Did you know that watermelon has a surprising capacity to refresh you and fill you with nutrients?
Well, if you didn’t know, now is the time.
It is a fruit that you can eat directly and you will feel refreshed and satiated immediately. Its powerful nutrients bring surprising benefits to our health.
Read on to learn a little more about this juicy fruit and everything it has to offer.
The watermelon plant has long stems, and lobed leaves, and can creep and climb. Its fruit is a berry with strong green skin and tasty, more or less reddish pulp.
This plant is a member of the genus Cucurbitaceous. Citrullus lanatus is its official scientific name.
It has some herbaceous stems, some of which can be up to 5 meters long. They have longitudinal grooves and are cylindrical.
The underside of the leaves is quite rough and has visible veins, while the upperside is relatively smooth. The leaf segments are rounded and have three to five lobes each.
Flowers are produced in the axils of the leaves. They are yellow and are both male and female. Usually, insects spread pollen from them.
And what about the fruit?
Watermelons are large, roughly spherical berries that range in size from 2 to 15 kilograms and are produced by female flowers.
The pulp is pinkish or reddish and contains many crushed seeds of various colors (brown, black, or white). The rind may be smooth or more distinctly striped and may be dark green or pale green.
Watermelon is usually eaten raw, either sliced, quartered, or even diced. You can make sorbet, puree, and jam with it.
In Russia, watermelon juice is used to make a highly prized wine. The bark is occasionally used to produce jam or sweet brine and, in rural areas, is fed to livestock.
It is high in water, low in fat or protein, and therefore low in calories. It is also an important source of potassium and vitamin A. It is a fruit with diuretic qualities that is refreshing.
History and production
Since ancient times, watermelons have grown wild in the savannahs and deserts of southern Africa, particularly the Kalahari. Watermelons are descended from these wild varieties.
Watermelons were introduced to North Africa during the Early Ages. They have been depicted in artwork found in Egyptian tombs dating back over 5,000 years.
The first civilization that grew watermelons for a sweeter taste was Ancient Egypt. Over time, the watermelons were shipped via trade routes to the Mediterranean.
Watermelon fruit was first brought to India in the 7th century, eventually reaching China somewhere in the 10th century.
This fruit was introduced to the New World by colonists and the slave trade. It was grown in the South and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello Garden.
Know now the nutritional value of watermelons.
Nutrition Facts about Watermelon
Potassium, magnesium, vitamins A and C, and other minerals can all be found in watermelon. A cup (152 grams) of diced, raw watermelon contains the following nutrients:
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- 46 Calories
- 0.2 grams of Fat
- 0.6 grams of Fiber
- 11.5 grams of Carbs
- 0.9 grams of Protein
- 9.4 grams of Sugar
- 5% of the Daily Value (DV) of Vitamin A
- 4% of the DV of Potassium
- 14% of the DV of Vitamin C
- 4% of the DV of Magnesium
Citrulline, an amino acid that may boost exercise performance, is also abundant in watermelon.
As a bonus, it contains antioxidants like vitamin C, carotenoids, lycopene, and cucurbitacin E. Antioxidants can reduce and eliminate free radicals in our body.
Free radicals are unstable molecules that can harm our cells if they build up in our bodies. This harm could eventually result in diseases including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Thanks to all these nutrients, watermelon can provide us with excellent benefits, learn a little about them.
Watermelon health benefits
May enhance digestion
Watermelon has a lot of water and only a little bit of fiber. Both of them are essential for a healthy digestive system.
While water carries waste more effectively through your digestive tract, fiber helps keep bowel movements regular.
According to a survey of 4,561 adults, people who consume less fluid and fiber are more likely to experience constipation.
To consume additional fiber it is also good to eat corn, broccoli, bananas, asparagus, and spinach. These foods are a great source of fiber too.
Maintains your hydration
Our bodies need water to function properly, so we must stay hydrated.
