mood and ease your mind when stressful thoughts come calling.

Treats Respiratory Issues

One of the most well-known and long-standing uses for thyme in traditional medicine is a respiratory health agent. If you are suffering from bronchitis, chronic asthma, congestion, colds, flus, blocked sinuses, or seasonal allergies, thyme acts as an expectorant and an anti-inflammatory substance, eliminating phlegm and mucus from the respiratory tracts, easing inflammation to help breathing, and prevent microbial development that can lead to illness. Brewing thyme leaves into a powerful tea is the best way to achieve this sort of relief for respiratory ailments.

A Final Word of Warning

For those with sensitive stomachs, high intake of thyme can cause gastrointestinal distress, but generally, this herb is not known as an allergenic substance and can be consumed regularly in your diet.