As oppressive summers set in, the one thing that can delight you is the watermelon. The juicy fruit is not only great for your taste buds but also hydrates your body. Besides it, there are numerous other benefits of watermelon that you might not be aware of. Here you get to know everything about the amazing fruit that adds a refreshing flavor to the gloomy summer days.
What is Watermelon?
Well, watermelon needs no introduction. The fruit which is said to be from South Africa has been cultivated for thousands of years and is loved in every corner of the world. Watermelons belong to the family Cucurbitaceae and are of five types namely: seeded watermelon, seedless watermelon, mini watermelon, orange watermelon, and yellow watermelon. These are 90% water but abound in essential nutrients that make them an excellent choice for your overall health.
Watermelon Nutrition Facts
Watermelon is great for your health. It supplies you with an abundant amount of nutrients that ward off numerous diseases and keep you fit and healthy. Its high water content which is about 90% makes it a great fruit to keep you hydrated in the scorching summers. Have a look at the nutritional profile of watermelon:
- Calories in Watermelon: Watermelon is low in calories with only 46 calories in a single serving.
- Fiber in Watermelon: Watermelon is high in fiber content. It provides you with about three to four grams of dietary fiber.
- Carbs in Watermelon: Total carbohydrates in a single serving of watermelon amount to 11.6 g which include dietary fiber, starch, and sugar.
- Vitamins in Watermelon: Watermelon is an excellent source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. these improve your heart condition and prevent the risk of asthma.
- Minerals in Watermelon: Watermelon is a rich source of potassium. It supplies you 4% of the potassium of your daily requirement.
Health Benefits of Watermelon
It is not only the apple which is great for your health but adding watermelon to your diet also has a positive influence on your body. Listed below are some of the benefits of watermelon.
1. One of the Prominent Benefits of Watermelon is that it keeps you Hydrated
Watermelon is 90% water which makes it an excellent source of fluids. Thus, on the gloomy summer days when you feel exhausted, pick a watermelon to hydrate yourself. It has diuretic properties which means that it increases urination and helps in flushing out toxins. Thus, eating watermelon helps in easy detoxification of the body without stressing out the kidneys.
2. Watermelon Benefits in Maintaining the Health of your Heart
Adding watermelon to your daily diet can prevent the accumulation of bad cholesterol in the body thus avoiding the risk of heart diseases. Also, it reduces the fatty deposits in the blood vessels. High levels of cholesterol and deposition of fatty acids pose difficulty in blood flow thus straining your heart.
Eating watermelon on a regular basis can keep you clear of such troubles and thus it helps in maintaining the health of your heart. Further, it also contains a heart-healthy compound known as Citrulline which reduces the stiffness in arteries during the postmenopausal phase of women.
3. Watermelon can Help Relieve the Soreness in Muscles
Another prominent benefit of watermelon is that it can help alleviate the trouble of muscle soreness. Those who get sore muscles after a workout can evade the issue by including watermelon in their diet. Such benefits of watermelon are attributed to its high content of electrolytes and the presence of citrulline.
Studies have shown that citrulline present in watermelon can effectively reduce the soreness in muscles. It relaxes the muscles and reduces fatigue. It is because citrulline speeds up the process of removal of lactic acid which causes pain in muscles. Further, drinking watermelon juice after a rigorous workout session increases the supply of oxygen to the tired muscles and accelerates their recovery.
4. Watermelon can Help Regulate Blood Pressure
Watermelon is excellent for people suffering from fluctuations in their blood pressure. Consuming watermelon every day can help them maintain healthy blood pressure. It is because melon serves to be a rich source of potassium an essential mineral which is known to lower the blood pressure level.
It helps in regulating the blood pressure during a workout. Further, watermelon is also a rich source of citrulline which plays a vital role in the production of arginine in the body. Arginine is an amino acid that also contributes to regulating the blood pressure level.
5. Preventing Asthma is one of the Essential Benefits of Watermelon
While the benefits of watermelon are many, but it is mostly recognized as a fruit that can prevent disorders like asthma. Melon is known to contain a high amount of Lycopene, an antioxidant that helps your body in combating numerous conditions including asthma. It is known to improve your body’s shield against cold and flu. Further, it can also significantly decrease asthma flare-ups in children. The presence of lycopene and Vitamin A makes watermelon beneficial for asthmatic patients who can breathe freely after including watermelon in their diet.
