Mental health benefits of watermelon; ways the summer fruit can ease your anxiety
Watermelon has all that you need to beat your anxiety in a natural way. Here are all the reasons why you should add this wonderful fruit to your diet.
One of the most refreshing and hydrating summer fruits, watermelon can instantly make you feel better on a hot and sunny day. With 92% water and 8% sugar, the summer superfruit can help satisfy your sweet tooth apart from keeping dehydration at bay. Watermelon isn't just juicy and delicious, but it can also work wonders for your mental health. Many people report dip in moods or a spike in anxiety levels when the mercury climbs up. Summer months can leave you distressed in several ways. Watermelon can help reduce anxiety in a couple of ways, says Dr Uma Naidoo, Harvard trained psychiatrist, Professional Chef and Nutrition Specialist in her recent Instagram post. Let's understand how. (Also read: 6 wonderful benefits of eating watermelon in summer season)
Watermelon is a storehouse of Vitamin B6, a nutrient that assists the body to produce brain chemicals which relieve stress, anxiety and panic attacks. Without much effort, one is able to relax their blood vessels that enjoy the feel-good rush. An excellent source of Vitamin C, A and E, watermelon can also reduce your anxiety levels as the deficiency of these nutrients could be one of the anxiety triggers.
"A sure sign that summer is almost here is the appearance of watermelon at picnics, barbecues, and gatherings with family and friends. Watermelon is not only juicy and delicious, but it may also help to reduce anxiety in a couple of ways," says Naidoo.
Dr Uma Naidoo lists ways watermelon can help ease your anxiety.
1. Vitamin C in watermelon can ease anxiety
Watermelon is a good source of vitamin C, and a 2012 study from Gautam and colleagues found that vitamin A, C, and E levels were significantly lower in patients with generalized anxiety disorder and/or depression when compared to healthy controls. After six weeks of supplementation, though, the researchers reported “a significant reduction in anxiety and depression scores” (Gautam et al., 2012).
2. Improved gut health can help with anxiety disorder
Watermelon contains polyphenols, which promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. This increase in beneficial bacteria may simultaneously help improve digestion and anxiety. There is a strong correlation between anxiety and bowel disorders, so we should not be surprised that as one condition improves, the other may as well.
3. Good hydration can help with anxiety
As its name suggests, watermelon is an excellent source of water. An often-overlooked aspect of a nutritional approach to anxiety is ensuring adequate hydration. More evidence is needed to confirm this recommendation, but as I describe in my book, “I have had patients who experience worsening of anxiety or even full-blown panic attacks when they are dehydrated and do not realize it.”