Just a few bodily functions that depend on sufficient hydration include:
- Regulation of body temperature.
- The supply of nutrition to cells.
- A normal function of organs.
- The attention.
Our bodies require water to function properly, and eating foods with a high water content can help.
Since watermelon is 92% water, it is an excellent choice for our daily water intake.
In addition, due to its high water content, this watermelon has a low caloric density per unit weight.
The consumption of low-calorie foods such as watermelon can also help to control weight since it prolongs the feeling of satiety.
Cantaloupe and honeydew melon are also very hydrating fruits. If you need to consume diuretic foods, these are also good options.
Possibility of antitumor effects
Watermelon contains several plant substances, such as lycopene and cucurbitacin E, which may have anticancer properties.
Despite conflicting research findings, lycopene consumption may reduce the risk of certain malignancies. This includes diseases such as prostate and colorectal cancer.
IGF, a hormone that stimulates cell division, is believed to be reduced in the blood by the presence of lycopene. In particular, cancer develops when cell division goes out of control.
Also, cucurbitacin E may slow the development of tumors by encouraging cancer cells to undergo autophagy. The body expels damaged cells through this process called autophagy.
More research on this in humans is still required, but the results obtained so far are very encouraging.
Could raise heart health
Several of the minerals in watermelon may support heart health.
The leading cause of death worldwide is cardiovascular disease. It is important to remember that lifestyle and dietary choices can prevent these diseases.
A healthy lifestyle and diet reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
According to studies, lycopene can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. In addition, it could decrease the risk of oxidative damage caused by high cholesterol.
Citrulline, an amino acid found in watermelon, can raise nitric oxide levels in the body. Nitric oxide also facilitates the expansion of blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure.
Magnesium, potassium, vitamins A, B6, and C, as well as other heart-healthy nutrients, are also present in watermelon. All of them contribute to the maintenance of good cardiovascular health.
Now you know the health benefits of watermelons, and you surely want to try them. Look at these watermelon recipes and start enjoying their flavor.
Watermelon recipes to prepare yourself
Hummus with Spicy Watermelon
Preparation time: 15 minutes
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup watermelon juice (blend watermelon pulp in a blender, just the pulp, no water)
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 15 ounces chickpeas
- Sprigs of parsley to taste to decorate
- Watermelon cut into cubes to taste to decorate
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mince the garlic. You can make it faster with the help of a food processor.
- Blend parsley and onion in the processor until finely chopped. Add and mix the remaining ingredients.
- To allow the flavors to blend, place them in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Chop watermelon chunks and parsley sprigs for garnish.
- Serve with baked chips, baby carrots, or pita bread.
Watermelon Breakfast ready to go
Preparation time: 10 minutes
- 1/2 cup granola
- 1 cup of watermelon chunks
- 6 ounces of yogurt of choice (you can use your favorite flavor)
- Layer ingredients in the following sequence in a tall glass or to-go container:
- Half the granola
- Half of the pieces of watermelon
- Half of the yogurt
- Repeat the same procedure twice to get two layers of each element.
Watermelon-based sports drink
Preparation time: 10 minutes
- 1 cup of cold water
- 3 cups of chopped watermelon
- 1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup (optional)
- 1 lime in juice
- Blend all the ingredients in a blender until thoroughly joined.
Watermelon is one of my favorite fruits. I love eating it at any time of the day. Mark Twain also loves it:
“When one has tasted watermelon he knows what the angels eat.”
Enrico Caruso also loves watermelon:
Watermelon is the sweetest and wateriest fruit your palate can find. It’s perfect for that hot summer or pool day. If you practice any sport frequently, you will love watermelon juice. It will provide you with nutrients that will recharge you while you refresh yourself at the same time.
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I’m a freelance health and fitness writer. I love sharing my own experiences in nutrition and wellness. I have been training and eating healthy for more than 15 years, so I have a lot of valuable information to share.