Watermelon is the ultimate summertime fruit. Kids and adults all await the summer to enjoy this hydrating fruit. It can be consumed in many forms as a fruit, a fresh juice, a smoothie, a salad, nowadays several creative spins have been taken on making the most of the fruit. Food enthusiasts worldwide have explored tons of recipes to cater to the growing demand, especially in the vegan industry. Due to its high nutrient concentration, it is quite commonly used in these dishes. In India, it could be considered second to just mangoes. This ball of goodness, apart from being visually appealing and mouth-watering, is also packed with nutritional goodness.
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As far as nutritional benefits go watermelon does not fall short. It’s primarily 92% water which makes it great for hydration. Low in calories and high in antioxidants. Here are a few of the nutrients you get upon consuming a bowl full of watermelon:
One of the most important antioxidants needed by the human body that protects it from free radicals.
Vitamin A present as beta carotene is an antioxidant found in red-orange fruits and veggies. It assists in boosting immunity and the prevention of cancer among other health benefits.
Lycopene is a phytonutrient that naturally occurs in fruits and vegetables and reacts with the human body to stimulate healthy reactions. It is a carotenoid that does not convert to Vitamin A. Responsible for most of the health benefits provided by watermelons.
A potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory plant compound found in the fruit.
Along with these, they are also rich in minerals such as potassium and magnesium and vitamins like B1, B5, and B6.
9 Health Benefits of Watermelon
When a fruit provides that much nutritive value, you get an idea as to it’s abundant health benefits. While the list is pretty long, let’s take a look at the nine benefits that stand out:
#1 A happy and healthy heart
As per the research conducted by Purdue University in the USA, the high concentration of lycopene in the fruit helps protect the cells from damage and could lower the risk of cardiac diseases. Another study found that extracts from the fruit help lower blood pressure in adults and reduce atherosclerosis. In post-menopausal women with aortic stiffness, watermelon extracts were shown to have a positive impact on the reduction in the stiffness along with reduced BP. Arginine and citrulline, extracts found in the fruit are responsible for enhancing circulation and reducing cholesterol build-up.
#2 Boosts immune response
The delightful fruit being rich in Vitamin C helps boost your body’s immune response. This, along with the goodness of Vitamin A, protects the body from infections. Antibodies produced by this fruit can be attributed to the presence of Vitamin B6. While watermelons are great for immunity, they also have excellent anti-inflammatory properties. The lycopene present is responsible for this property. Systemic inflammation can occur due to exposure to stress, smoking, pollution, and a range of diseases. Therefore, the consumption of anti-inflammatory fruits such as watermelon is essential to lead a healthy lifestyle.
#3 Instant hydration
Watermelon is almost 92% water so you can already imagine how proficient it is at hydrating people. It has water in its name! It is filled with the goodness of electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium that help replenish energy levels instantly. This helps prevent heat strokes. An excellent diuretic it helps increase urine output without pressuring your kidneys.
#4 Good for the gut
Being rich in fibres fosters healthy digestion and prevents constipation. The high water content also helps smoothen the activity of your digestive organs. Consuming fruit sensibly also helps regulate bowel movements. Fibres make up most of your stool while water helps easy transit in your digestive tract.
#5 Prevents soreness
Ahoy athletes and fitness freaks! You’re in luck if you love watermelons. Studies have shown that consuming watermelon juice reduces muscle-soreness and elevated heart rate experienced the next-day. Citrulline present in the fruit also helps improve athletic performance. Watermelon helps your muscles receive adequate oxygen, thereby aiding quick recovery.
#6 Reduces the risk of cancer
Due to its high concentration of antioxidants, watermelon is believed to have anti-cancer properties. Lycopene, along with its numerous other benefits is responsible for this as well. It is responsible for the colour of the fruit and is a strong antioxidant that fights free radicals and deters certain types of cancer.
#7 Excellent for your skin and hair
It is common knowledge that Vitamin A is excellent for your skin. You can get a good dose of it from just a cup full of fresh watermelon. Vitamin A fosters moisturisation of your skin and hair. It also helps repair your skin and create new skin cells. Another vitamin present in the fruit is Vitamin C which is vital to collagen synthesis. Collagen is what helps keep your skin and hair healthy and soft. These nutrients also help shield your skin from the sun’s harsh glare and prevent skin disorders like psoriasis.
#8 Helps you lose weight
Who wouldn’t like to shed a couple of pounds eating something they enjoy? Due to the high water content, eating watermelon can help you feel full faster, thus making you eat fewer calories. Adequate water consumption also helps the removal of toxins and fatty products from your system while speeding metabolism. And what does good metabolism equal? Weight loss!
#9 Boosts kidney function
As discussed earlier, watermelon is an excellent diuretic and reduces pressure on the kidneys. It is a good source of minerals like potassium, but the concentration is lower as compared to other fruits. Making them the perfect alternative for people suffering from chronic kidney disease.
2 Best Ways to Infuse Watermelon in your Diet
What good is knowing all the benefits of the fruit but not eating it in the healthiest way possible? We’ve got you covered with two super healthy and easy recipes with a twist.
#1 Watermelon Fries
A healthy twist to the classic style of fries with just six ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1/4 Watermelon
- 1 tsp Chaat Masala
- 1 small bowl Yogurt
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp Organic pure Honey
- 1 tsp grated Coconut
- Take a well-sized watermelon and cut it into fry-like strips and sprinkle them with chaat masala.
- Next, take some yoghurt, lemon zest and juice and add organic pure honey and grated coconut as per your taste and give it a thorough mix to smoothen it out.
- And voila! Your fries are ready to be served. Enjoy this goodness without an ounce of guilt.
#2 Watermelon Smoothie with a creamy twist
This is a fruit ideal for a smoothie. So why not try something a little different and healthier this time?
- 3 cups watermelon
- ½ cup yoghurt
- One banana
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- Simply add the watermelon, yoghurt, banana to the blender and drizzle honey and chia seeds over it.
- Blend till you get a nice smooth texture.
- Serve it in glasses and relish it cold.
Watermelons are packed with nutrients and antioxidants and are great for overall wellness. Also, unlike many other healthy fruits and veggies, it is delicious and universally loved. It is the ultimate summertime fruit as it helps beat the heat and exhaustion associated with it. It is important to include this package of goodness in your diet to enjoy all its amazing benefits. Time to get on that watermelon high!
Frequently Asked Questions
A. Mid morning or Early evening before 7 pm – for small meals Or can be taken as before workout meal.
A. Eating too much watermelon may cause bloating and digestive discomfort. Too much of anything can harm your health, even healthy foods. Mindfully eating is the key here.
A. Both are good as far as not genetically modified. Seedless watermelon is not a genetically modified food; it is a result of cross-breeding. Most of the nutrients are in flesh. Watermelon seeds are also low in calories and are nutrient dense, so adding them adds more benefits.
A. Watermelon typically has a Glycemic Index of 72 but a Glycemic Load of 2 per 100 gram serving. The Glycemic index of watermelon is low, and it can be eaten in moderation like all fruit as part of a balanced meal. But too much of any Healthy food can lead to health issues.
A. Watermelon is high in fructose, a naturally occurring sugar that is often incompletely absorbed by our Gastrointestinal system, leading to gas.