Did you know that watermelon is actually a vegetable? It belongs to the same family as the cucumber and squash. Rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, the health benefits of watermelon are many. Watermelons are believed to originally be from Africa; however, today the largest producer of watermelon is actually China, with people all over the world benefiting from the goodness of this incredible fruit.
Americans love watermelon. Statistics reveal that an average American eats about 17 pounds of watermelon every year. Cultivated in over 44 states, and the state vegetable in Oklahoma, this prominent Fourth of July treat is more than tasty. With over 50 different types to choose from, you can eat the watermelon anytime through the year.
In this article, we will discuss watermelon benefits, medicinal uses and side effects.
Watermelon contains vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, thiamine, calcium, iron and sodium. It is also a rich source of antioxidants. The best part of this delicious nutrient-packed food is that it has zero cholesterol and low sugar levels, making it a tasty and healthy treat for most.
Listed below are some watermelon benefits.
- Watermelon is rich in antioxidant called lycopene, which is believed to help prevent cancer.
- It is also suspected to have an impact on reducing heart related problems, particularly heart attacks.
- Watermelon has also recently been found to play a part in relaxing blood vessels and increasing libido in both men and women.
- It helps the body’s immune system to work effectively.
- Recent study also shows that watermelon is a terrific product for weight loss and in fighting obesity.
- It is helpful for those with type II diabetes as well.
- Recent research also suggests that watermelon has blood pressure regulating properties.
- Watermelon additionally helps to excrete toxic substances from the body.
- Lycopene, the antioxidant present in watermelon, is good for the prostate gland health.
- Lycopene present in watermelon also helps the skin to remain healthy and youthful.
Benefits of watermelon during pregnancy
Pregnant women can also benefit from eating watermelon. Watermelon helps relive heartburn, tiredness, muscle cramps, morning sickness, and flushes out unwanted toxins from the body, which just about sums up all the minor problems associated with pregnancy.
It is also believed to prevent preeclampsia (hypertension) in pregnancy. In all, if you are pregnant, watermelon is one of the fruits that you can include as a part of your diet.
Apart from the many health benefits of watermelon, recent studies show that it could prevent cancer. Watermelon contains a special carotenoid called lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant that is found in some foods like tomatoes; however, watermelon is a much richer source of it. The lycopene in watermelon is believed to help prevent cancer.
Some of the side effects of eating water melon include
- Gastric problems such as an upset stomach, diarrhea, indigestion, gas, nausea and vomiting.
- Watermelons are not recommended for people suffering from high potassium levels (hyperkalemia). The serious side effects of consuming watermelon in such cases are irregular heartbeats and even a heart attack.
- In people with hyperkalemia, watermelon can also cause muscle, nerve and kidney problems.
- Overconsumption of watermelon can also lead to erectile dysfunction and impotence in men.
Watermelon is a terrific fruit, or should we say vegetable. Not only is it delicious, it is healthy too. Including this healthy treat in to your diet can keep heart attacks, cancer, and a few other problems at bay. While there are a few side effects in some cases, it is safe to say that including a bit of this fruit as part of your diet can do more good than harm.