Anti-inflammatory benefits of watermelon

Anti-inflammatory benefits of watermelonYou’re firing up the grill and prepping the food, because there is nothing better than a cookout on a hot summer day. Paper plates and lemonade pitchers decorate the buffet table, and then you remember one of the coolest ways to beat the heat: fresh watermelon.

No summer is complete without that refreshing green and pink fruit. But did you know that some people consider it a vegetable, too? No matter which side you take on the topic of watermelon, there is one thing we do know: this hydrating piece of produce is packed with health benefits. While watermelon can help keep you cool in the summer heat, it can also help keep your neck or back pain on ice.

For a food that is made mostly of water, its nutrients can support your body in many surprising ways. Much like a tomato, watermelon contains large amounts of lycopene, which is a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory pigment found in fruits and vegetables. In fact, you can find about 15 to 20 milligrams of lycopene for every two cups of fresh watermelon, according to the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

If you want to try fighting inflammation using the power of lycopene, try incorporating fresh watermelon into your anti-inflammatory diet or drinking plain watermelon juice before your next workout. For an extra anti-inflammatory kick, try infusing your watermelon juice with jalapeño peppers and a little squeeze of lime!

Along with the anti-inflammatory power to fight back pain, check out some of the other nutrients found in watermelon and what they have to offer:

  • Potassium helps your nerves send signals and muscles to contract, which means it can help you reduce or avoid muscle spasms in the neck or back.
  • Vitamin B6 supports the body’s normal nerve function, breaks down proteins and boosts your immune system.
  • Vitamin A helps to fight infection by supporting your immune system.
  • Citrulline is an amino acid that can help improve circulation, which may help reduce or avoid chronic neck or back pain.

Whether it’s a fruit or a vegetable, it’s easy to see how watermelon can be a beneficial piece of an anti-inflammatory diet — or any diet, for that matter. If your healthy diet, exercise routines or nonsurgical methods of relief do not seem to combat your neck or back pain, it may be time to seek other forms of treatment.

Contact our Care Team to learn more about the treatments we offer; more than 60,000 people have chosen Laser Spine Institute to relieve their chronic neck or back pain, and we may be able to help you, too.

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