Nothing tastes like summer season greater than a crisp, juicy, refreshing slice of watermelon. It’s a staple of yard barbecues and well-stocked at your native farmers’ markets this time of yr. Watermelon — which might truly be thought-about a fruit or a vegetable, in accordance with the Nationwide Watermelon Promotion Board — is extremely nutritious, too.
Nutritionists say watermelon is low in energy and sugar and chock-full of nutritional vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making it an excellent addition to a nutritious diet. Plus, it’s enjoyable to eat! “Consuming watermelon makes me really feel carefree, like a child once more at a summer season picnic having fun with the outside with the folks I care most about,” says Kris Sollid, MS, RD, senior director of diet communications on the Worldwide Meals Info Council.
Right here’s an outline of among the greatest well being advantages of watermelon, in accordance with nutritionists.
Watermelon Diet Info
Based on the U.S. Division of Agriculture, 1 cup of watermelon (152 g) comprises:
- Energy: 45.6
- Fats: 0.2g
- Ldl cholesterol: 0mg
- Sodium: 1.52mg
- Carbohydrate: 11.5g
- Fiber: 0.6g
- Vitamin C: 12.3mg
- Potassium: 170mg
- Calcium: 10mg
- Vitamin A: 865 IU
- Lycopene: 6,890 micrograms
Is it okay to eat watermelon daily?
Solely about 10% of People eat the really helpful two cups of fruit every day, in accordance with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC). Because it’s low in energy and sugar, you possibly can safely eat a number of servings of watermelon daily with out second guessing any long-term dietary influence — however Sollid says it’s greatest to your dietary well being to attempt to range the kinds of fruit you eat. Completely different fruits comprise totally different vitamins, so consuming a spread will guarantee your physique will get all the pieces it wants.
It is certainly attainable to eat an excessive amount of of something, together with watermelon, provides Grace Derocha, RDN, CDCES, nationwide spokesperson for the Academy of Diet and Dietetics. Whereas it could be tempting to work by means of half or extra of a complete watermelon in a single sitting on a scorching summer season afternoon, specialists like Derocha say it is best to eat one cup at a time as a normal suggestion, fairly than a complete fruit outright.
Watermelon is taken into account a excessive FODMAP (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) fruit, which suggests it comprises short-chain sugars that some folks have bother digesting, Derocha says, so it “might trigger bloating or discomfort when consumed in massive quantities.”
Individuals with diabetes or who might must rely their carbohydrate servings must also take note of their watermelon consumption, she provides. Consuming an excessive amount of fruit may introduce an excessive amount of sugar to your weight-reduction plan, resulting in blood sugar fluctuations, which might be dangerous for folks with diabetes.
What are the well being advantages of watermelon?
“Watermelon is a naturally low-calorie package deal,” says Christina Meyer-Jax, RDN, LDN, Customary Course of diet chair and assistant professor at Northwestern Well being Sciences College. “It contributes key antioxidant vitamins that assist illness prevention and general wellness.”
Listed here are 11 well being advantages of watermelon:
1) It is frontloaded with important vitamins
At simply 46 energy per cup, watermelon packs a punch with regards to vitamins. It comprises about 15% of your day by day vitamin C wants, together with a wealth of different nutritional vitamins and minerals together with potassium and vitamin A and B6, Sollid says.
Vitamin C strengthens your immune system and helps the physique soak up iron, Derocha says, whereas vitamin A is essential for pores and skin and eye well being. Watermelon can also be wealthy in potassium, which works to decrease blood strain and helps nerve functioning, and vitamin B6, which helps the physique break down the proteins that you just eat and likewise boosts the immune system and nerve perform.
2) It gives a giant dose of lycopene
Lycopene is a pure compound present in watermelon and different vegatables and fruits that has antioxidant properties. The substance can also be what offers watermelon its purple shade; however past its hue, lycopene can also be good for you, too. Meyer-Jax says it has been proven to lower the danger of most cancers, coronary heart illness, and age-related eye problems. Lycopene works to guard your cells from harm, Sollid says, and analysis means that it could have blood pressure-lowering results when consumed often by means of dietary means.
3) Watermelon helps retains you hydrated
Watermelon consists of greater than 90% water. “Because the identify implies, watermelon can hold you hydrated,” Derocha explains. “We get 80% of hydration from what we drink and 20% from what we eat; watermelon can positively assist with this balanced consumption.”
Most adults don’t drink sufficient water, and hydration is especially vital within the summertime, when temperatures rise and you might lose fluids from sweating.
