Most melons are delicious fruits, but the health benefits of watermelon outweighs its great soothing taste. It helps to reduce high blood pressure, relieves muscle soreness, prevents cancer, improves many heart and kidney conditions and much more.
Watermelon is 92% water but is loaded with nutrients. This delicious and refreshing fruit contains vitamins, antioxidants and amino acids. The red pigment of watermelon comes from lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant that protects and repair the damages caused to the body by many diseases.
It contains citrulline -an amino acid that promotes blood flow and improves cardiovascular health. In addition to its great taste and all these nutrients watermelon makes you feel. Eat it or drink its juice, you will enjoy watermelon and stay healthy.
Table of Contents
- What is Watermelon?
- Is Watermelon Good for You?
- Nutritional Facts - Watermelon
- 9 Powerful Health Benefits of Watermelon
- Other Benefits
- Precautions and Tips
Watermelon is truly a superfood. It is full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Watermelon is a wholesome food, when you eat it you will feel full. So always eat watermelon and for that matter any melon alone.
It is believed that watermelon originated in south africa but now it is cultivated around the globe.
The fruit comes in round and oval shapes. Both seedless and with seeds variety are available in the marketplace.
The strong looking big fruit grows on vine. The long vines of watermelon grow in all directions. For better fruit production results the lateral vines are cut off so the main vine develops strong.
Watermelon also comes in a yellow/orange variety which is less popular and not available everywhere.
Of course it is good for you. It is packed with nutrients. Antioxidant lycopene gives it a red color. The deeper the red color, the more lycopene it contains. It has got vitamin A and Vitamin D. It is also a good source of amino acid citrulline.
So consume a good amount of watermelon during the season. It is a summer fruit and July is a great time when watermelons are available in large varieties. Always choose the red against the pink color for more health benefits.
The entire watermelon including the rind, pulp and seeds are healthy. Do not throw away the rind and seeds. Rind contain more amino acids than the red pulp or flesh. Watermelon seeds are rich in iron, zinc, proteins and fiber.
This watery juicy delicious fruit contains the following nutrients in 100 grams of serving. Watermelon is virtually fat and sodium free fruit. It just adds 30 calories per serving.
- Total Carbohydrate 8 g 2%
- Protein 0.6 g 1%
- Dietary fiber 0.4 g 1%
- Sugar 6 g
- Potassium 112 mg 3%
- Iron 1%
- Magnesium 2%
- Vitamin A 11%
- Vitamin C 13%
Source: USDA - *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Watermelon offers many health benefits. Top 9 are explained below:
The lycopene in the watermelon is 1.5 times more concentrated than tomato. Wherever we think of lycopene we think of tomato but now you know which is the rich source.
According a study published in the journal of Food Science in January 2007(1) lycopene had shown good anti-inflammatory properties.
So, eat watermelon, enjoy its delicious taste and reduce your inflammation.
The other big advantage of lycopene that gives the watermelon its characteristic red color is that it fights cancer. It is a powerful antioxidant that prevents the onset of cancer.
According to a study it has shown positive results in fighting prostate cancer. Other studies have shown its effectiveness in combating uterine cancer.
Lycopene is a wonderful antioxidant that keeps you healthy and watermelon will provide you with a good amount of lycopene. Another good source is tomatoes.
One of the best eating habits you can develop is to eat one slice or about 100 grams of watermelon daily. Watermelon is rich in amino acid citrulline which dilates blood vessels and doesn't allow cholesterol to harden the arteries.
Various studies have shown the reduction in arterial stiffness with the use of watermelon. Other phytonutrients like lycopene and beta-carotene also reduce oxidative stresses caused by the free radicals.
The overall impact of all these nutrients in watermelon is improved cardiovascular health.
Once again the lycopene content of watermelon provides another benefit. It improves your eye health. Mayo clinic suggests lycopene as a potential treatment for macular degeneration.
All kinds of antioxidants are generally good for eye health. Both lycopene and beta-carotene in watermelon provide sufficient amounts of antioxidants to keep you overall healthy. These antioxidants fight against the free radicals and prevent oxidative stresses caused by them.
