Watermelon is considered the most important summer product and appears throughout the season at pool parties and summer barbecues. Although it is known for its ability to stay cool and moist, there are many other health benefits associated with this popular fruit that are not so well known.
What are the advantages of using watermelons? As you will learn below, this fruit is low in calories, is a good source of vitamins C and A and is associated with everything from relieving muscle pain and improving recovery from the workout to improving vision and skin health.
The watermelon plant, scientifically known as Citrullus lanatus, belongs to the family of flowering plants known as Cucurbitaceae.
Is a watermelon a fruit?
Yes, the prickly, blunted watermelon from South Africa produces the popular edible fruit that we usually eat today.
It is believed that wild breeds grown many years ago were more bitter than the breeds we eat today, due to a compound called cornbitazine. Historically, many varieties of different colours and flavours have been grown in different parts of the world, including Africa.
Believe it or not, there are an estimated 1,200 different types of watermelons. These include Lanatus, raspberry candy and jubilee watermelons.
Most people do not know that all watermelons are edible, including the skin and seeds. In fact, watermelon peel (which can be pickled or even fried) is very rich in citrulline, a compound that is converted into the amino acid arginine, which is associated with cardiovascular benefits and much more.
The seeds are also full of amino acids, protein components and some trace elements, so they are part of some powdered vegetable proteins.
Is watermelon a superfood?
Although not as nutritious as fruits such as berries or oranges, eating watermelons has impressive benefits.
All varieties are full of antioxidants and are associated with a variety of health benefits, such as improved heart function, increased immunity and greater weight loss.
Two particularly protective substances in this fruit are citrulline and lycopene.
According to nutritional data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a cup (about 152 grams) contains about the same amount of watermelon:
- 46 calories
- 11.5 grams of carbohydrates
- 1 gram protein
- 0,2 gram fat
- 0.6 grams of dietary fibre
- 12.3 milligrams of vitamin C (21% of DV)
- 865 International units of vitamin A (17% of DV)
- 170 milligrams of potassium (5% of DV)
- 15.2 milligram magnesium (4% of DV)
- 0.1 milligram thiamine (3% of DV)
- 0.1 milligram vitamin B6 (3% DV)
- 0.3 milligram pantothenic acid (3% BA)
- 0.1 milligram copper (3% of nominal value)
- 0.1 milligram manganese (3% of DV)
The 12 most important benefits of watermelon
These are some of the main advantages of watermelon:
1. May help maintain immunity
In animal studies, the consumption of watermelons has been associated with reduced inflammation and improved antioxidant capacity.
Lycopene, one of the carotenoids that are abundant in this fruit, has strong antioxidant properties and can help reduce oxidative stress. According to recent research, it can also help keep your heart healthy and protect you against certain types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and macular disease.
Studies show that the consumption of arginine, an important amino acid used in the synthesis of nitric oxide, can also increase the level of arginine. Nitric oxide not only promotes the dilatation of blood vessels to maintain efficient circulation and reduce the risk of hypertension, it also helps to regulate the immune system.
This fruit is also an excellent source of vitamin C, an important trace element that has a dual function: It acts as an antioxidant and immune stimulant to keep your body healthy and fight chronic diseases. Antioxidants can help fight free radicals and protect cells from oxidative damage and stress.
2. May improve heart health
Watermelon contains good amounts of potassium and magnesium, two important nutrients for the treatment of diseases such as high blood pressure. According to research, consuming sufficient amounts of potassium and magnesium as part of a nutritious diet appears to be associated with improved heart health and a reduced risk of dying from heart disease.
A report published in Advances in Nutrition has shown that eating large amounts of potassium-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, can have a positive effect on blood pressure, which can be helpful in reducing the risk of diseases such as stroke and heart attack.
Lycopene also has a positive effect on heart health by reducing inflammation, combating oxidative stress and possibly improving blood fat levels.
New studies, including results from the 2019 study, show that consuming 100% water system juice is a delicious and effective way to increase serum lycopene in older women – a risk group with low carotenoid intake.
Studies have also shown that the benefits of watermelon may include its ability to help relieve arterial stiffness, balance cholesterol and improve systolic blood pressure in adults with high blood pressure.
