Must-know Health Benefits of Watermelon
In the scorching summer heat, the mere thought of a juicy fresh watermelon is enough to make us feel refreshed. Watermelon not only makes us feel refreshed, but this yummy fruit is also loaded with numerous health benefits. If you wish to know about some its many health benefits, we suggest browsing through the following article for the same!
Nutritional Value of Watermelon
As the name is suggestive, watermelon is loaded with water, and it also contains many other essential nutrients. The bright red colour of the fruit is due to the presence of lycopene, which is an antioxidant and it also contains an important amino acid known as citrulline. Apart from this, the table below shows some other essential nutrients present in watermelon:
The table shows the approx nutritional content present in 1 cup or 100 grams of watermelon.
Table Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watermelon
Amazing Benefits of Watermelon (Tarbooz)
Being loaded with so many vital nutrients, watermelon is an ideal summer staple and can be added to our diets because of some of the following health benefits:
1. Helps in Improving Heart Health
One of the leading health threats is the increasing rates of heart ailments. However, making certain lifestyle changes may help you take care of your heart health and one of the changes that you can bring is by adding watermelon to your diet. This yummy fruit is power-packed with lycopene, which helps in controlling blood pressure and also helps in lowering cholesterol. Also, the presence of vitamin A, C, B6, potassium and magnesium are some of the nutrients present in watermelon that help in maintaining good heart health.
2. Helps in Preventing Cancer
There have been studies that have proved that lycopene, which is an antioxidant present in the watermelon, and other plant nutrients in watermelon are loaded with anti-cancer properties. It was also seen that consuming watermelon helped in reducing the IGF levels because high IGF or insulin-growth factor means higher chances of cancer. This is because IGF is a protein that helps in cell division and thus increases the risk of cancer.
3. Helps in Hydrating the Body
One of the best ways to hydrate the body is by consuming water. However, watermelon contains approximately 92% water content and thus it is amongst one of the best food options to compensate for the body’s fluid requirements. Therefore, if you are looking for foods that will help you feel fuller without too many calories, well, watermelon is what you should consume.
4. Helps in Improving Digestion
Bad digestion or digestive system can take a toll on our overall health. Watermelon is loaded with water and also contains fibre, and both these components make it an ideal addition to your diet to overcome your digestion related issues. Adding fruits and vegetables such as watermelon in your diet that are both water and fibre-rich can help in keeping the digestive system into place.
5. Helps in Treating Inflammation
Watermelon contains carotenoids such as lycopene and beta-carotene. Both these components contain anti-inflammatory properties and thus help in curing any kind of inflammation.
6. Helps in Relieving Muscle Soreness
Muscle soreness may occur when the muscles feel strained, and one of the most common reasons may include a heavy workout. Well, watermelon is something that may come to your rescue. This is because watermelon contains amino acids and electrolytes, which help in battling muscle fatigue and soreness.
7. Helpful During Pregnancy
Acidity and heartburn are a very common pregnancy phenomenon, especially during later stages of pregnancy. Watermelon can help ease the heartburn, and it may also help in relieving the signs of morning sickness. Presence of amino acids can also help in dealing with muscle cramps that usually occur in the third trimester.
8. Helps in Improving Eye Health
Consuming watermelon on a regular basis is also good for the eye health. The presence of lycopene in watermelon is great for reducing the effect of free radical damage that may lead to eye-issues such as blindness, eye-lens deterioration and may also help in preventing macular degenerative disease.
9. Helps in Preventing Asthma
Presence of vitamin A and antioxidants may help in reducing the chances of asthma flare-ups. This fruit may help in lending therapeutic effects and may help in aiding effortless breathing, thereby reducing the chances of asthma attacks.
10. Helps in Controlling Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of heart-related ailments and other health complications. However, including food such as watermelon may help in maintaining a healthy pressure. This is because it contains citrulline, an amino acid, which can help in controlling the blood pressure. Apart from this, the presence of potassium also helps in regulating blood pressure, especially during strenuous workout sessions.
11. Helps to Have Healthy Skin
One of the main benefits of drinking watermelon juice or eating this fruit is for having radiant skin and healthy tresses. Where vitamin A is beneficial for creating and repairing skin cells, vitamin C helps the body to make collagen, which is a protein that helps to maintain strong and shiny tresses. Therefore, in order to avail the health benefits of watermelon for the skin and hair, try and include it in your daily diet.
12. Helps in Losing Weight
If you are thinking of consuming watermelon for weight loss, well, the good news is that it is one of the best foods that you can consider adding in your diet for losing weight. While the high water content satiates you instantly, it also helps in flushing out the toxins from the body and increasing the metabolism. All of these factors help in weight loss.
13. Helps in Strengthening Immunity
Being loaded in vitamin B6 and vitamin C, watermelon works wonder in strengthening the immunity. Both these properties aid the production of antibodies and the formation of red blood cells, which in turn helps in regulating the immune system and protection against infection and diseases.
