July 12, 2016

5 Health Benefits of Watermelon | Nutritional Value

Basic Concepts Related to Watermelon

Watermelon (Citrullus vulgaris) is known to everyone as the perfect cooling summer treat. 

However, if you did not know, watermelon does not belong to the fruits, it belongs to vegetables. Watermelon is sharing family with pumpkin.

First nations who met refreshing and sweet taste of watermelon were the people of the Kalahari Desert in Africa. 

Later, in the 13th century, watermelon was transferred to Europe, and by traders, watermelon was transferred to the soil of America.

Today watermelon grown on all continents and all countries of the world like to use watermelon a lot. However, as a country that stands out in production of watermelon is China.

Depending on the variety, watermelon can be classical round shape or may be elongated. After the color, it can be dark or light green with longitudinal white stripes. Inner part of the watermelon is red, with a lot of sweetness and water, and imbued with a tiny black seeds.

What is the Nutritional Profile of Watermelon?

Watermelon belongs to the group of low-calorie foods, because the largest part belongs to water (95 - 99%). The rest of the dry matter in watermelon consists of:

- Carbohydrates - 10%

- Protein - 0.7%

- Fats - 0, 15%

- Dietary fiber - 0.4%

Mineral composition of watermelon makes: potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and zinc.

Vitamin part of watermelon makes the most vitamin C, followed by vitamins B complex (B1, B6), vitamin A as well as carotenes.

From fruit acids that give the characteristic aroma, watermelon contains malic and citric acid.

A very important ingredient in watermelon is an antioxidant - lycopene. It is an effective antioxidant, which protects the heart and blood vessels, but it also works as anticancer agent because removes all metabolic debris during the oxidation of cells.

In addition to lycopene, the main antioxidant in watermelon is glutathione, which has health effects in the prevention of cataracts.

Watermelon contains citrulline, phytochemical that has the property to relax the blood vessels thus affecting the libido.

Despite the large amounts of water, watermelon contains a lot of sugar, which is why it has a high glycemic index. Due to the rapid movement of glucose into the blood, watermelon is not recommended to diabetics, although it can be used in small or moderate amounts, several times per day.

What are the Health Benefits of Watermelon?

The presence of vitamin C, lycopene, carotene in watermelon makes it a powerful protector of the heart and blood vessels. As an antioxidant substance, they protect vessels from damaging free radicals, which can prevent infarction, stroke and atherosclerosis.

1. Watermelon protects the heart and blood vessels

The presence of vitamin C, lycopene, carotene in watermelon makes it a powerful protector of the heart and blood vessels. As an antioxidant substance, they protect vessels from damaging free radicals, which can prevent infarction, stroke and atherosclerosis. Due to the high presence of water and potassium, watermelon effectively regulates blood pressure and prevents the oxidation of harmful cholesterol in the blood.

2. Watermelon acts anti-inflammatory

Watermelon reduces inflammation in arthritis (inflammation of joints). It relieves symptoms of rheumatic and degenerative diseases. This anti-inflammatory effect is very significant, in asthma either.

3. Watermelon prevent cataracts

Glutathione from watermelon can reimburse the lack of natural glutathione in the body and thus influence the good eye health in old age.

4. Anticancer properties of watermelon

Antioxidants from watermelon prevent clogging free radicals and other harmful substances that can damage cells and lead to the appearance of tumors, especially tumors of the colon, uterus, pancreas and lungs.

5. Watermelon helps in weight loss

Large amounts of water in watermelon can saturate and reduce hunger pains, which is important for weight loss sessions. Also, watermelon diuretic effect helps in the excretion of large amounts of water from the body, thus eliminating cellulite and edema.

Cleansing sesion with watermelon

If you want to take advantage of the watermelon's season and thereby clean up your body, make a one-day detoxification with watermelon.

In the morning and evening you will have to drink a glass of probiotic yoghurt, and the rest of the day eating only watermelon.

Shopping and storage

When purchasing watermelon, you should pay attention to the crust that has to be smooth and not too shiny. 

When you knock surface of watermelon, sound that produce may not be hollow, and the side on which the watermelon lying on the ground during ripening should be yellowish.

Watermelon should be kept in the fridge for the whole or cut a maximum of one week. Wrapp watermelon with plastic bag to prevent it from drying out and absorbing odors of other foods.

Watermelon seeds oil

Oil of watermelon seeds is traditionally part of cooking, especially in the countries of Central America and Africa. Its chemical characteristics show a high protein content, which reaches a level of 38 percent. 

It has a characteristic amber color, aroma like hazelnut, contains a relatively high percentage of unsaturated fatty acids, including linoleic most represented. 

It has been shown and moderate presence of saturated fatty acids, among which are the most predominant palmitic and stearic acid.