Watermelon is a fresh summer fruit, very pleasant flavor, its scientific name comes from the Latin citrullos lanatus, commonly called, watermelon, pin, paitilla or water melon. It is a creeping plant of African origin. It is known that the Egyptians were the first to cultivate it. In this article we are going to talk extensively on the nutritional value of watermelon.
Nutritional Value Of Watermelon
It weighs 20 kilos, depending on its shape and color of flesh, skin and maturation. It is the fruit that contains more water (around 93%) which gives it a really low nutritional value of no more than 23 Kcal per 100 g. Its reddish color is due to the presence of lycopene, a carotenoid with antioxidant activity which has been studied for its possible protective effect against some types of cancer such as prostate cancer .
For the rest, it does not stand out remarkably for the presence of any other nutrient. Regarding carbohydrates, these are represented by small amounts of sugar that do not exceed seven grams per 100 grams of watermelon (which would be equivalent to a sachet of sugar). As for minerals, their content is equally low, although potassium and magnesium have a certain role, within a reduced content compared to other fruits . Rich in potassium, it also helps to remineralize the body, improving muscle tone and preventing the risk of cramping.
Thus, its low nutritional value does not have much interest from the point of view dietary, apart from being a very low calorie fruit that fits perfectly in dietary guidelines for weight loss. With regard to calories, the most sweet tooth can enjoy this food without feeling guilty, because 100 grams of watermelon only provide 16 kcal and, despite its sweet taste, contain less than 4 grams of sugar.
Due to the low content of potassium compared to other fruits, those people who have to restrict the intake of this mineral, as in acute and chronic renal failure, can assess with their doctor the inclusion of watermelon in their diet. However, fruits, vegetables and water contribute to our diet and watermelon, as fruit with high water content should be excluded when kidney failure leads to dialysis.
Although it does not have a great wealth of vitamins, watermelon is an important source of antioxidants, among which is lycopene (responsible for its red color), which effectively fights free radicals and helps prevent cardiocirculatory problems.
On the other hand, this same property favors healthy people, who can value watermelon as one of the most desirable options to consider in summer as a source of hydration . Do not forget that during high temperatures the risk of dehydration can be high in certain areas and in certain groups, such as children and the elderly, as they can see the perception of thirst altered. So, take some pieces of watermelon to the beach or eat it between meals, as a dessert or in the snack during the summer can complement the recommended hydration pattern.
Recently a new variety of watermelon has been developed that claims to have benefits on diabetes , asthenia and cardiovascular problems . However, these benefits have not been evaluated by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which ensures that the virtues that are granted to food are made based on current scientific evidence, so prudence with promises that they have not been contrasted following the strictest scientific standards.
Watermelon content per 100 grams of this fruit.
- Energy: 16 kcal
- Water: 95.3 g
- Proteins: 0.4 g
- Fats: traces
- Carbohydrates: 3.7 g
- Fiber: 0.2 g
- Sodium: 3 mg
- Potassium: 280 mg
- Iron: 0.2 mg
- Calcium: 7 mg
- Vitamin A: 37 mcg
- Vitamin C: 8 mcg
- Proteins: 0.63 g
- Iodine: 1.47 mg
- Zinc: 0.19 mg
- Magnesium: 9.20 mg
- vitamin B1: 0.03 mg
- Vitamin B2: 0.03 mg
- Vitamin B3: 0.24 mg
- Vitamin B5: 0.21 mg
- Vutamin B6: 0.07 mg
- Vitamin B7: 1 ug
- Vitamin B9: 4.55 ug
- Vitamin B12: 0 ug
- Vitamin D: 0 ug
- Vitamin E: 0.11 mg
- Vitamin K: 0.20 ug
- Phosphorus: 9 mg
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sugar: 5.60 g
- Purines: 0 mg
The watermelon benefits are varied and very useful:
- It is a great diuretic, it is recommended for kidney and urinary tract diseases.
- Contribute to lose weight. (Natural slimming).
- It calms thirst and is a great refresher.
- It has depurative properties, favors the elimination of toxic waste.
- Its fiber helps to clean the intestines.
- Help to maintain the arterial pressure.
- It helps prevent the prostate from developing.
- It is a very good source of energy.
- It has antioxidant properties.
- Reduces the risks of cancer.
- Improves muscle tone preventing the risk of cramping.
- Prevents circulatory cardio problems.
- It has little sugar and helps to remineralize the organism.
- Fluidizes the milk of the woman who is breastfeeding her child.
- Help in the processes of rheumatism, gout and sciatica.
- It avoids infectious processes and is antipyretic.
- In case of intestinal constipation improves and accelerates intestinal transit.
Does watermelon have a negative effect on health?
Generally, watermelon consumption is safe and this tends to be well tolerated by most people who consume it.
However, watermelon has a high amount of FODMAP carbohydrates , which can cause quite annoying digestive problems: bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, cramps …
If you have irritable bowel syndrome or other inflammatory bowel disease, avoid watermelon intake as much as possible.
Finally, watermelon can also cause oral allergy syndrome in a minority of people , an allergic reaction that occurs when certain foods are consumed and usually occurs in people with pollen allergy.
Some symptoms of this allergy are itching of throat and mouth, tickling, inflammation of tongue, lips, throat …
How to preserve watermelon:
- Watermelon is always kept in a cool environment, either submerged in water or in a cool place when it is still whole or in the refrigerator if it is already cut into slices.
- In any case, it is not meant to be kept for too long, so it is advisable to consume it one or two days after your purchase.
How To Buy Watermelon
- Experts know how to recognize a good watermelon by the sound it emits when you strike it with the knuckles of your fingers. If it is good, the sound is weak, dull, full, whereas if it emits a clear, pleasant and strong sound, then it is bad.
- Also, to assess your ripening point, you can also lift the skin a little with a fingernail: if it separates easily, the watermelon is ripe and at its right point.
- The skin color should be bright, dark green or with yellowish stripes.