3. Can relieve pain and suffering
In addition to the potential benefits of water system juice, this fruit also contains a good amount of vitamin C in each serving. Vitamin C has been shown to protect cartilage and bones, help repair tendons and ligaments and accelerate wound healing.
Potassium and magnesium, two nutrients also found in this type of melon, are important for muscle recovery and pain relief. Potassium in particular helps prevent muscle cramps after training and heal injuries faster.
4. Helps prevent kidney stones
Studies have shown that the potassium in fruits and vegetables is very useful for the excretion of toxins and the removal of blood waste, which helps to prevent kidney stones.
One of the advantages of watermelon is that it is a natural diuretic. It helps increase urine production to transport waste and toxins out of the body and protect against kidney stones.
5. Moisturising, digestive and detoxifying substances
One of the main advantages of watermelon is its high water content. In fact, it is estimated to consist of about 91% water, which can detoxify the body and get rid of excess water and liquids, relieving unpleasant swellings and inflammations.
Potassium and magnesium are also important for detoxification.
Potassium acts as an electrolyte and promotes healthy blood circulation. It helps regulate blood flow and moisture levels in the body so that oxygen can enter the cells. At the same time, magnesium reduces water retention in the intestines to prevent flatulence and help you lose weight.
Another interesting finding from recent animal studies is that the consumption of water system juice significantly lowers fast blood sugar levels in diabetic mouse models. It seems that the juice causes changes in the composition of the intestinal microbiome, which can have a positive metabolic effect.
6. Can help in the fight against cancer cells.
This fruit can act as a powerful food in the fight against cancer by compressing the heart dose of antioxidants and watermelon in each serving.
An important advantage of watermelon for men is that lycopene, one of the most important carotenoids in the fetus, is associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer in some studies. Research also shows that lycopene plays a role in maintaining the resistance of cell membranes so that they can protect themselves against toxins that can cause cell death or mutation.
It is also an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A, antioxidants that help fight free radical damage and prevent DNA mutations that block the formation of cancer cells. Studies have also shown that high doses of vitamin C can enhance the anti-cancer effect of certain drugs used in chemotherapy while reducing the side effects of conventional cancer treatments.
7. Helps protect skin health
Watermelon is good for the health of the skin because it is one of the best antioxidants. Thanks to its high antioxidant content of vitamins A and C, one of the benefits of watermelon skin is that it protects cells from damage and fights free radicals to slow down the ageing process and maintain a healthy appearance.
Vitamin C is especially important for skin health. It helps to increase collagen production and prevent sun damage.
At the same time, vitamin A is the key to keeping your cells healthy and protecting them from UV rays.
8. Promotes healthy vision
This giant fruit also contains nutrients that play an important role in protecting eye health, including beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin, among the many benefits of watermelon. Studies have shown that a severe vitamin A deficiency, for example, can lead to macular degeneration – a condition characterized by a thickening of the cornea that can eventually lead to blindness.
This summer fruit is an excellent source of beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A that occurs in plants. An adequate intake of beta-carotene in your diet can help prevent macular degeneration, a major cause of age-related blindness.
9. May help with weight loss
Is watermelon good for weight loss? Although it contains natural sugars and carbohydrates, it is not necessarily bad, depending on the diet you follow and the amount you eat.
Although watermelon is rich in many essential vitamins and minerals, it is low in calories, making it an excellent addition to a nutritious slimming diet. Therefore, watermelon has a positive effect on weight loss, contributes to satiety and inhibits the desire for health.
A study published in 2019 in the journal Nutrients showed that the possible mechanisms by which the consumption of watermelons improves body weight control are an increase in satiety (fullness) and a postprandial response to glucose and insulin.
After a four-week intervention in overweight and obese adults, consuming two cups of watermelon instead of biscuits resulted in a much higher degree of satiation (less hunger, anticipation of food consumption and desire for a more nutritious diet) and a significant reduction in body weight, body mass index (BMI), systolic blood pressure and waist-to-height ratio.
10. Can improve training recovery
Watermelon, including the juice of this fruit, has been associated with better muscle recovery in athletes and a reduction in muscle pain. This can help you to reach the gym more effectively to achieve your weight loss goals.
A study conducted in 2020 showed that by providing electrolytes and reducing dehydration, one of the main benefits of watermelon is its ability to promote recovery from exercise and alleviate pain and suffering.
