It is red, juicy, refreshing, delicious, and smells summer. Watermelon is our best friend every summer for many and good reasons. Most consumers choose watermelon mainly because it is the most refreshing of all the summer fruit. However, few people know that watermelon is the second largest source of lycopene, after tomatoes, -a vital ingredient for the health of our eyes- and, that the regular consumption of watermelon during the summer months helps our body to stay hydrated, while it makes us feel full without putting on weight. With only 30 calories per 100 grams, vitamin C + A , magnesium, potassium, lycopene and 92% of water, watermelon is the king for yet another summer!
Benefits of watermelon in our health
It keeps your body hydrated and reduces its temperature
Watermelon consists of 92% of water. This makes it an excellent source of body fluid replenishment, since during the hot summer days, the human body sheds up to 4 liters of water through sweating. That water loss from our bodies causes us cramps and rising of temperature in our organs. It is of utmost importance to maintain the necessary water levels in our bodies and keep our temperature low. Also, watermelon contains calcium, potassium and magnesium, minerals and elements which also drop their levels in the body during sweating and which are also very important for the good function of the body and muscles.
It keeps healthy eyes and prevents some cancer types
Many people think that watermelon does not offer any significant benefit to our health, apart from keeping us hydrated. This is mainly due to the general misconception that fruit and vegetables high concentrated in water do not contain other vitamins. This is just a myth. The truth is that watermelon is the second richest source of lycopene after tomatoes.
Lycopene is the substance that gives watermelon the intense red color inside it and, as scientists recently revealed, it plays a crucial role in the prevention of eye cataract as well as in the protection against prostate cancer. In my article https://bellasrealworld.com/one-tomato-a-day-keeps-the-prostate-cancer-away/ you will find detailed information of the recent lycopene research. As in the case of tomato so here, the more red and ripe the watermelon is, the greater the concentration of lycopene. In general terms, keep in mind that vitamins and minerals even exist in the most “watery” fruit and vegetables. For example, cucumber is another devalued vegetable due to its high concentration in water, yet it is an excellent source of vitamin K, which is important for the prevention of osteoporosis. Find more in https://bellasrealworld.com/green-leafy-vegetables-play-key-role-to-the-prevention-of-osteoporosis/
It improves kidneys function and helps you lose weight
It is this high percentage of water that makes watermelon an excellent diuretic! Consuming cool watermelon daily helps your kidneys to detoxify and work better, since with 92% water you will visit your toilet several times. This is why it would be better to avoid eating watermelon before you go to bed, as this could interrupt your normal sleep. What’s more, the water and the natural sugar contained in watermelon make us feel full thus, we do not want to eat more food. That is why it is an ideal fruit in periods you try to lose weight. Diuretic foods are also known for lowering the blood pressure. In the case of watermelon there is another one incredient that help decreasing the blood pressure; it is the L-citrulline, an amino acid that promotes blood vessel dilation.
It improves digestion
The combination of water and fiber is ideal for the good function of the digestive system. Eating watermelon one hour after meal is ideal for those who experience indigestion and constipation problems. In general, water-rich and fiber-rich fruit and vegetables promote the normal bowel movements thus, it is important to include them in our daily diet.
The Bottom Line
Consuming watermelon regularly during summer months,
- hydrates your body saving you from muscle crambs
- reduces body temperature especially when eaten cool protecting you with this way from heat stroke
- protects eyes from cataract due to its high concentration on lycopene
- reduces the risk of prostate cancer
- improves kidneys function as it is diuretic and contains potassium
- helps you losing weight as the water and sugar it contains makes you feel full
- as a natural diuritic food, reduces the high blood pressure
- improves digestion
- helps in constipation problems
Pick the right watermelon!
The size matters!
I bet most of you couldn’t imagine that watermelon has genders! Indeed, watermelon can be a male or a female! To tell the differnce between them you should check their sizes. The ‘boys’ are bigger, longer and watery, while the ‘girls’ are smaller, round and more sweet. However, you should avoid the extremely big watermelons because they are tasteless, less nutritious and pesticides full! A medium size watermelon is good enough.
Look for the red color!
You may ask the producer to cut a watermelon slice, if possible, to check its color, too. In Greece, we mainly pick watermelons this way in order to be sure about the inside and avoid surprises, so the producers and supermarkets have already cut them in half in the market. The color inside the watermelon should be deep red without cracks and white lines. if the watermelon you pick is full of white lines and cracks from one side to the other, you should better not consume it, unless you want to spend your day with diarrhea.
Check the tail!
How many things can someone learn in a day, eh? You first learnt that watermelons are boys and girls and now that they have tails! If you turn over a watermelon, you’ll find on its ”belly bottom” a small tail. Normally farmers and supermarkets don’t cut the tail. So, keep in mind that if the tail is withered, the watermelon is ripe and ready for consumption. If the tail is still green, the watermelon was picked before it was ripe.
Prepare a fresh fruit salad or put some slices of watermelon in the blender and treat yourself and your friends a cool and refreshing watermelon juice. Serve with ice, lime slices and mint leaves.