14. Helps in Treating Diabetes
Many of us may wonder whether watermelon for diabetes is a healthy choice and the answer is, you can consume this tropical delight because though this fruit contains high glycemic index, but it lowers the glycemic load. In simple words, the sugar present in this fruit does not get easily absorbed in the blood, thereby reducing the risk of instant sugar hike in the blood.
15. Helps in Preventing Cell Damage
Thanks to the presence of lycopene in this fruit, watermelon helps in battling the free radical damage and thus reducing the risk of cell damage.
16. Helps in Maintaining Healthy Gums
Watermelon is power-packed with the goodness of vitamin C that can help in keeping the gums and capillaries healthy. The dearth of this vitamin can lead to conditions like inflammation of the gums or gingivitis or bleeding of the gums. This vitamin is also helpful in getting rid of the bacteria in the mouth that can lead to gum infections and diseases.
17. Helps in Boosting Energy Levels
Laden with potassium and vitamin B, watermelon is an ideal fruit to spike up your energy levels. While potassium keeps tiredness and lethargy at bay, vitamin B helps in restoring the energy levels in the body.
18. Helps in Preventing Heat Stroke
Watermelons being loaded with water are one of the best fruit options to prevent heat stroke by reducing the chances of hyperthermia. The watermelon peel is important in relieving heat exhaustion.
19. Helps in Maintaining The pH Balance
Any kind of major pH balance shake-up in the body tilst you towards the acidic side, thus making you more feeling off. However, watermelon is alkaline in nature, and when added to our regular diet it helps in neutralising the acidic components of our food. This helps in maintaining the natural pH balance of the body.
These are some of the many health benefits of including watermelon in your diet.
How to Select and Store Watermelon?
Here are some points of consideration when it comes to selecting and storing watermelons:
- Heavier the watermelon, better it is. You can pick two of the same size for comparison and choose the one that is heavier as it contains more water.
- Pick the fruit that is sans any dents, bruises and cuts. A symmetrical fruit means it received optimal nutrients, sunlight and water.
- Do not pick up a watermelon that looks shiny rather the one in the deeper shade and duller appearance is what you should go in for.
- Look for the field spot – a spot that is present on the watermelon that shows where the fruit sat on the ground. If it is pale or missing, do not pick that fruit because it means the fruit was plucked too soon.
- You can easily store the fruit for up to a week in the refrigerator. Make sure you do not bruise the fruit or store it below 4 degrees.
- You can also store the chopped pieces of the fruit in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for 3-4 days.
How Can You Incorporate Watermelon to Your Diet?
The best way to consume watermelon is in its original form; however, here are some other ways of consuming the fruit or adding it in your diet:
1. Watermelon Cooler
A refreshing summer drink that can instantly fill you up with energy!
- 3-4 cups watermelon cubes, de-seeded
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3-4 mint leaves
- 1 cup crushed ice
- Honey (optional)
- Take the ingredients, put them in a blender jar and churn for a few seconds.
- Serve chilled.
2. Watermelon Salad
This salad can be had as a snack, or you can even substituted for a meal.
- 3 cups chopped watermelon
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 100 grams feta cheese
- A handful of mint leaves
- ½ cup cashew nuts, chopped
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- In a large bowl, add all the ingredients except lemon juice, salt and olive oil. Give a thorough mix.
- Add rest of the ingredients. Mix well.
- Chill the salad before serving.
3. Watermelon Sweet Delight
This recipe can be served as an ideal summertime dessert!
- 6-7 watermelon slices cut
- 1 cup sour cream
- Sugar to taste
- Few drops vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon almonds, thinly sliced
- Add sugar and vanilla extract to the cream and mix well.
- Place the cream on the watermelon sliced.
- Garnish with almonds. Serve chilled.
Are There Any Side-effects of Eating Too Much Watermelon?
Here are some side-effects that may occur from eating too much watermelon:
- Allergic reactions may be noted in some individuals that may lead to facial swelling or rashes.
- Hyperkalemia may occur, which means you have more than the required amount of potassium in the body.
- Excess amounts may cause vomiting, nausea or diarrhoea.
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding watermelon consumption:
1. Is Watermelon Loaded With Sugar?
Yes, watermelon contains a good amount of sugar in it which may make many diabetics susceptible whether to include it in their diet or not. As discussed in the section above, watermelon contains anti-diabetic properties that can help manage diabetes. However, it is better to consult a doctor before adding it to your regular diet.
2. How Many Watermelons Should I Eat in a Day?
100 grams of watermelon can give you approximately 30 grams of sugar. The ideal intake of sugar from all the foods combined together should be within 100 to 150 grams in a day. Though you can consume easily up to 500 grams of watermelon because it is very light, however, you will end up getting 150 grams of sugar from it.
You can consume watermelon on a regular basis; however, refrain from consuming large amounts of it as it may lead to certain health complications. Consuming it in moderation is the key to deriving the health benefits of watermelon.