Various studies have shown that lycopene helps people with asthma breath properly. Antioxidant capabilities of lycopene also helps to fight cough and flu which makes asthma worse.
A good dose of vitamin A and lycopene will keep you safe from asthma bouts. Watermelon is rich in both these nutrients.
Watermelon is rich in potassium which is an important electrolyte that effectively regulates the nerves and muscles. In fact people who eat watermelon and do exercises get less sore muscles complaints than those who do not eat any potassium rich food before exercise.
Other important compound citrulline in watermelon also helps to reduce muscle fatigue. This works by dilating blood vessels and supplying more blood and oxygen to the muscle cells. Citrulline according to a study actively removes lactic acid relieving muscles from soreness.
So drink a glass of watermelon juice after your daily workout.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is mainly a blood circulation issue. The amino acid citrulline in watermelon relaxes and dilates the blood vessels to improve the blood circulation.
Some studies have shown oral consumption of citrulline supplements improve erection hardness in men with mild ED.
So if your sexual life is getting impacted by erectile dysfunctioning and you don't want to go for viagra or other chemicals then watermelon is one good option for you to try.
Lycopene in watermelon is a powerful phytonutrient to deal with oxidative stresses caused by heart diseases. It protects and prevents cell damage.
Consuming a large amount of watermelon improves cardiovascular function by improved blood flow. This reduces blood pressure.
The amino acid citrulline in watermelon helps maintain blood pressure control. The potassium in watermelon also helps neutralize the impact of sodium which tends to raise blood pressure.
There are numerous other benefits of watermelon as described under:
- Keep You Hydrated - Watermelon with 92% water content is one of the most powerful natural hydrating food items. It is a natural diuretic without putting any pressure on your kidneys. So enjoy the taste of watermelon and stay hydrated.
- Prevents heat strokes -Watermelon does not only reduce blood pressure but also it reduces the body temperature. Watermelon contains 92% water, therefore people in tropical climate eat Watermelon in the afternoon to protect them from the Heatstroke.
- Delays Onset of Osteoporosis - Lycopene reduces the activities of osteoblast and osteoclasts by reducing oxidative stress resulting in delaying onset of Osteoporosis.
- Lowers Blood Sugar Levels - Though watermelon is sweet it contains much less sugar than banana. Watermelon is the best low energy low sugar diet. Most of such diets give diabetes patients a feeling of starvation. Watermelon is different. It gives you full satisfaction of eating a wholesome food as well as low sugar benefits.
- Improves Digestion - High water and fiber content in watermelon makes it a very effective digestion aid. It prevents constipation which is one of the most common health conditions of today's modern lifestyle.
- Prevents Heat Strokes - Due to its high water contents watermelon prevents hypothermia or heat stroke. It satiates thirst and relieves you from exhaustion caused by heat.
- Improves Skin and Hair Health -Watermelon contains a good amount of vitamin C which is important for collagen synthesis. Collagen is required to keep your skin supple and hair strong. In addition to Vitamin C watermelon also is rich in Vitamin A and beta carotene both of which are important to keep the skin healthy. It doesn't let it become dry and flaky.
- Prevents Osteoporosis - Due to its high vitamin C contents watermelon can help in calcium absorption by the body. This strengthens the bones and prevents osteoporosis.
- Boosts Energy - Potassium in this water rich fruit replenishes electrolyte making you feel more energetic.
- Helps Lose Weight -Watermelon can make you feel full with very low calorie intake.This is great for weight loss plans. In addition the fiber in it aids in digestion and high water contents flush toxins out.
There is no other watery fruit that is as beneficial as watermelon. Go for it.
Watermelon is a great fruit. It has no side effects. It makes you feel full so your chances of overeating are very low. However, if you eat too much of watermelon then in some cases you may get the following side effects:
- Hyperkalemia due to increased potassium levels leading to irregular heartbeats and weak pulse
- Digestion problems such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and indigestion
- Rashes due to allergic reaction
Watermelon is a diabetes friendly fruit but too much consumption can cause sugar level rise in some cases. So if you are diabetic then monitor your sugar regularly.
Bottomline is that you should eat watermelon frequently during the entire summer months for the large number of benefits it offers.