It is interesting to note that a study in the journal Agriculture and Food Chemistry investigated the influence of watermelon juice as a functional drink for athletes. After 24 hours of taking the supplements, the athletes increased their heart rate, which was more conducive to muscle recovery, and reduced general muscle aches and pains.
A study conducted in 2016 showed that the consumption of watermelon puree fully met the energy requirements during exercise and increased the level of nutrients in the blood after exercise (L-citrulline and L-arginine), the antioxidant capacity and the general state of the nitrates. However, postoperative inflammation and changes in innate immune function were not affected.
Another 2016 study also showed that it was beneficial for those who train with high intensity or with stamina, but generally did not prolong burnout time.
11. Can reduce acid reflux from
One of the advantages of watermelon and muscle (and other types of melon) is that they are often used to relieve the symptoms of acid reflux. Melons are part of the GAPS diet, which is designed to treat diseases of the digestive tract and reduce inflammation.
Melons are thought to calm the gastrointestinal tract and regulate the pH value, while reducing inflammation and acid production throughout the body. However, because of fructose, watermelon can cause discomfort to people who are sensitive to foods with a high FODMAP content.
12. Reproductive/sexual healthMay be beneficial
How does a watermelon behave sexually? As mentioned above, consuming the juice and flesh of this fruit can help to reduce stiffness, maintain blood circulation and improve blood pressure.
This suggests that watermelon can also be sexually beneficial, as it can promote blood circulation and thus excitement.
In addition, several studies have shown that citrulline (found in the skin) is a safe and well accepted alternative for the treatment of mild to moderate erectile dysfunction in men.
That’s what it looks like: Kukamelon: How can I grow Instagram’s most popular Superfruits?
Where can I find/ How can I use?
Where and when can I buy fresh watermelons?
Today, watermelon is grown commercially in most American states, with the largest producers in Georgia, Florida, Texas, California and Arizona.
Watermelon is a tropical or subtropical plant that needs temperatures above 77 degrees Fahrenheit to grow. The watermelon season falls during the hottest months of the year. The most popular types sold in the north of the United States are sold in the summer – that’s why they have become the main type of barbecue.
In other parts of the world, such as Africa, the Middle East, India and Asia, the fruit is popular for its ability to grow in warm conditions and to provide moisture in dry climates.
Some watermelon plants have been genetically modified to produce seedless melons or small white seeds. Currently, many studies have been conducted to develop disease-resistant melon varieties and to develop seedless strains that keep all nutrients intact.
Seedless varieties are assumed to have the same health benefits as those with seeds.
It is always best to buy organic varieties of mostly modified crops if possible. Like the production of inorganic watermelons, melon seeds are often treated with synthetic growth simulators. To reduce the risk of contamination by all synthetic chemical additives, you should look for a naturally grown, organic melon crop.
How to choose a watermelon:
The ripe melon has a smooth, hard skin that usually turns green with dark green or yellow spots or stripes. The inside, the edible flesh, is usually light pink with large black seeds, but can also have other shades.
On some markets you will find dark red, orange, white or yellow melons, for example.
How do you know if the watermelon is ripe?
How do you know this fruit is ripe? Sweet watermelon is ready to be cut and eaten when it has a yellow or cream colour at the base of the melon, as opposed to bright white.
Also try to tap and lift the melon to find it heavy and dense for its size. Usually this means that all his juices are produced and he’s ready to crack.
How to cut a fresh watermelon:
- Place the melon on the cutting board and first cut off both ends.
- Then stand on the melon so you can cut it in half.
- Cut in the middle to make two large halves, then cut in half again to make quarters.
- Cut into triangular slices every quarter.
- After cutting, some people like to salt the fruit a little to improve the taste, but this is not necessary.
- If you don’t eat anything for an hour or two, keep them in the fridge for a few days.
Can we eat watermelon seeds?
Most people do not know that watermelon seeds and watermelon juice have many advantages.
Seeds are considered a good source of protein, oils and carbohydrates. They also supply omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, magnesium, zinc, copper, potassium and much more.
You already know that this melon has a high water content (hence the name), and research shows that drinking this juice is a good way to get both moisturizing fluids and antioxidants, essential electrolytic minerals and vitamins.