6. Eating Watermelon can Help one Fight Cancer
As you already know that melons are a rich source of lycopene, these can effectively combat cancer. Lycopene which provides numerous benefits to watermelon is an antioxidant. Thus, being a powerful antioxidant, lycopene fights cancer cells and prevents the development of certain types of cancer.
It effectively fights the free radicals that damage your body and lead to the formation of cancer cells. Lycopene also helps in fighting Human Papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is known to cause uterine cancer. Hence eating watermelon helps you in the long run by keeping fatal diseases like cancer at bay.
7. Watermelon Helps in Maintaining Digestive Health
Apart from water, what melons provide you in excess is fiber. These are a rich source of dietary fiber that regulates the bowel movement thus maintaining your digestive health and preventing constipation. Proper digestion ensures that all that you eat gets well absorbed in your body. Thus, watermelon benefits in regulating your bowel movements and keeping you healthy.
8. Watermelon is Known to Prevent Inflammation
Watermelon being a rich source of lycopene can benefit you in numerous ways. Lycopene is essentially anti-inflammatory. It helps in reducing the inflammation in muscles and blood vessels relieving the heart of any strain. The carotenoids present in watermelon are the best variety of carotenoids that have strong anti-inflammatory properties.
9. Primary Benefits of Watermelon Include Weight Loss
Watermelon is primarily considered an excellent fruit for weight loss. Those who wish to draw from the benefits of watermelon must include it in their weight loss diet. Eating watermelon benefits you in losing weight as it is mostly composed of water and contains little calories.
Water provided by watermelon accelerates body metabolism aiding in the breakdown of fats and flushing out toxins from the body. Further, it provides you with a considerable amount of fiber. Thus, watermelon is considered a fat burning food and is an excellent option for those looking for an adequate diet to lose weight.
10. Watermelon Boosts Immunity
Watermelon serves as an excellent source of Vitamin C which is known to play a vital role in boosting your overall immunity by improving the count of white blood cells, your body’s defense army. Along with vitamin C, watermelon also provides Vitamin B6 which aids in the production of antibodies and the formation of the red blood cells.
Another essential Vitamin supplied by melon is Vitamin A which is also known to regulate the immune system and improve your body’s defense against infections.
11. Watermelon Improves the Sexual Health of Men
Watermelon is also known to boost the sexual health. Citrulline present in watermelon helps in dilation of blood vessels and improves the blood flow to the penis thus treating erectile dysfunction. Citrulline, the amino acid aids in the production of arginine in the body that increases the amount of nitric oxide which helps in the dilation of blood vessels. The phytonutrients present in it play a vital role in improving sexual health.
12. Watermelon can Regulate the Blood Sugar Level
Surprisingly, watermelon which is high in the glycemic index can treat diabetes. It is because the fruit has a low glycemic load which means it does not cause an immediate spike in the blood sugar level. Further, studies have shown that watermelon contains anti-diabetic properties.
13. Watermelon Improves the Health of your Hair and Skin
Watermelon provides you with antioxidants that boost the health of your skin and hair. These prevent various skin conditions and fight skin aging. Beta Carotene present in watermelon is known to prevent diseases like vitiligo and psoriasis. Also, vitamin C provided by watermelon aids in the production of collagen which promotes skin cell regeneration and strengthens your hair. Also, Vitamin A present in it aids in the production and repairing of skin cells. In all, watermelon keeps your skin healthy, youthful and supple while simultaneously strengthening your hair strands.
After learning about the health benefits of watermelon, you will want to include watermelon in your diet. Watermelon can be eaten in numerous ways. You can slice it, juice it, smoothie it, or enjoy it in any manner. Even smoked watermelon is getting quite popular. If you are bored of eating plain watermelon chunks or drinking watermelon juice, then try some exciting watermelon recipes. Elucidated below are some of the watermelon dishes that are simple and easy to make.
Basil-Infused Watermelon Lemonade
This watermelon drink with its refreshing taste provides a great respite from the summer heat.
What will you need?
- A cup of water
- A cup of fresh basil (thinly sliced)
- Eight cups of cubed watermelon (seeded)
- Three-fourth cup of sugar
- Half a cup of fresh lemon juice
How to Prepare?
