Scientific Name – Citrullus lanatus
Amount Per 100 grams.
|Total Fat||0.2 g|
|Saturated fat||0 g|
|Polyunsaturated fat||0.1 g|
|Monounsaturated fat||0 g|
|Total Carbohydrate||8 g|
|Dietary fiber||0.4 g|
KEEPS THE HEART HEALTHY
According to research, having a slice of watermelon every day can halt the accumulation of bad cholesterol, thereby preventing heart disease. Regular consumption of watermelon has also been linked to fewer fatty deposits inside the blood vessels. These heart-healthy properties of watermelon can be attributed to citrulline, a chemical found in the fruit. As per a Kentucky study, citrulline can have beneficial effects on atherosclerosis. Citrulline has also been found to reduce arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women.
GOOD FOR CARDIOVASCULAR & BONE HEALTH
The lycopene in watermelon is especially important for our cardiovascular health and is now being recognized as an important factor in promoting bone health. Consuming large amounts of watermelon has also been correlated with improved cardiovascular function because it improves blood flow via vasodilation. Dietary lycopene reduces oxidative stress which normally reduces the activity of osteoblasts and osteoclasts; the two major bone cells involved in the pathogenesis of osteoporosis. This means stronger bones for those consuming lycopene-rich foods. Watermelon is also rich in potassium which helps to retain calcium in your body, resulting in stronger bones and joints.
IMPROVES KIDNEY DISORDERS
Watermelons contain a lot of potassium, which is very helpful for cleaning or washing out the toxic depositions in the kidney. Moreover, it is helpful in reducing the concentration of uric acid in the blood, thereby reducing the chances of kidney damage and the formation of renal calculi in that organ. In addition to this, being high in water content, it induces frequent urinating, which is again helpful for cleaning of the kidneys. Also, the antioxidants present in watermelon ensure good health of the kidneys for a long time and reduce signs of premature aging like wrinkles and age spots on the skin.
Oxidative stress in humans is an unavoidable phenomenon that usually occurs due to imbalances in antioxidants. As much as we would like to ignore it, oxidative stress is inevitable; however, there are ways to reduce the effects that this process has on our body and our life. Since this type of stress is associated with DNA, protein, and membrane damage, it is very important that you eat the right foods and keep your body healthy to avoid all the damage that this can cause. One way is to make sure you are consuming enough antioxidants. Studies have found that consuming specific fruits and fruit juices, such as watermelon and watermelon juice, can actually reduce the amount of oxidative damage because the antioxidants in those fruits have the power to scavenge the reactive oxidative species and render them harmless. The radical scavenging is actually maintained for up to ninety minutes after the consumption of the fruit or juice, suggesting that the work of antioxidants continues long after you first consume them.
IT CAN REDUCE THE CANCER RISK
Researchers have studied lycopene and other individual plant compounds in watermelon for their anti-cancer effects. Although lycopene intake is linked to a lower risk of some types of cancer, the results are mixed. The strongest link so far seems to be between lycopene and cancers of the digestive system. Lycopene appears to reduce cancer risk by lowering insulin-like growth factor (IGF), a protein involved in cell division. High IGF levels are linked to cancer. In addition, cucurbitacin E has been investigated for its ability to inhibit tumor growth.
HELPS TO TREAT INFLAMMATION
Another primary compound found in watermelons is lycopene, which has great benefits. In one American study, lycopene was found to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. Amongst the different carotenoids, lycopene is considered the best. In fact, the beneficial effects of lycopene on inflammation are considered even better than beta-carotene, an important carotenoid.
REDUCES BODY FAT
The citrulline in watermelon has been shown to reduce the accumulation of fat in our fat cells. Citrulline is an amino acid which converts into arginine with help from the kidneys. When our bodies absorb citrulline it can take the step of converting into arginine if so required. Citrulline, when consumed, has the ability to block the activity of TNAP (tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase) which makes our fat cells create less fat, and thus helps prevent over-accumulation of body fat.
IT CAN PREVENT HEAT STROKE
Watermelon is effective in reducing both your body temperature and blood pressure. Many people in tropical regions eat this fruit every day in the afternoon during the summer to protect themselves from heat stroke. In India, you will find the fruit being sold by vendors in almost every street during the summer season. The high amount of water contained in watermelon also stimulates a release of excess liquid in the form of sweat, which cools your body further during hot summer days.
LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is the most common condition seen in primary care and commonly leads to heart attacks, strokes, and other fatal diseases if untreated. Watermelon is rich in citrulline, which is an amino acid that is converted to arginine in the body. In turn, both citrulline and arginine help in the production of nitric oxide, which is a vasodilator, meaning that it helps relax and dilate your blood vessels. When the vessels are dilated, more blood can pass freely through, leading to lower blood pressure and less of a risk for such things as stroke and cardiac infarctions. Even better, the carotenoids present in watermelon help prevent the hardening of arteries and veins, thereby also helping reduce the risk of blood clots and atherosclerosis. Clinical trials have shown that supplementation with watermelon and watermelon juices can actually reduce your aortic blood pressure and may even provide cardioprotection to keep your heart healthy and working smoothly.
