Sweet, pink, ripe watermelon is a refreshing, low-calorie, fat-free snack great for overall health. You may already know that watermelon benefits for men (and for women, for that matter) include the fact that this fruit is a good source of vitamin C. And that it’s great for hydration. It’s great for adding variety to the diet and is good for health, whatever your sex. But watermelon has some nutritional benefits that are particularly good for men.
Why is watermelon good for men’s health?
Watermelon is a sweet and satisfying summer fruit that makes a low-calorie treat. But it’s also very hydrating and surprisingly nutritious. To start to understand how watermelon can benefit men, let’s look at some of the nutrients this fruit delivers.
A one-cup serving of watermelon has only 45.6 calories but offers:
- .6g fiber
- .9g protein
- 12.3mg vitamin C
- 42.3mg vitamin A
- 680mcg lycopene
- 15.2mg magnesium
- 170mg potassium
Why watermelon nutrition may benefit men more than women
Although watermelon is a great food choice for everyone, it just may offer more important nutrition for men than for women. In 2008 it was discovered that watermelon could be nature’s sexual medicine for men. That’s because of one very special nutrient, l-citrulline. (It is commonly referred to simply as citrulline.)
And thanks to this discovery, for men, watermelon and sex are forever linked. You can see why this luscious, summer fruit makes our list of the 10 foods every man should eat.
Is the citrulline in watermelon a natural Viagra?
Citrulline is a naturally-occurring amino acid. It is considered a non-essential amino because your body can produce it naturally. However, ever since a 2008 study linked the citrulline in watermelon and sexual performance, men have had an interest in getting an added boost of this amino acid.
The body converts the citrulline in watermelon into l-arginine through an enzymatic process. L-arginine (commonly referred to as arginine) is a precursor to nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels. This is basically the same function as prescription erectile dysfunction medication.
In other words, in concentrated doses, some experts believe that the citrulline in watermelon could work as a replacement for prescription erectile dysfunction medication. (Some experts even go so far as to call watermelon “nature’s Viagra.”)
Before you get too excited, please keep in mind that there is still much to learn about citrulline and men’s sexual performance. So before using watermelon as a replacement for sexual dysfunction medication, be sure to check with a medical professional.
The citrulline in watermelon may improve blood flow but does not improve sex drive
Here’s what we understand right now about the citrulline and sex link, aka watermelon viagra. Citrulline may improve blood flow as effectively as prescription medications to treat erectile dysfunction.
Unfortunately, there are many misinterpretations of the claim that watermelon may help your sex life. Many articles promoting watermelon’s ability to promote nitric oxide have confused better blood flow with improved sex drive. As far as we know, watermelon is not linked to sex drive in men – or women for that matter.
In addition, although the nutrients in watermelon improve a man’s ability to achieve an erection, it isn’t fully understood just how much watermelon would be required in order for the eater of this summer fruit to experience a “Viagra-like” effect.
Why you should eat watermelon rind
According to research published in The Journal of Chromatography A, the citrulline in watermelon is concentrated near the rind, (also referred to as the watermelon peel). So if you wanted to experiment with the benefits of watermelon peel at home, you might want to work on your recipe for pickled watermelon rind.
The same research paper notes that the flesh of yellow and orange watermelons offers more citrulline than is found in the flesh of red watermelons. So if you’re on the hunt for a citrulline boost but aren’t into rinds, you might want to buy yourself a golden watermelon.
More nutrients in watermelon to benefit men
In addition to citrulline, watermelon benefits include lycopene. Did you know that watermelon is one of the finest sources of lycopene, a carotenoid thought to be remarkably beneficial to cardiovascular health?
Cooked tomatoes (specifically sun-dried tomatoes and tomato paste) are considered the best food sources of lycopene. But watermelon makes the top five. It is believed to impact cardiovascular health by reducing free radical damage and potentially improving “good” cholesterol levels. There are also studies to suggest that watermelon lycopene may lower blood pressure. This has the potential to lower the risk of heart attacks and stroke. It may even play a role in preventing heart disease, however, more in-depth scientific study is needed to better understand lycopene’s benefits to cardiovascular health. It is also unclear as to whether you can obtain enough of these benefits from food sources alone, or if it needs to be taken as a supplement.