Although watermelon seeds are completely safe to eat, they need to be germinated and pruned to maximise their potential health benefits. This process can increase the protein content of superseeds and make it easier for your body to access and absorb the incredible nutrients they contain.
Something new when you add watermelon to recipes? There are many ways to include this delicious fruit in your diet.
Try adding something to your drinks or cocktails to create a slimming aroma. You can also use it to make refreshing water from watermelons or try freezing it for the summer.
Another popular way to have fun is to sprinkle watermelon salt or add it to salads, fruit bowls and desserts. You can also chew one or two slices of watermelon, as is usual with a delicious snack without a snack.
Here are some simple but delicious watermelon recipes to get you started:
What time of day is the best time to eat watermelon? For example, given their high water and sugar content, is it normal to eat watermelons at night?
Do not hesitate to use it if you are in the mood, for example before training or after dinner, to pamper yourself. Keep in mind, however, that a high water content can send you to the bathroom at night.
Risks and side effects
Are there any negative effects of watermelon you should know about?
Melons are not known as common allergens and do not cause frequent drug interactions. However, these tasty fruits are preferably eaten in moderate quantities due to their relatively high sugar content.
How much watermelon do you have to eat every day?
For most people, one or two cups a day is a good amount. Because watermelon contains relatively many natural sugars (such as glucose, fructose and sucrose) and carbohydrates, is low in fibre and contains almost no healthy proteins or fats, eating large amounts of watermelon can lead to increased blood sugar levels.
When can’t you eat watermelon?
For people with a known form of insulin resistance, including people with pre-diabetic diabetes or diabetes mellitus, it may be useful to choose low-sugar fruits that also contain more fiber, such as berries. Otherwise it should not be a problem to keep small portions of this fruit.
If you have a known allergy to other fruits, make sure you include new fruits, such as melons, in your diet.
Has the watermelon ever been fattened?
If you are someone who is otherwise healthy and doesn’t need to lose weight, a watermelon is a safe and nutritious food choice while eating in moderation and keeping your portion size under control.
Can I eat watermelon every day?
Yes, although diversity in your diet is welcome. Try combining it with other foods that also have healthy sources of protein, fibre and fat to slow down the effect of fruit sugar on blood sugar levels.
Watermelon vs. melon vs. pineapple: What’s best?
Over the centuries, many types of melons have been used in various forms of folk medicine because of their strong healing and health-promoting properties.
Traditional Chinese medicine uses all forms of watermelon, including watermelon leaves, bark and seeds. In combination with other herbs or while drinking tea, the benefits of watermelon seeds are the relief of urinary tract infections and increased urine production.
Melon meat is believed to improve the health of the heart, bladder and kidneys, but it also purifies heat and promotes calmness.
In the Ayurvedic diet, melon is used for its refreshing properties and its ability to act as an aphrodisiac, strengthen the blood and promote liver health. According to Ayurveda, however, it is important for a good digestion in the body to eat only foods such as melon and not to combine it with heavy food.
Pineapple and melon are popular summer delicacies with a sweet taste and refreshing properties. However, there are important differences between these three types of products.
A melon is by definition any plant belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family, which also includes watermelon. However, the term melon is often used for certain fruits such as melon, honeydew melon and watermelon.
One of the main differences between these melon and watermelon varieties lies in the seeds. While watermelons have small seeds scattered throughout the fruit, melons contain a central cavity for the seeds.
Both are known for their high water content, taste and the low calorie content of watermelon and melon.
Pineapple, on the other hand, is a tropical plant produced by a perennial herbaceous tree that normally grows to a height of five metres. It contains more calories and natural sugars than melon and is known for its particular sweet taste.
It also contains a special enzyme, bromelain, which is believed to have anti-tumour properties and has been shown to treat diseases such as diarrhoea, osteoarthritis and bronchitis.
- Watermelon belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family, a group of plants with many different species grown all over the world.
- Why is watermelon good for your health? It is low in calories, but rich in important trace elements such as vitamin C and vitamin A.
- The benefits of watermelon can include support for eye health/vision, improved immunity, improved heart and skin health, support for weight loss and much more.
- There are many ways to include them in your diet, from refreshing desserts to sorbets, cocktails and salads.
- It is not known if this fruit is a common allergen or if it does not cause frequent drug interactions. However, due to its relatively high sugar content, it is best to consume it in moderation.