Meyer-Jax recommends consuming watermelon sprinkled with a bit of salt after a exercise or while you’ve been sweating for an extended time period. “The mixture of carbohydrates and salt is right for replenishing misplaced electrolytes and carbohydrate shops,” she says.
4) It provides to wholesome digestion
Watermelon comprises a excessive water content material and a small quantity of fiber. “Each are key to retaining digestion shifting easily,” Meyer-Jax says. Fiber provides bulk to your stool and retains you common, whereas water helps transfer waste by means of your digestive system.
5) It may assist with weight administration
Selecting watermelon over one other candy snack may also help you’re feeling full longer, Meyer-Jax explains. Restricted analysis revealed within the journal Vitamins in 2019 discovered that topics who have been thought-about obese or clinically overweight and ate watermelon as a substitute of low-fat cookies skilled higher satiety, for example. Consuming watermelon day by day was related to a lower in topics’ physique weight, physique mass index, blood strain, and waist circumference.
6) It might enhance coronary heart well being
Analysis exhibits that consuming meals with lycopene might scale back your danger for coronary heart illness and stroke. A 2012 examine revealed within the American Journal of Hypertension urged a hyperlink between the fruit and coronary heart illness, as analysis urged watermelon extract might scale back blood strain over a sustained time period. “The authors urged that L-citrulline and L-arginine — two of the antioxidants in watermelon — might enhance the perform of the arteries,” Derocha suggests.
7) It may work to scale back most cancers danger
Lycopene present in watermelon might scale back irritation and oxidative stress, an imbalance between free radicals (the unstable molecules that the physique produces naturally, which might trigger sickness) and the physique’s capability to struggle their results. Power irritation can elevate your danger for sure ailments, together with most cancers, and analysis exhibits that lycopene has the potential to scale back irritation and hold most cancers cells from rising, which reduces your danger for the ailments. Research have highlighted that growing your lycopene consumption can scale back your danger for cancers of the digestive tract and prostate most cancers.
8) Watermelon might assist scale back irritation
A selected mixture of antioxidants, lycopene and vitamin C, present in watermelon can decrease irritation and oxidative harm over time, Derocha explains. Irritation could cause swelling, ache, or flushed pores and skin for these experiencing it. And persistent irritation can result in severe circumstances, together with most cancers, bronchial asthma, coronary heart illness, and kind 2 diabetes.
9) It’s nice to your pores and skin
“The water and nutritional vitamins A, B6, and C in watermelon assist your pores and skin keep delicate, clean, and supple,” Derocha says. Vitamin C boosts collagen manufacturing, which improves pores and skin elasticity and blood circulate to the pores and skin. And vitamin A helps restore pores and skin cells, stopping dry, flaky pores and skin, whereas vitamin B6 helps with pores and skin breakouts.
Lycopene can play a task in defending your pores and skin from the solar, Derocha provides, making it much less probably you’ll get a sunburn. Nevertheless it positively doesn’t imply it is best to skip the sunscreen, she emphasizes; it is essential to use your alternative of SPF often.
10) It might relieve achy muscle mass
A small examine revealed within the Journal of Agricultural and Meals Chemistry discovered that athletes who drank watermelon juice noticed diminished muscle soreness for as much as 24 hours. The juice additionally helped decrease their restoration coronary heart fee. Researchers linked watermelon juice’s capability to alleviate achy muscle mass to its L-citrulline content material, which is an amino acid that helps to scale back muscle harm. Though scientists want extra concrete proof to verify the extent of this profit, this hyperlink may push you to contemplate including watermelon juice to your post-workout routine.
11) Watermelon seeds and rind are nutritious, too
When consuming recent watermelon, most individuals follow the purple or pink flesh. However you possibly can eat the rind and seeds, too, as they provide their very own holistic well being advantages.
Rinds are decrease in sugar and better in fiber than the flesh of a watermelon, Meyer-Jax says, “When eaten with the remainder of the melon, it helps decelerate sugar absorption within the intestine and mellows the rise in blood sugar.” Watermelon rinds additionally comprise L-citrulline, which can scale back blood strain and increase athletic efficiency.
Watermelon seeds, which might be eaten uncooked or dried, are wealthy in magnesium — which Derocha explains performs a key function in vitality manufacturing, nerve perform, DNA and protein synthesis, in addition to blood strain regulation. Additionally they comprise folate, which may also help your danger for most cancers and despair. The seeds are good sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which guard in opposition to coronary heart assault and stroke and decrease ranges of unhealthy ldl cholesterol within the blood.
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