Watermelon Health benefits, nutrition, and risks
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It is thought that the watermelon was first domesticated around 4,000 years ago in the area that is now known as Northeast Africa.
Because it is both sweet and juicy, it is the ideal treat to slake your thirst during the scorching heat of the summer.
This huge, spherical fruit has a green exterior and the flesh inside is vivid crimson. In addition to this, it is loaded with various minerals, such as antioxidants and vitamins A and C.
The following are the top nine watermelon benefits to your health:
1. Ensures that you do not become dehydrated.
Maintaining an adequate level of hydration is essential for the healthy operation of your body.
Hydration is essential for a variety of body activities, including the maintenance of normal organ function, the transport of nutrients to cells, and mental alertness, to name just a few of these functions.
Consuming foods that contain a high percentage of water can provide your body with the water it needs to perform at an optimal level.
Because it is composed of 92 percent water, watermelon is an excellent option for meeting one’s recommended daily consumption of water.
In addition, because it contains a high percentage of water, this melon has a low-calorie density, which means that it contains a very low number of calories relative to its overall weight.
Consuming foods like watermelon that have a low-calorie density can help with weight management since they keep you feeling full for a longer period of time.
The high water content of watermelon may help you feel full while also assisting in maintaining proper hydration, which is beneficial to your overall health.
2. Loaded with nutritious and plant-based substances that are helpful to the body
There are many different types of minerals that may be found in watermelons, such as potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A and C. Additionally, it has moderately low-calorie content, with only 46 calories per cup (152 grammes).
The following is a list of the nutrients that can be found in one cup (152 grammes) of raw, sliced watermelon:
Carbs: 11.5 grammes
Fiber: 0.6 grammes
Sugar: 9.4 grammes
Protein: 0.9 grammes
Fat: 0.2 grammes
5 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A (DV)
14 percent of the daily value for vitamin C
4 percent of the daily value for potassium
Magnesium makes up 4% of the daily value.
Citrulline, an amino acid that has been shown to boost exercise performance, may be found in high concentrations in watermelon.
In addition to this, it contains a variety of anti-oxidants, such as vitamin C, carotenoids, lycopene, and cucurbitacin E.
These substances contribute to the fight against free radicals, which are inherently unstable molecules that, if allowed to build up in your body, can be harmful to your cells. This damage could, in the long run, result in illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
The nutrient profile of watermelon is quite impressive, with a particularly high concentration of vitamins A and C. In addition to this, it is a good source of antioxidants such as lycopene and cucurbitacin E.
3. Could inhibit the growth of cancerous cells
Lycopene and cucurbitacin E are only two of the many plant chemicals that can be found in watermelon that have been linked to having potential anticancer effects.
Intake of lycopene may be connected with a lower risk of certain forms of cancer, including prostate and colorectal cancers, despite the fact that study results have been inconsistent.
It is thought that lycopene achieves its effects by reducing the levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF) in the blood. IGF is a hormone that encourages the division of cells. The unchecked reproduction of cells is a key factor in the development of cancer.
Additionally, cucurbitacin E may prevent the growth of tumours by stimulating autophagy in cancer cells, which is a natural process. The removal of damaged cells from your body is accomplished through a process called autophagy.
In spite of this, additional research involving humans is required.
There is some evidence that the plant chemicals found in watermelon help protect against certain types of cancer. However, further investigations are needed.
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4. May be beneficial for the health of the heart
There are a number of components in watermelon that may be beneficial to heart health.
Diseases of the heart are the primary cause of death on a global scale. It is important to keep in mind that aspects of your lifestyle, such as nutrition, have the potential to lower your risk of having a heart attack or a stroke by lowering both your blood pressure and your cholesterol levels.
According to a number of studies, lycopene may assist in lowering both cholesterol and blood pressure. Additionally, it could aid in the prevention of oxidative damage brought on by excessive cholesterol levels.
Additionally, citrulline, an amino acid that has been shown to raise nitric oxide levels in the body, can be found in watermelon. Your blood vessels are able to widen thanks to nitric oxide, which results in a decrease in your blood pressure.
Other vitamins and minerals that are good for your heart that may be found in watermelon are magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A, B6, and C.
