Watermelon – nutritional properties
Watermelon is 92 percent water and low in vitamins and minerals. However, watermelons are valued for other properties – a high content of antioxidants that delay the aging process and inhibit the development of cancer cells, and citrulline – an amino acid that supports the heart, accelerates the process of muscle regeneration in athletes.
While watermelon is high in water (92%) and low in vitamins and minerals, it is rich in antioxidants such as lycopene, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthin, which help protect the body against cancer.
In addition, watermelon has a diuretic effect, so it is recommended in kidney diseases and urinary tract infections. Watermelon also has a beneficial effect on the digestive system and improves metabolism.
In addition, the active ingredients contained in the watermelon support the work of the circulatory system, remove from the body harmful compounds accumulating in the muscles during intense exercise.
Watermelon helps lower blood pressure and prevents a heart attack
Watermelon is a rich source of many substances that control blood triglyceride levels and keep blood pressure normal, thus preventing heart disease:
Carotenoids are antioxidants and natural pigments that are responsible for the red color of watermelon flesh. Lycopene is considered to be the main representative of carotenoids, which prevents oxidation of cholesterol and thus lowers pressure in the veins and arteries. In addition, it inhibits the multiplication of free radicals in blood vessels, which cause their mechanical damage.
Lycopene also reduces the risk of cancer, especially prostate cancer. 100 g of fresh, red watermelon contains 4532 μg of lycopene, while the tomato, which is most often recommended to people with heart disease, only 2573 μg. It is worth knowing that the lighter the flesh of the watermelon, the lower the amount of carotenoids;
Vitamin A and vitamin C are also antioxidants that help lower blood pressure and thus reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke;
potassium helps to control blood pressure, as it accelerates the excretion of excess sodium from the body (which is responsible for arterial hypertension), inhibits atherosclerotic processes in blood vessels;
Magnesium improves the elasticity of blood vessels so that blood can flow freely through them. In addition, it prevents a drop in potassium levels and an increase in sodium in the body;
Citrulline – citrulline present in the flesh and skin of the watermelon is an organic chemical compound from the group of α-amino acids, a derivative of ornithine. After entering the body, citrulline is converted into L-arginine – an amino acid that raises the level of nitric oxide, causing the relaxation of blood vessels.
Watermelon – A healthy snack for kids
Watermelon is a healthy and tasty snack on hot days that will quench your thirst. Thanks to the smooth, shiny skin and the wax layer that reflects the sun’s rays, regardless of the temperature outside the fruit, watermelon flesh always remains cooler. Children usually like watermelon because it is sweet.
Watermelon has a great effect on the metabolism and the digestive system. It is a diuretic, which causes the body to excrete harmful substances. Watermelon juice has a great effect on the mucosa and tones the skin – the enzymes contained in it have an astringent effect, which is why it is also used as a natural anti-wrinkle and cleansing agent.
How to buy a good watermelon
When choosing a watermelon, it is worth tapping it carefully. This allows you to judge whether it is mature or not yet. A dull noise is a sign that the fruit is edible.
If we are going to store the watermelon, it is best to keep it whole (if it is not too ripe, it can be stored for several days), while the cut fruit should be eaten on the same day, otherwise it will wither, lose its firmness and taste. Of course, it is worth buying organic watermelons. Then we are sure that they have not been treated with chemicals (e.g. fungicides), which delay the process of fruit spoilage or accelerate its maturation.
Nutritional values of watermelon (per 100 g)
Energy value – 30 kcal
Total protein – 0.61 g
Fat – 0.15 g
Carbohydrates – 7.55 g
Fiber – 0.4 g
Calcium – 7 mg
Iron – 0.24 mg
Magnesium – 10 mg
Phosphorus – 11 mg
Potassium – 112 mg
Sodium – 1 mg
Zinc – 0.10 mg
Vitamin C – 8.1 mg
Vitamin A – 569 IU
Thiamine – 0.033 mg
Riboflavin – 0.021 mg
Niacin – 0.178 mg
Vitamin B-6 – 0.045 mg
Folic acid – 3 µg
Vitamin E – 0.05 µg
Vitamin K 1 (phylloquinone) – 0.1 µg
Data Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference