Did you know that watermelon originated in Africa over 4,000 years ago? Did you also know that the juicy, sweet summer fruit has plenty of health benefits and might even be beneficial for your sex life?
The benefits of watermelon are numerous and this delicious fruit may pack more than just vitamins and other nutrients. But what exactly are the watermelon benefits for men? Can watermelon help you sexually? And are there benefits of watermelon for treating erectile dysfunction (ED)?
We’ll go over the answers to all these questions, including whether there are benefits of watermelon for erectile dysfunction and other sexual health issues.
Watermelon is more than a delicious fruit to eat on a hot summer day. This healthy fruit packs several key nutrients and is an excellent source of vitamins.
Watermelon can help you stay hydrated, as this fruit is over 90 percent water. Hydration plays an important role in helping your body function properly, ensuring optimal cognition, organ function, delivery of nutrients and more.
Also because of its high water content, there are a low amount of calories in watermelon.
But despite the few calories in watermelon, this fruit is a great source of a lot of nutrients — namely, potassium, magnesium and vitamins A and C. Consuming proper amounts of potassium and magnesium can help with muscle recovery. The antioxidant content of watermelon is incredibly rich as well, and it’s a natural source of carotenoids, lycopene and cucurbitacin E. Another good source of antioxidants? Pineapple. The benefits of pineapple sexually are a great reason to double up on antioxidant power when eaten with watermelon.
Watermelon is also a rich source of the phytonutrient citrulline, an amino acid that helps make another amino acid called arginine. The amino acid citrulline may improve exercise performance and cardiovascular fitness.
Several of the nutrients in watermelon may also support a healthy heart. Lycopene, a plant compound found in watermelon, may help lower blood pressure — one way to reduce the risk of a heart attack.
Citrulline may increase levels of nitric oxide, which helps blood vessels to expand and lowers blood pressure as well. This amino acid can also help with muscle recovery, providing relief for muscle soreness.
And watermelon fruit itself isn’t the only part of watermelon that has benefits. A 2013 study found that drinking watermelon juice could also help relieve muscle soreness.
These are only a few of the benefits this healthy fruit provides. And with all those nutrients, you might wonder about the benefits of watermelon for sexual dysfunction and performance.
Could watermelon have a Viagra-like effect? And what are the watermelon benefits for erectile dysfunction and sexual health generally? Keep reading to learn the sexual benefits of watermelon.
Erectile dysfunction is a common condition where affected men are unable to get or maintain an erection firm enough for penetrative sex. Erectile dysfunction prescription medications, such as sildenafil (Viagra®), can help stimulate blood flow back to the penis. There are also natural home remedies for ED such as lifestyle changes, reducing blood pressure, checking testosterone production and eating a healthy diet.
How erections work is a complex sequence of events, but the gist of it is that chemical messages are sent from the brain to relax muscles in the penis, which then allows blood to flow to the base of the penis. Blood flow to erectile tissue allows the penis to become firmer and harder, creating an erection.
Citrulline, which is naturally found in watermelon, increases blood flow by helping blood vessels widen. Citrulline may also help stimulate enzymes known as cGMPs, which help increase blood flow — and also play a role in erections.
A 2017 study found that men experiencing erectile dysfunction had low levels of citrulline, and suggested that increasing those levels may help with ED symptoms.
A small study of only 20 participants found that citrulline, in combination with other plant compounds, may improve erection firmness, sexual satisfaction and the ability to maintain an erection.
Few studies have looked at whether a natural watermelon Viagra® is possible, so we can’t say that eating watermelon alone will treat sexual dysfunction. There are certainly other sexual benefits of watermelon though.
Lycopene, one of the key antioxidants found in watermelon, helps reduce oxidative stress. Oxidative stress, which is the imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals in the body, can lead to damage to fatty tissue, proteins and even DNA in the body. This has been linked to a number of diseases.
Lycopene may reduce oxidative stress, which in turn could boost male fertility.
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Lycopene — which watermelon is a natural source of — may protect the prostate gland against iron-induced oxidative stress, according to a 2014 review. Another study found that men with high intakes of lycopene also had a lower risk of prostate cancer.
One and a half cups of watermelon contains 9 to 13 milligrams of lycopene, making the fruit a rich source of this powerful antioxidant.
Watermelon is also a source of zinc, an important nutrient for the immune system and metabolism.
Zinc may also play an important role in testosterone production, which is responsible for maintaining your sex drive.
More than a delicious fruit, More than a delicious fruit, there are numerous nutritional benefits of watermelon, with watermelon juice and fruit being excellent sources of vitamins, antioxidants and more. Just to name a few, watermelon is a source of potassium, magnesium, lycopene and vitamins A and C.
Does watermelon consumption help you sexually? While watermelon won’t be replacing common erectile dysfunction medications anytime soon, there are plenty of benefits of this fruit for your sexual health, as well as your health in general.
The antioxidant lycopene in watermelon may help protect your prostate gland and improve fertility, while citrulline, an amino acid in watermelon, increases blood flow, which could help with erectile function. Meanwhile, the large amount of water in the fruit will keep you hydrated at the very least.
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Dr. Angela Sheddan has been a Family Nurse Practitioner since 2005, practicing in community, urgent and retail health capacities. She has also worked in an operational capacity as an educator for clinical operations for retail clinics.
She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, her master’s from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, and her Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. You can find Angela on LinkedIn for more information.