Watermelon is more than just a sweet, refreshing, luscious fruit to eat on a sizzling summer day. This corpulent member of the berry family –and yes, watermelon IS a berry – is loaded with vitamins and nutrients.
Besides its delectable sweet flavor, watermelon is an excellent way to stay hydrated, considering the fruit is almost entirely water (90%). And, as the human body is 60% water, staying hydrated ensures that your body and physiological processes are firing on all cylinders, enabling tip-top cognitive and organ function, besides enabling optimal nutrient delivery.
Watermelon, due to its water content, contains low calories. But low calorie doesn’t mean watermelon is low in nutrients – because it’s packed with vitamin A, C, magnesium, and potassium. Watermelon is also loaded with antioxidants and essential nutrients like lycopene, carotenoids, and cucurbitacin.
Watermelon is also a natural source of citrulline, an amino acid that acts as a precursor to arginine. Both amino acids have been linked to improved aerobic performance, cardiovascular fitness, and improved blood flow.
Citrulline, in particular, may boost nitric oxide levels in the bloodstream, allowing the blood vessels to dilate for optimal blood flow throughout the body, besides lowering blood pressure and helping aid with muscle recovery.
Lycopene, on the other hand, has been touted as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer, and supports optimal cardiovascular function. Based on studies lycopene may help reduce blood pressure, reducing your chances of a heart attack or stroke.
The benefits of watermelon don’t have to end with eating the entire fruit – watermelon juice can just as much do the trick.
These are just some of the myriad of benefits that watermelon has to offer. But the question still remains: does watermelon have any benefits pertaining to sexual function and performance?
4 Sexual Health Benefits of Watermelon
So, what about the sexual health benefits of watermelon? Can it help you overcome the symptoms of erectile dysfunction? Can it boost your sex drive? Read on to find out.
Watermelon May Help Reduce Erectile Dysfunction Severity
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a prevalent condition affecting over 40 million men in the United States alone. ED happens when an individual is unable to produce or maintain an erection hard enough to enjoy vigorous, enjoyable sexual activity.
Erectile dysfunction medicines like sildenafil and tadalafil (brand names Viagra® and Cialis®, respectively) to help boost blood flow to the genitals. Lifestyle changes, such as getting regular exercise, consuming a balanced diet, and reducing stress may also be recommended as part of an erectile dysfunction treatment plan.
Erections don’t occur by happenstance. It takes a complex, coordinated effort between the brain, which sends chemical messages to dilate the blood vessels in the penis and relax its muscles for copious amounts of blood to flow to the base of the penis. The spongy erectile tissue in the penis becomes engorged with blood, and turns firm and hard to produce an erection.
Citrulline, which naturally occurs in watermelon, may help facilitate that process by boosting nitric oxide in the body, helping dilate blood vessels to allow for greater blood flow. Moreover, citrulline may promote enzymes called cGMPs to help blood circulation, boosting erection quality in the process.
A 2017 study determined that men with ED had low serum levels of citrulline, indicating that boosting citrulline levels may help alleviate ED symptoms.
However, there are very few studies examining the potential of watermelon becoming a natural substitute to ED drugs like sildenafil and tadalafil, therefore we can’t conclusively say that eating copious amounts of watermelon will be enough to treat ED.
There are other potential sexual health benefits of watermelon, though.
Watermelon May Help Boost Fertility
Lycopene is an antioxidant found in watermelon, which may help reduce the effects of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress refers to the disequilibrium between free radicals and antioxidants in the body, which may damage DNA, proteins, and fatty tissue in the body, linked to a variety of diseases like cancer and infertility. Since lycopene may help reduce oxidative stress, watermelon may help aid in enhancing male fertility.
Watermelon May Help Boost Prostate Function and Health
The prostate is a gland responsible for producing semen. Prostate conditions and prostate cancer – or receiving treatment for such conditions – may also trigger erectile dysfunction in men.
A 2014 review indicated that lycopene, a key nutrient found in watermelon, may help defend the prostate from oxidative stress induced by iron. In another study, it was determined that men who consumed high amounts of lycopene experienced a lower risk of developing prostate cancer.
Watermelon is rich in lycopene, containing almost 40% higher concentrations than tomatoes, making it an excellent source of the potent antioxidant.
Watermelon Supports Enhanced Testosterone Production
Last, but not least, watermelon is a natural source of zinc, essential for optimal immune and metabolic function.
Zinc may also play a key role in producing testosterone, which, as we all know, is critical for overall physical and sexual health, such as your libido, fertility, and muscle and bone mass, among many others.
Watermelon Sexual Health Benefits: The Bottom Line
Watermelon is more than just a summer treat. In fact, watermelon and watermelon juice is loaded with vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, and amino acids. This includes vitamin A, C, lycopene, potassium, and lycopene, to mention just a few.
Does eating watermelon give you sexual health benefits? Well, while watermelon won’t come close to replacing erectile dysfunction medicines like sildenafil, tadalafil, avanafil and vardenafil anytime soon, there are plenty of good reasons why you should eat more watermelon, such as the benefits it brings to your overall physical and sexual health.
Lycopene helps protect your prostate and boost your fertility, while the amino acid citrulline helps boost blood flow and nitric oxide in the blood, both of which may help improve your erectile function. And don’t forget the water content – at the very least, watermelon will help you stay hydrated throughout the summer. Why don’t you go have a slice? It can only be good for you.