How good is watermelon for you?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “How good is watermelon for you?” and will discuss some potential health benefits of watermelon?

How good is watermelon for you?

Watermelon is a great source of water and nutrients, is fat free has a low-calorie count, only 40 calories per cup (1) and is a great thirst-quencher. It’s also a strong source of both citrulline, a  non-essential amino-acid (2) and lycopene, an antioxidant, two potent plant components, which are both found in abundance in this food. 

A recent study has reported watermelon as the fruit containing the highest bioavailable lycopene which is about 60% more than that found in tomato which makes it the lycopene leader among fresh produce. In addition, a cup of watermelon juice contains 20% of the daily value for vitamin C (1).

Lower blood pressure, higher insulin tolerance, and decreased muscular stiffness are among the possible health advantages of eating this delicious fruit. Oral allergy syndrome is an IgE antibody-dependent immediate food allergy and can be related to watermelon (4).

What are the health benefits of watermelon?

Watermelon has a lot of water in it, which might aid in a person’s hydration. Because watermelon contains over ninety percent water, it’s an excellent summertime hydration option. With its natural sugars, it may also fulfill a sweet craving.

Antioxidants are also found in watermelon. Free radicals, or reactive species, may be removed from the body by ingesting these substances. Natural activities, such as metabolism, generate free radicals in the body. Environmental stressors may potentially lead to the development of these conditions.

Oxidative stress may arise if the body retains an excessive number of free radicals. When cells are damaged, it may lead to a variety of illnesses, including cancer and heart disease. Dietary antioxidants aid in the removal of certain free radicals from the body. Here are some of the ways that watermelon’s antioxidants and other nutrients may aid in a person’s health. Compared to well-known fruits like tomatoes, strawberries and guavas, watermelons watermelon has higher antioxidant capacity (1).

Watermelon Prevents asthma

Asthma may be caused by free radicals, according to some specialists. Lung antioxidants, such as vitamin C, have been linked to reduced risk of asthma. 

Taking vitamin C tablets has not been shown to help prevent asthma, although a diet high in vitamin C may give some protection against the condition. Between 14 and 16 percent of a person’s daily vitamin C requirements may be met by consuming a cup of watermelon balls weighing around 154 grams (g). It is worth noting that asthma prevention includes the consumption of vegetables and fruits in general, as these are sources of vitamins and antioxidants and not specifically watermelon (3).

Watermelon Lowers the blood pressure

Middle-aged patients with obesity and early hypertension who took watermelon extract had a reduction in blood pressure in and around their ankles, according to a 2012 study. Researchers believe that watermelon’s antioxidants L-citrulline and L-arginine may benefit the health of the arteries (5).

Antioxidant-rich watermelon may help prevent heart disease by boosting levels of Lycopene. Inflammation has been connected to high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol, according to a 2017 study (6).

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol may be reduced by phytosterols, plant chemicals that may be found in many foods. a few rules of thumb Two grams (g) a day is recommended by Trusted Source. A serving of 154 g of watermelon balls has only 3.08 mg of the mineral.

Phytosterols may help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) by lowering LDL cholesterol, although the exact influence they have on CVD is unknown.

Watermelon Prevents Cancer

Free radicals may have a role in the development of certain forms of cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). DNA cell damage might occur from the oxidative stress they create.

The free radical-fighting properties of watermelon’s antioxidants like vitamin C may make it a useful tool in the fight against cancer. According to some research, Lycopene consumption has also been associated with a decreased incidence of prostate cancer. Phytochemicals such as lycopene and β-carotene have shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and hypotensive properties; therefore, their inclusion on diet results in positive effects on the human body. The consumption of watermelon has been associated with various health benefits such as lowering the risk of developing heart diseases, age related degenerative pathologies, and some kinds of cancer (1).

Watermelon Helps in the digestion

Watermelon contains a lot of water and some fiber. A healthy digestive system is supported by these nutrients, which assist to alleviate constipation and maintain regular bowel movements. Fiber plays a significant role in blood cholesterol, which helps in the prevention of large bowel diseases (1). 

Watermelon keeps you hydrated

A good source of potassium (112 mg in 100 g of fresh fruit) and other electrolytes, watermelon contains around 90% water. When it’s hot outside, this is a good option for cooling off. For a refreshing Popsicle-style treat, people may enjoy watermelon slices frozen in the freezer. The watermelon´s high water content is optimal to quench the summer thirst (1).