PREVENT MACULAR DEGENERATION
Found in several parts of the eye, lycopene helps protect against oxidative damage and inflammation. It may also help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This is a common eye problem that can cause blindness in older adults. Lycopene’s role as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound may help prevent AMD from developing and getting worse.
RELIEVE MUSCLE SORENESS
If your sore muscles trouble you after a workout, watermelon might hold the key. The fruit is packed with electrolytes and the amino acid citrulline, which help soothe sore muscles after a heavy workout. And as per an Iranian study, citrulline in watermelons can help reduce muscle fatigue. Citrulline has also been externally added to watermelon juice to check its effects, and it has been proven that it is only the naturally occurring citrulline in watermelons that has any effect on muscle soreness. Citrulline has been found to accelerate the process of lactic acid removal, thereby relieving muscle soreness. Drinking watermelon juice can also help your muscles receive more oxygen – this helps them recover faster.
IT CAN GIVE SUPPORT TO MUSCLE & NERVE
Rich in potassium, watermelon is a great natural electrolyte and thus helps regulate the action of nerves and muscles in our body. Potassium determines the degree and frequency with which our muscles contract, and controls the excitation of nerves in our body.
CAN LOWER HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
The good amount of potassium and magnesium that is present in watermelons is very beneficial in terms of bringing down blood pressure. Potassium is considered a vasodilator, meaning that it releases the tension of blood vessels and arteries, thereby stimulating increased blood flow and reducing the stress on the cardiovascular system. The carotenoids present in these fruits also prevent hardening of artery walls and veins, thereby helping to reduce blood pressure and the chances of blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, and atherosclerosis.
CAN HELP TO IMPROVE DIGESTION
Watermelon contains lots of water and a small amount of fiber — both of which are important for healthy digestion. Fiber can provide bulk for your stool, while water helps keep your digestive tract moving efficiently. Eating water-rich and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, including watermelon, can be very helpful for promoting normal bowel movements.
HELPS IN WEIGHT LOSS
Because watermelon is composed of so much water, it is by no means unusual to hear that eating watermelon may help to reduce fat or lose weight. This property of the fruit, however, may be attributed to more than just its high water content. The high levels of citrulline in watermelon mean that when our body processes this amino acid it can convert it into another amino acid called arginine. Recently, several studies have been finding evidence that the more conversion there is from citrulline to arginine, the more the amino acids block the activity of an enzyme called tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase, TNAP. Interestingly, blocking the metabolic activities of this enzyme may help to prevent excess accumulation of fat in fat cells. The reason this occurs is thought to begin with arginine’s function in the body. Researchers have found that arginine stimulates lipolysis and the expression of several genes responsible for fatty acid oxidation. The more fatty acids that are oxidized into carbon dioxide and water, the more your body also reduces your amount of stored body fat.
GOOD FOR PREGNANT WOMEN
Watermelon eases heartburn, a common condition during pregnancy. It also helps alleviate morning sickness. The minerals in the fruit can help prevent third-trimester muscle cramps.
IMPROVES EYE HEALTH
Watermelon is a wonderful source of beta-carotene which is converted in the body to vitamin A. It helps produce the pigments in the retina of the eye and protects against age-related macular degeneration as well as prevents night blindness. Vitamin A also maintains healthy skin, teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, and mucous membranes.
HELPS TO TREAT IMPOTENCE
Arginine, present in watermelon, is beneficial in curing erectile dysfunction, and the stimulating nature of the chemical can boost libido, reduce frigidity and give a kick start to your love life, after you enjoy a few slices of watermelon together!
Watermelon, being rich in vitamin C, strengthens the body’s immune system. The fruit also contains vitamin B6 that helps the immune system produce antibodies. The vitamin also aids in the formation of red blood cells. The fruit has vitamin A that regulates the immune system and protects it from infections.
GREAT FOR DIABETES
Diabetic patients, who are supposed to have a low energy and low sugar diet, often complain about starving since they don’t get to eat their staple diets, which gives them the feeling of being half fed. Watermelons can be a good supplement for them. In spite of being sweet in taste, a thick wedge will give you very few calories, since ninety nine percent of its total weight is composed of water and roughage. Moreover, the various vitamins and minerals such as potassium and magnesium help in proper functioning of insulin in the body, thus lowering the blood sugar level. Arginine, another component found in watermelons, is very effective at enhancing the impact of insulin on blood sugar. Diabetic patients can also have curries, steaks, and salads made from watermelon rinds, which are even lower in sugar.