Watermelon is one of the popular fruits in Nigeria. Some school of thoughts refers to it as a vegetable. Watermelon belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family, along with cucumbers, gourds, pumpkins, it’s scientific name is Citrullus lanatus. A major content of watermelon is 90% water but it is also fortified with other nutrients. The nutrients include Carbohydrates 7.6g, Protein 0.6 g, Total Fat 0.15 g 0.5%,Dietary Fiber 0.4 g,Vitamins, Folates 3 µg, Niacin 0.178 mg, Pantothenic acid 0.221 mg, Pyridoxine 0.045mg, Thiamin 0.033 mg, Vitamin A 569 IU, Vitamin C 8.1 mg, Vitamin 0.05 mg, Vitamin B6, 0.1 mg. Electrolytes content of watermelon also include Sodium 1 mg, Potassium 112 mg. Minerals are Calcium 7mg, Copper 42 µg, Iron 0.24 mg, Magnesium 10 mg, Manganese 0.038 mg, Zinc 0.10 mg. Phyto-nutrients include Carotene-alpha 303 µg, Crypto-xanthin-beta 78 µg, Lutein-zeaxanthin 8 µg,Lycopene 4532 µg and Citrulline 250mg
Watermelon has many amazing health benefits that are listed below
1. It keeps the body hydrated
Are you looking for a way to keep yourself hydrated? Water melon is one of the answers to it. Just as the name contains water, watermelon contains 90% of water. It is one of the great snacks to have in hot summer to prevent dehydration. Since it is a natural source, it increases urination without stressing the kidneys.
2. It is used for treatment of inflammations
Inflammations are among the leading causes of some chronic diseases that are detrimental to our health. One of the major compounds found in watermelons is lycopene, which has great benefits. In a study conducted, lycopene was found to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, the beneficial effects of lycopene for inflammation are considered even more potent than beta-carotene, an important carotenoid. Also watermelon contains L-arginine and L-citrulline which are also anti-inflammatory markers.
3. It helps to keep the heart healthy
Heart disease is one of the leading cause of death worldwide. Watermelon contains several nutrients that have specific benefits for heart health. Do you know that water melon contains 40% more of lycopene than tomatoes? Studies have shown that watermelon contains lycopene that may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It can also help prevent oxidative damage to cholesterol. According to studies in obese, postmenopausal women and Finnish men, lycopene may also reduce the stiffness and thickness of artery walls . Watermelon also contains citrulline, an amino acid that may increase nitric oxide levels in the body. Nitric oxide helps your blood vessels expand, which lowers blood pressure. Other vitamins and minerals in watermelon are also good for your heart. These include vitamins A, B6, C, magnesium and potassium.
4. It aids weight loss
People who are over weight will find watermelon very beneficial because it aids in weight loss. This is because of its high water content and can give a feeling of fullness for fewer calories. Water has also been found to increase the body metabolism and flush out toxins and fats, which eventually might contribute to weight loss.One wedge slice of watermelon has just about 86 calories, less than 1 gram of fat, and no cholesterol. It gives 22 grams of carbohydrate and 5% of the daily fiber requirement which makes it a great food for fat burning and weight loss.
5. It boost the body immunity
Watermelon, being rich in vitamin C, strengthens the body’s immune system . The fruit also contains vitamin B6 that helps the immune system produce antibodies. The vitamin also aids in the formation of red blood cells. The fruit has vitamin A that regulates the immune system and protects it from infections.
6. It helps sexual health
Watermelon contains the amino acid citrulline which relaxes and dilates the blood vessels, this might help in the treatment of impotence in men. Citrulline is converted into arginine in the body, a precursor for nitric oxide that helps in blood vessel dilation.Watermelon can be used as a natural viagra.
7. It helps to increase body energy levels
Watermelon is a good source of vitamin B which include pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamine and cyanocobalamine , which are responsible for the production of energy in the body. The fruit has low content of calories but high in energy, which can help to keep the body active for the better part of the day. Furthermore, watermelon also contains potassium which is an electrolyte that keeps the body to combat fatigue.
Watermelon is readily available and it is also affordable. An uncut watermelon without bruises can be preserved in the refrigerator for a week while the cut ones can stay for 3 – 4 days. Moderation in the consumption of water melon is very necessary, it has been shown to cause high level of potassium,allergies and intestinal disturbances in some individuals.