Summer is here.
The sweltering heat brings along a constant need to refuel and hydrate.
Some sip on fruit juices and sherbets to beat the heat.
Others relish ice creams and milkshakes, especially aamras.
However, hidden among these refreshing foods is a much-loved fruit.
Its pulpy red flesh complements its hard green rind.
Its fruity fragrance and water content inject freshness and hydration like no other.
Yes, I’m talking about watermelon, the perfect cooling summer food.
Besides its super refreshing taste, you must eat this delicious fruit for its exceptional health benefits.
Some of the top reasons to dig into the yummy watermelon include the following:
1. Promotes a healthy heart:
Watermelons burst with the goodness of citrulline. This organic compound helps the body produce arginine. Arginine aids in the synthesis of nitric oxide, which lowers blood pressure and maintains a normal heart rate. Being low sodium and high magnesium and potassium food, watermelon is an ideal snack for people with hypertension. Plus, citrulline possesses cholesterol-lowering properties and reduces the deposition of plaque in the arteries. Watermelon is also a good source of Vitamin C and lycopene, which manages elasticity as well as prevents the hardening of artery walls.
2. Gives skin a radiant glow:
The succulent watermelon packs in generous amounts of Vitamin A, C, and lycopene. These powerful antioxidants protect against free radicals that cause wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots. Vitamin A reduces acne and moisturizes the skin. The Vitamin C content promotes collagen production, which improves the skin texture and gives it a youthful appearance.
3. Benefits pregnant women:
Teeming with natural fruit sugar and water content, watermelon eases heartburn, reduces swelling and treats morning sickness. This summer fruit is an excellent source of magnesium, which helps prevent muscle cramps that are common in the third trimester. Watermelon packs a solid nutritional punch with potassium, vitamin A, C, and B6. These nutrients play a major role in developing the baby’s vision, brain, and immune system.
4. Makes a perfect post-workout meal:
A treasure trove of citrulline, watermelon increases the speed of lactic acid removal from the muscles, thus aiding in quick muscle recovery. Citrulline also relieves post-exercise muscle soreness by reducing inflammation and muscle damage. Moreover, the high water content in watermelon rehydrates the body as well as replenishes the electrolytes lost through sweat after a grueling workout session.
5. Aids in weight loss:
A 100-gram serving of watermelon contains a mere 30 calories. The texture of watermelon is similar to a dessert, thus fulfilling sweet cravings for a fraction of the calories. Additionally, with more than 90% water content, watermelon prolongs the feeling of satiety. Water that is naturally present in foods stays in the stomach for longer as compared to drinking a glass of water. What’s more, excess toxins in the body cause fat and weight gain. Infused with antioxidants, watermelons flush out these toxins and help shed those extra pounds.
6. Improves eye health:
Loaded with lutein, beta-carotene, and Vitamin C, watermelon maintains the healthy functioning of the eyes and improves eyesight. These phytonutrients help in preventing age-related macular degeneration, thus protecting eyes from blindness and cataracts.
7. Works as a kidney tonic:
Brimming with potassium, watermelon lowers uric acid levels, which could result in kidney damage. Also, its high water content promotes frequent urination, which helps the kidneys to flush out toxins. The power-packed combination of magnesium and Vitamin B6 in watermelon lowers the risk of calcium oxalate stones.
After learning about the superior nutritive value of watermelons, it’s obvious that you would want to relish the delicious fruit in unlimited quantities.
That said, you need to remember the following:
- Watermelons have a high glycemic index of 72. Eating foods with a high glycemic index causes spikes to your sugar levels. So, it’s best to restrict your watermelon intake to a 100-gram serving. And like all fruits, it’s best to relish the watermelon as a snack in itself.
- If you drink alcohol regularly, you should avoid eating large quantities of watermelon. The high lycopene content in the summer fruit may react with the alcohol and cause liver inflammation.
- The high water content could also cause frequent trips to the toilet and subsequent poor sleep. Hence, avoid eating watermelon before you sleep.