Watermelon: 8 benefits of this fruit and its properties

Because of climate change, summers in many parts of the world are lengthening and intensifying.

As an idea to combat heat, we present this article where we will talk about the amazing benefits of eating watermelon.

Origin of watermelon

Watermelon is the fruit of the plant known in Latin as Citrullus lanatus lanatusOriginally from Africa, near the Kalahari desert, where there is evidence of cultivation from 2000 BC. As a matter of fact, even watermelon seeds were found inside the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamen..

It was introduced to Europe through Spain, thanks to Arab colonization, around the 10th century A.D., a period of time in which it also reached China, which now dominates around 70% of its world production.

Watermelon

Benefits of eating watermelon

Watermelon is part of the cucurbit family, which is related to melon, pumpkin or zucchini. In today’s article we are going to explain to you what benefits watermelon has for your health..

1. It’s 90% water.

Since hydration is a constant need, especially with the arrival of heat, consuming watermelon gives us more hydration than many other foods.

In addition, its low calorie content (30 kcal per 100 gr of fruit) ensures a healthy dessert.low in sugar, which will not contribute to weight gain and will help in our digestion.

2. It has a large number of vitamins

Although its concentration is not the highest of all fruits, watermelon has a great variety of vitamins and other essential compounds for our dietsuch as vitamin C (antioxidant and necessary for the formation of collagen) or Beta-carotene, which our body uses to generate vitamin A, which is related to the prevention of acne and vision problems.

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It is also rich in vitamin B1 and B6, potassium and magnesium, all elements necessary for the proper functioning of our metabolism.

3. Can help protect us from the sun

Carotenoids, such as Beta carotene or lycopene (both present in watermelon and other fruits and vegetables) have a protective effect against burns caused by ultraviolet rays in the people who consume it.

Be careful, this effect will never be greater than sunscreen, but an improvement in our resistance to the sun can prevent problems in the long run, reducing the severity of sunburns or avoiding skin cancers.

4. Relieves muscle aches

Recent scientific studies found that L-Citrulline, an amino acid present in watermelon in high amounts, may help decrease muscle pain from vigorous exercise.

Far from staying in a statistical analysis,scientists experimentally demonstrated that half a liter of watermelon juice after exercise helped athletes to improve his muscle pain and lower his heart rate.

5. May have anticancer effects

Although it is currently the subject of debate, there is growing evidence that the lycopenea component that gives food a red color and is found especially in both tomatoes and watermelons, can have anticancer effects.

For now, it is known from several different studies that this pigment can help reduce the risk of various types of cancer, especially those related to the digestive system, for example:

  • Prostate Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Gastric Cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Breast Cancer

6. Rich in antioxidants

The effect of antioxidants is also a contentious issue in which scientific circles, as their effects are sometimes exaggerated.

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But the general consensus is that they hinder the onset of cancers (although there are also researchers who warn of too high doses of antioxidants that could have the opposite effect) as well as protect against cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases in generalwhich affect a large part of the population.

7. May help with cardiovascular disease

Lycopene, one of the antioxidants that watermelon possesses, not content with its possible anti-cancer properties, has also proved effective in protecting against cardiovascular diseases, the main cause of mortality in the western world.

Lycopene appears to be effective in reducing the amount of cholesterol and low-density fatty acids, which contribute to arteriosclerosis.

8. Can help with diabetes

Finally, lycopene appears to be associated, at high dietary doses, with a drop in blood sugar levels, which may have beneficial effects in diabetics. There are studies that proclaim decreases of up to 13% of hyperglycemia levels in those people who consume large amounts of lycopene, through tomatoes or watermelons.

Who would have thought that a food formed from 90% water had so many peculiar properties? Years of research will tell what the real impact of watermelon and lycopene is on our health, but for now… Wouldn’t you like a piece of watermelon?

Bibliographic references

  • Bramley, Peter M. (2000). Is lycopene beneficial to human health? Phytochemistry.
  • Stahl, Wilhelm. (2012). Photoprotection by dietary carotenoids: Concept, mechanisms, evidence and future development. Molecular nutrition & food research.