Watermelon improves Brain health

A person’s nerve system and brain are interconnected. Watermelon contains the antioxidant choline as well as other beneficial phytochemicals.

Activities and functions that it contributes to include:

  • Learning and storing movements in the muscles
  • Keeping cell membranes in their proper shape
  • Brain development in the early stages of nerve impulse transmission
  • However, there is insufficient data to support one notion that choline may decrease the course of dementia in Alzheimer’s disease.

Watermelon is rich in vitamin C. As an antioxidant, it protects oxidation of LDL and HDL, preventing cell damage by free radicals. It suppresses oxidants, which can lead to the development of chronic diseases. It has long been reported beneficial in the prevention and treatment of a variety of ailments, scurvy, simple cold as well as being stress resistant. In addition to its numerous health effects, it plays a role in cognitive functions due to its high concentration in the brain. Therefore, the large amount of vitamin C found in watermelon plays a role in cognitive functions and its deficiency in adults can result in certain degenerative diseases (1).

Watermelon reduces Soreness of muscles

After a workout, watermelon and watermelon juice may help athletes recover more quickly by reducing muscular discomfort. The ingestion of citrulline is related to an improvement of muscle mass, muscle strength, and locomotor activity (1).

Watermelon juice with L-citrulline was compared to a placebo in a 2017 trial conducted two hours before the half marathon. In the 24–72 hours after the race, those who drank the watermelon drink reported reduced muscular ache. Consuming watermelon juice without the addition of L-citrulline is not obvious (7).

Watermelon improves your skin

To create collagen, the body requires vitamin C. The construction and function of the immune system are both dependent on collagen. Vitamin C also aids in the healing of wounds. Vitamin C has been linked to improved skin health and a decreased risk of age-related damage, according to research. Watermelon is also rich in polyphenols, which consumption has shown to be effective in prevention of “psoriasis disease”, a skin disorder affecting up to 2% of the world’s population driven by the immune system (1).

Watermelon Prevents Metabolic syndrome.

In 2019, researchers found that watermelon may reduce obesity and cardiovascular parameters as part of the metabolic syndrome. Thirty-three overweight or obese participants were given the choice of daily low-fat cookies or two cups of watermelon throughout four weeks.

In comparison to those who ate cookies, individuals who consumed watermelon felt less hungry and more content for a longer time. In addition, individuals who consumed watermelon for four weeks had:

  • Antioxidant levels in their blood are greater, which is associated with a reduction in weight and BMI (BMI)
  • Decrease of the systolic BP
  • Improved body mass index
  • The oxidative stress levels of the cookie eaters were greater than those of the watermelon eaters.
    They also saw a rise in their blood pressure and body fat. People with obesity and metabolic syndrome may benefit from eating watermelon as a snack, according to the findings.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the query, “How good is watermelon for you?” and discussed some potential health benefits of watermelon?

References

  1. Maoto, Makaepea M., Daniso Beswa, and Afam IO Jideani. “Watermelon as a potential fruit snack.” Inter J food prop, 2019,  22, 355-370.
  2.  Azizi, Samaneh, et al. “Potential roles of Citrulline and watermelon extract on metabolic and inflammatory variables in diabetes mellitus, current evidence and future directions: A systematic review.” Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol 2020, 47, 187-198.
  3. Hosseini, Banafshe, et al. “Effects of fruit and vegetable consumption on risk of asthma, wheezing and immune responses: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Nutrients, 2017, 9, 341.
  4. Okubo, Kimihiro, et al. “Japanese guidelines for allergic rhinitis 2020.” Allergol Int, 2020, 69, 331-345.
  5. Figueroa, Arturo, et al. “Watermelon extract supplementation reduces ankle blood pressure and carotid augmentation index in obese adults with prehypertension or hypertension.” American journal of hypertension 25.6 (2012): 640-643.
  6. Kulczyński, Bartosz, et al. “The role of carotenoids in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease–Current state of knowledge.” Journal of Functional Foods 38 (2017): 45-65.
  7. Martínez-Sánchez, Ascensión, et al. “Biochemical, physiological, and performance response of a functional watermelon juice enriched in L-citrulline during a half-marathon race.” Food & Nutrition Research 61.1 (2017): 1330098.

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.