Watermelon health benefits

Watermelon: Health Benefits, Risks & Nutrition Facts

Watermelons are one of the popular and loved fruit all over the world. The significant, juicy, green on the outside and red inside the fruit is irresistible for people of all ages. The plant grows in a warm region and is a long-season crop. The watermelon originates from Kalahari Desert of Africa and has made its way to most of the countries by the end of the 10th century, including China, Asia and the U.S.

What Makes Watermelons Special?

Watermelon health benefitsWatermelon has a high content of water, to be precise, the fruit has 92% of water. No wonder travellers used to carry watermelons in replacement of water. Today the fruit is available in various shapes and sizes. Today watermelons come with both red and yellow pulp. If you have always enjoyed the sweet taste of the watermelon, then here are more reasons why you can enjoy the fruit often. Here are a few health benefits that you can avail when you consume the fruit.

Health Benefits

Hydrates the Body

It is a well-known fact that water keeps our body hydrated and consumption of adequate water is crucial for our health. Watermelons with more than 90% of water help to keep your body hydrated and makes you feel full, with the water content. The fruit is also rich in fibre, making it a healthy, low-calorie fruit option for weight-conscious people.

Loaded with Vitamin C and Minerals

Watermelon health benefitsWatermelon is rich in antioxidants mainly Vitamin C, reputed for preventing cell damage from free radicals. Apart from Vitamin C antioxidants present in the fruit include Carotenoids, Lycopene and Cucurbitacin E. Potassium and Magnesium present in the watermelon helps regulate blood sugar and lower blood pressure.

Cancer Preventive

Lycopene present in the watermelon is known for its anti-cancerous effects. Although it is not clear, some studies reveal that lycopene intake can reduce the incidence of stomach-related cancers by lowering insulin levels.

Promotes Cardio Health

The minerals and compounds present in the watermelon such as Lycopene, Magnesium and potassium have shown to improve heart health. The fruit contains citrulline an amino acid which proves to be facilitating the increase of nitric oxide levels in the body, which is beneficial for lowering blood pressure.

Improves Skin and Hair Health

While water in the fruit keeps your skin hydrated, vitamin C helps to keep your skin supple by producing adequate collagen, a skin repair protein. Vitamin A in the fruit helps skin repair and renew the cells. Lycopene and beta-carotene prevent sunburn, which is present in considerable amounts in the watermelon.

Prevents Constipation

The high-water content and the fibre present in the watermelon improves digestion which results in the elimination of toxic waste in the body. The fruit aids healthy digestion and promotes natural bowel movement.

Risks

We have discussed how beneficial watermelons are for our health. But not to forget anything in excess can result in health problems. Watermelons, when consumed in excess, can pose certain health risks which are highlighted below;

  • Excess consumption of watermelon can result in stomach bloating, gas, flatulence and diarrhoea.
  • Although the fruit is considered healthy, too much consumption may increase the sugar levels in the blood due to its high glycaemic index.
  • It can cause liver inflammation in people who consume alcohol regularly, as the lycopene present in the fruit reacts with alcohol causing liver inflammation.
  • Excess intake of watermelon can lead to water intoxication, which may result in low sodium levels in the body and water retention in vital organs.
  • Potassium present in the watermelon promotes heart health, but too much of potassium may lead to electrolyte imbalance giving rise to cardiovascular issues such as weak pulse and irregular heartbeat.

Nutritional Facts

Watermelon health benefitsThe nutritional facts of watermelon for 100gms of serving is as follows.

  • Water – 91%
  • Fiber – 0.4 grams
  • Fat – 0.2 grams
  • Protein – 0.6 grams
  • Carbs – 7.6 grams
  • Sugar – 6.2 grams
  • Calories – 30 per serving

How much watermelon is ideal to consume?

How much watermelon a person can consume varies from person to person. A person who loves the fruit can happily enjoy even 500gms. But make sure to note the amount of sugar and calories you are consuming when you are increasing the portion. Enjoying the watermelon in small quantities will help you to maximize the health benefits.