- To a saucepan, add water and sugar
- Bring in to a boil and then keep it on simmer for five minutes until the sugar dissolves
- Remove the pan from heat and add basil
- Refrigerate it for an hour
- After that strain the mixture and discard basil
- Next put watermelon cubes in the blender
- Blend it to get a puree
- Sieve the puree
- To the watermelon puree add the sugar mixture
- Stir them and refrigerate.
- After that serve it chill with a dash of lemon.
This watermelon sorbet is full of flavors and nutrients, and is a must try.
What will you need?
- One-third cup of water
- Half a cup of sugar
- One and a half cup of cubed watermelon (seeded)
- One and a half cup of peeled and cubed cantaloupe
- Three tablespoons of lemon juice
How to prepare?
- Take a saucepan and add to it sugar and water
- Bring in to a boil and then keep it on simmer for a few minutes until the sugar dissolves
- Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool
- Next, to a blender add watermelon and cantaloupe
- Blend them to obtain a smooth mixture
- Add the watermelon and cantaloupe mixture to the sugar syrup
- Also, add fresh lemon juice
- After that freeze the mix to get the refreshing sorbet.
What can be better than starting your day with a fresh watermelon salad? Here is the complete recipe of this savory and nutritious salad.
What will you need?
- Four cups of cubed watermelon (seeded)
- Half a cup of chopped red onion
- One-fourth cup of chopped mint
- Half a cup of crumbled feta cheese
- Three tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- One-fourth cup of pitted kalamata olives
- One-fourth cup of chopped fresh parsley
How to prepare?
- Take a bowl and add to it onion and lemon juice
- Leave it for around ten minutes
- After that combine all the remaining ingredients
- Refrigerate for an hour
- Sprinkle cheese and serve
Understanding the nutritional benefits of watermelon and its role in weight loss, many people recommend the watermelon diet for weight loss. Watermelon diet is prescribed for five days or a week to those who want to lose weight instantaneously. As per the diet plan, for the first three days, you must eat only watermelon all through the day. After that, you can start adding in other foods. This diet like other fad diets is not good for your health in the long run, but it can provide you with numerous benefits including weight loss and removing toxins from your body.
Side-effects of Watermelon
No doubt watermelons are good for your health, but excessive consumptions of these may lead to some health issues like:
- Allergic Reactions: Some people might develop watermelon allergy. In such a case, consuming watermelon may cause rashes and facial swelling.
- Hyperkalemia: Excessive consumption of watermelon may increase the potassium level in your body above the normal. These results in Hyperkalemia, a condition wherein the heartbeat gets irregular, and pulse weakens.
- Intestine-related troubles: lycopene present in watermelon if consumed in excess can cause various intestinal problems like vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and indigestion.
To sum it up, watermelon is your modern day super-food. The benefits of watermelon are many. From boosting your immunity to maintaining the cholesterol level, keeping your heart healthy and fighting cancer, it is indeed an excellent choice for health-conscious people. The myriad of health benefits in addition to great taste makes it a favorite fruit across the globe.
However, to get most of its benefits, it is essential that you must eat the fruit in moderation. Excess of it can harm your health. It is a cheap fruit, and you can use it in numerous recipes that offer exciting flavors. Growing watermelon is a great way to get the maximum results if you have space and knowledge.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can you eat Watermelon Seeds?
Yes, watermelon seeds are highly nutritious, and you can eat them. These provide you with high amounts of vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, and zinc which are great for your health. So the next time you eat a watermelon, do not throw its seeds, instead sprout them and enjoy their numerous benefits.
2. Can you freeze Watermelon?
Yes, you can cut watermelon in big cubes and freeze them. Please note that as around 90% of watermelon is water, freezing changes the texture and flavor of watermelon, hence if you wish to eat it raw then fresh watermelon is the best. Otherwise, frozen watermelon is great for smoothies.
3. How to pick a Sweet Watermelon?
When you cut open a watermelon, you want it to be ripe and sweet. What if it doesn’t? To select a ripe melon hold it in your hand and tap the underbelly. If you get a hollow sound, then your watermelon is ripe. Another way is to check the yellow splotch on the watermelon. If it is creamy yellow, then your melon is ripe.