Lycopene & men’s sexual health
Lycopene’s benefits to cardiovascular health are not just important for a healthy heart. Cardiovascular health is also essential to sexual performance and pleasure. The ability of a man to achieve and maintain an erection relies on healthy blood flow. Therefore, any benefits of this nutrient to a man’s heart health is also a boost to his sexual experience. But that’s not the only way lycopene may play a role in men’s sexual health. There’s also evidence to suggest that increased intake of lycopene may prevent prostate cancer.
Lycopene and men’s fertility
A remarkable number of studies have associated lycopene with men’s sperm health. In fact, according to the fertility specialists at CNY Fertility, lycopene can not only improve sperm count but also benefit sperm motility as well as the size and shape of sperm. Although the lycopene in natural food sources like watermelon is valuable, fertility specialists acknowledge that men with serious fertility issues may need the greater benefits of lycopene supplementation. Please consult your physician if you think you could benefit from increased lycopene.
But if you want to enjoy the natural benefits of lycopene in your fruit, look for watermelons with deeply colored, red flesh. These have a higher concentration of lycopene than fruits with pink, yellow or orange flesh. According to the USDA, seedless red watermelons contain more lycopene than seeded watermelon varieties.
Watermelon is a source of potassium, which is among the nutrients considered key to men’s sexual health. Eating watermelon for potassium can help keep electrolytes in balance and keep the body primed for exercise. Potassium is also associated with maintaining healthy blood pressure.
Since this low-calorie food is also a source of vitamin A, watermelon is also associated with skin health. Studies show that this vitamin can encourage collagen growth. And it may also help protect skin from damage caused by pollution and UV radiation.
Benefits of watermelon seeds sexually for men
Interestingly, it is not just the flesh of watermelon that offers nutrition for men’s health, specifically sexual health. Watermelon seeds benefits for male sexual health may have you reconsidering spitting out those seeds! These seeds of watermelon are nutrient-rich. A one-ounce serving contains:
- 158 calories
- 8g protein
- 2mg iron
- 146mg magnesium
- 184mg potassium
- .456mg manganese
- 2.89mg zinc
Magnesium, potassium, zinc, manganese and iron are all nutrients essential to men’s sexual health. Magnesium is essential for muscle function and also supports heart health. Potassium is linked with both sexual arousal and sexual performance. Zinc is a crucial nutrient for blood flow, maintaining erections and achieving orgasm. Manganese is not only linked with heart health but a deficiency of manganese can cause a loss in sex drive. And iron helps convert calories into energy, helping you access the stamina you need for a long night of passion. (It’s also worth noting that watermelon seeds contain a substantial amount of protein. And protein benefits muscle strength for sustained physical activity.)
Additionally, watermelon seeds are considered a good source of “healthy” fats that your body needs but can’t produce itself. According to the American Heart Association, these fats aid in the prevention of heart attacks and stroke.
Where to buy watermelon seeds
If you’re thinking you might need to start eating watermelon seeds but have no idea where to get them, (short of swallowing the ones in the fruit), don’t worry! Watermelon seeds are becoming increasingly popular and are sold in many health food and specialty grocery stores. If you’re not sure where to get them near you, you can always order watermelon seeds online. They’re even sold on Amazon.
Watermelon juice benefits for men
As with most fruits and vegetables, the juice of watermelon gives you many of the fruit’s benefits but not as much as you would get from eating a slice of juicy watermelon. However, drinking watermelon juice will still give you a dose of the nutrients important to men’s sexual health as well as help keep you hydrated and keep electrolytes in balance.
According to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, watermelon juice’s antioxidant properties can improve post-workout muscle recovery. According to the findings, it is the l-citrulline in the juice that helps reduce recovery heart rate and muscle soreness.
Watermelon is a delicious summer treat on its own. But it’s also great in soups, salads and even cocktails. Press it into juice with a touch of grated, fresh ginger or toss fresh watermelon chunks with brown sugar and throw them on the grill for a tasty, simple dessert. There are so many ways to serve watermelon, both savory and sweet. Here are just a few of my favorite ways to use watermelon in cooking:
10 Best Foods For Men
Up Next: Coconut
Edited by Delahna Flagg: This article was reviewed and additional research provided by Center for Mind-Body Medicine certified practitioner and Eat Something Sexy Nutrition Director Delahna Flagg.
Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided in this article is intended for informational purposes only. It is important to consult your physician before making dietary changes. More information
This article was written in 2013 and most recently updated in June 2023.
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