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benefits of eating watermelon:
Watermelon belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae and is a native to tropical areas of Africa (1). Watermelon is consumed as a refreshing fruit during summer as it quenches thirst too. It has a resplendent red colour with a delicate taste, besides the many benefits of eating watermelon.
Carotenoids lycopene and β-carotene are the pigments responsible for the colour of watermelon (1).
Watermelon is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and phytonutrients such as lycopene and citrulline, hence adding to the benefits of eating watermelon (2). It is very low in sodium. With so many nutrients and very low calorific value, 30 kcal per 100 grams, it is a good option for low calorie fruit snack.
Watermelon has high content of water, about 92 % (3). In summer it is an excellent fruit to keep one hydrated. With the never ending list of benefits of eating watermelon, it makes a great snack in summer as it has a lot of water content and minerals. And to top it all it is a low-calorie fruit.
Watermelon is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, carotene-alpha (303 µg per 100 grams) and lycopene (4532 µg per 100 grams) (4). All these components have antioxidant property. Lycopene’s free radical scavenging activity is higher than β-carotene and tocopherol (1).
Citrulline is a non-protein amino acid which is found in watermelon and is reported to have antioxidant activity, one of the rare benefits of eating watermelon (1).
Antioxidants prevent the harmful damage caused by free radicals and they also repair the damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants from the benefits of eating watermelon can enhance immune function and reduce the risk of cancer and other degenerative diseases (5).
Dyslipidaemia or abnormal lipid levels are a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. benefits of eating watermelon include an improved serum lipid profile.
In a clinical study conducted, watermelon extract was given to the participants and after the experimental period the plasma total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein were lower in the subjects (6).
Watermelon has good amount of lycopene and lycopene-rich diets have the possibility to lower lipid peroxidation. Lipid peroxidation is one of the major factors contributing to hypercholesterolemia (7).
Because of the vitamin A, vitamin C and antioxidants such as lycopene in watermelon it may be helpful in reducing the risk of cancer (4). Lycopene is also known to exhibit anti-proliferative activity in cancer, an important factor associated with benefits of eating watermelon (7).
The glycaemic load of watermelon is 4 and it can be grouped under low glycaemic load foods. Therefore, it can be a part of diabetic diet as part of a balanced diet (8).
In a study conducted on diabetic mice it was observed that watermelon juice significantly lowered the blood glucose levels, thereby proving the benefits of eating watermelon (9).
Diabetic people have a higher risk of developing heart problems. Watermelon has the potential to improve serum lipid profile (6).
Potassium is an essential nutrient and is the most abundant cation present in the body fluid (10). Potassium is the main intracellular cation mainly involved in membrane potential, electrical excitation of both nerve and muscle cells and acid-base regulation (11).
The benefits of eating watermelon include it being a good source of potassium, it provides 112mg per 100grams of fruit. Potassium helps in controlling heart rate and blood pressure (4).
Lycopene has anti-inflammatory activity and it can inhibit various inflammatory processes. Foods containing lycopene can help with immunity and general health. Watermelon contains lycopene and therefore can be considered as an anti-inflammatory fruit, again iterating the many benefits of eating watermelon (4).
Macular degenerative disease is a disorder affecting the retina resulting in gradual decrease in vision. Foods that are good sources of carotenoids such as lycopene may reduce the risk of macular degeneration (7).
The benefits of eating watermelon include reducing the risk of macular disorders.
Adding to the benefits of eating watermelon, the fruit is also good for your hair and skin. Watermelon provides vitamin A which helps skin and hair to be moisturized. Vitamin A and vitamin C support the growth collagen (4). Collagen is the protein which provides structural support to the body. Watermelon is a good source of vitamin A and C.
Final word on the benefits of eating watermelon
Watermelon is a refreshing fruit because it has 92 % water and a delicate taste. It has several nutrients and bioactive components which exhibit several health benefits of eating watermelon.
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