The lycopene and citrulline found in watermelon have been linked to potential benefits for heart health, including a reduction in blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
5. Has the potential to lower levels of inflammation and oxidative stress
Inflammation is a major contributor to the development of a wide variety of chronic disorders.
Watermelon has a variety of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, including lycopene and vitamin C, which may help reduce inflammation and oxidative damage.
In one investigation, rats that were given watermelon powder as a supplement to an unhealthy diet exhibited less oxidative stress and lower levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein in comparison to rats that were in the control group.
In addition, research that lasted for 8 weeks delivered 500 mg of vitamin C twice daily to 31 persons who were obese and had high levels of inflammatory markers. When compared to the control group, they demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in inflammatory markers.
Lycopene’s antioxidant properties may also make it possible for it to put off the development of Alzheimer’s disease and slow its progression. Having said that, additional study is required.
There is some evidence that eating watermelon can help reduce inflammation, which is a factor in a wide variety of diseases when it is present in high amounts.
6.Macular degeneration could be avoided if this method is used.
Lycopene, which is found in watermelon, has been linked to possible health advantages for the eyes.
AMD, or age-related macular degeneration, is a common eye condition that affects people as they get older and has the potential to lead to blindness.
Although data is limited, it is possible that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of lycopene could help prevent and decrease the development of AMD.
In one experiment conducted in test tubes, ocular cells were given lycopene treatment, and the results showed that it reduced the ability of inflammatory markers to damage cells.
Always keep in mind that research involving humans is required.
Because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, lycopene may play a role in the prevention of AMD. Nevertheless, additional research is required.
7. May provide pain relief for aching muscles
Citrulline is an amino acid that can be found in watermelon. Some research suggests that it can increase athletic performance and lessen muscular pain.
Additionally, it can be used as a dietary supplement.
According to the findings of one study, increasing the body’s production of nitric oxide through the consumption of citrulline on a consistent basis for at least seven days results in increased aerobic performance.
This substance aids in the dilation of blood arteries, hence reducing the amount of effort required by the heart to transport blood throughout the body.
In addition, there is some evidence to suggest that watermelon itself, and not simply citrulline, may be beneficial to your body after you have engaged in physical activity.
In an older trial, athletes were given either unadulterated watermelon juice, watermelon juice combined with citrulline, or a drink that served as a control. In comparison to the control drink, drinking either of the watermelon beverages resulted in significantly less muscle discomfort and a more rapid recovery of heart rate.
However, additional research is required.
Citrulline, which is found in watermelon, has been shown to assist increase exercise performance and reducing muscle soreness.
8. Might improve the health of the skin
Watermelon is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, both of which are necessary for maintaining healthy skin.
Eating vitamin C or using it topically will help your body produce collagen, a protein that is essential for maintaining the elasticity of your skin and the strength of your hair.
According to the findings of one study, consuming more vitamin C through food and/or supplements may lower the risk of acquiring wrinkles and dry skin. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin.
Vitamin A is also essential for healthy skin since it plays a role in the production and maintenance of skin cells.
According to the findings of one study, animals with vitamin A deficiencies showed slower wound healing compared to those on diets that were nutritionally sufficient (34Trusted Source).
Keep in mind that there needs to be more research done on humans specifically with watermelon.
Although additional research is required, it has been found that some minerals found in watermelon support healthy hair and skin.
9. May be beneficial to the digestion
Both a high water content and a low fibre content are important for proper digestion, and watermelon is an excellent source of both of these nutrients.
Your bowel movements will be more consistent if you consume fibre, and water will assist waste move more quickly through your digestive tract.
According to the findings of a study that involved 4,561 adults, people who had lower fluid intakes and lower fibre intakes were more likely to suffer from constipation. Despite this, it’s possible that there were additional elements involved.
Your digestive health may benefit from the consumption of watermelon due to the high fibre and water content, which encourages regular bowel movements.
In the scorching heat of summer, many people look forward to the refreshing flavour and ability of watermelon to satisfy their thirst.
It also provides minerals such as lycopene, citrulline, and vitamins A and C, in addition to having a very high water content.
There is a need for additional research, but preliminary findings indicate that this sweet and tangy melon may even improve heart health, lessen muscular stiffness, and reduce inflammation.