Watermelon, benefits of summer fruit

The Watermelon ( Citrullus lanatus) is a delicious fruit also known as pin, sindria, aguamelón or water melon or melancia.

In addition , it is one of the largest fruits of all those known and can reach up to 10 kilos in weight. Likewise, there have been cases in which this fruit has weighed 88.5 kg.

What is watermelon?

The Watermelon ( Citrullus lanatus) and s the fruit of the sandiera. It is a plant of the Cucurbitaceae family, which includes some 850 species of herbaceous plants that generally produce large fruits and are protected by a hard bark.

In the world there are almost 1200 varieties of watermelon ( Citrullus lanatus). It is a cucurbit plant, like melon, pumpkin, zucchini or cucumber. It is also native to Africa, with a large presence in Asia, but today it is grown around the world and is one of the most used fruits to combat heat.

There are varieties with seeds or without seeds. However,  watermelon seeds ( Citrullus lanatus) are rich in fiber. As a consequence, it favors intestinal transit and improves digestion.

The color of the pulp is red, but there is also the “melon watermelon” or yellow watermelon. The yellow variety is very popular throughout Europe for its beneficial properties that contribute to our health.

Where does the watermelon come from?

There are historical quotes that say that these foods were grown in the Nile Valley four thousand years ago. About a thousand years ago the first arrived in Asia, and 700 years ago in Europe.

Today the world’s largest producer is, by far, China, which harvests almost 70 of the 140 million tons grown in the world. The remaining half is divided between Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Brazil and the United States, among other countries.

In Spain we know it through the Arab influence that they called it sandiyyah, a modification of the classical Arabic sindiyyah, which refers to a fertile region of Pakistan.

Today it is grown mainly in Andalusia and in the Levante area, where it flowers between June and July. An essential food for our country, since its consumption in summer, in addition to its pulp provides us with vitamins and minerals, hydrates us and helps us cope with the heat .

It is the best option for the summer, raw and fresh or through different healthy recipes.

Watermelon season

Watermelon is one of the star fruits of the summer. The watermelon season in Spain takes place during this season, between the months of June and August. However, the season can be extended, starting in May and ending in September.

You can check the calendar of the  fruit season  to be able to consume these foods at their most optimal moment. In addition, when they are in season they provide us with  more benefits for our health, they have a better aroma and are tastier , among other advantages.

Watermelon properties

The Watermelon ( Citrullus lanatus) or pin is rich in healthy nutrients and their consumption brings us different benefits to our body . It is rich in vitamins A, B, C and minerals such as potassium .

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These nutrients provided by watermelon are important and essential for our body. However, the true star nutrient of this fruit is lycopene, which is the antioxidant pigment that gives the fruit its deep red color.

It is also noteworthy to mention that there are studies suggesting that lycopene could have cardiovascular benefits as we have discussed before in its properties. In addition, the most important thing is that the lycopene in watermelon is very easy for our body to absorb.

Lycopene is present in other foods such as tomatoes, essential for our health.

An ideal food for the summer

Watermelon ( Citrullus lanatus) does not have as much fiber as other fruits or vegetables. Instead, in its pulp we can find a great source of water.

Also, it contains very few calories , about 45 calories per glass. Although it is a sweet fruit, the amount of water in it does not increase blood sugar.

It is a summer fruit that provides us with a large amount of water, ideal for proper hydration. The same for other summer fruits such as pear , peach , nectarine or Paraguayan fruit .

Including this fruit in our diet brings us benefits, if it is consumed responsibly, both fresh and raw, and in different recipes.

This sweet fruit is within the group of foods that we have to eat in summer to face the heat. These foods are essential for health, not only because it contains vitamins, minerals, but also because it is a delicious fruit and we must incorporate it into our summer diet.

The best way to consume it is raw, fresh and in season. However, there are delicious recipes that will help us incorporate this food in a fun way to our diet.

Average nutritional value per 100 grams of watermelon

Energy28,4 g
Carbohydrates5,6 g
Protein0,63 g
Fiber0,4 g
Fats0,3 g
Sodium2 mg
Football6,72 mg
Iron0,29 mg
Match9 mg
Potassium100 mg
Vitamin A0,04 mg
Vitamin B10,03 mg
Vitamin B20,03 mg
Vitamin B30,21 mg
C vitamin6,34 mg

Watermelon benefits

Watermelon contains vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium, among other minerals. In addition, it is rich in lycopene and beta-carotene . Its caloric value is very low, less than 30 calories per 100 grams.

Watermelon is one of the fruits that, due to its nutritional properties, its vitamins or minerals and its amount of water, is a fruit that is good for everything.

Some of its benefits are the following:

1. Watermelon, purifying fruit

Watermelon has cleansing properties and causes a feeling of satiety due in large part to the large amount of water and its sugar content.

This composition can be useful in weight loss diets, as well as to combat the summer heat.

2. Promotes digestion

The amount of water that watermelon gives us and the fiber it contains, favors a healthy digestion.

3. Help for the heart

The stress of life that we lead, an uncontrolled and fast diet and a sedentary lifestyle, can influence the risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease and that our cholesterol levels increase.

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The lycopene in watermelons can help lower cholesterol and high blood pressure.

In addition, it is a natural source of L-citrulline , a compound that has an important influence on cardiovascular health. It is transformed into L-arginine, an amino acid that helps in the production of nitric oxide, essential for maintaining the elasticity of the arteries and blood vessels.

Therefore, watermelon is a real delicacy for our hearts.

4. Antioxidant power

This fruit is rich in lycopene, which is a carotenoid known for its antioxidant capacity. This compound plays an active role in fighting degenerative diseases by protecting cells against free radical damage.

Thanks mainly to lycopene and vitamin C, which are powerful antioxidants, watermelon can actively reduce oxidative damage to cells.

5. Helps against high blood pressure

Eating watermelon, even if it is not daily, is a great help to regulate blood pressure.  It is a functional fruit with vasodilator effects that increases the synthesis of nitric oxide, with the consequent decrease in blood pressure.

6. Natural restorative

Just seeing its color makes us want to taste it. In addition, they are sweet fruits that provide us with natural sugar. Likewise, due to its great hydration power, it has the property of providing extra energy that we need in warmer times.

7. Watermelon for radiant skin

Its high content of lycopene, vitamin A and C, make it an ideal fruit to maintain healthy skin. [1]

In addition, thanks to the antioxidant power of lycopene and since most of the content of watermelon is essentially water and fiber, it is an excellent protection against UV rays .

Lycopene is a type of carotenoid that does not convert into vitamin A. It is a powerful antioxidant common in red foods such as tomatoes , watermelons, or grapefruit . It is also closely related to many health benefits.

We can also say that it is a summer fruit along with melon . For this reason, in the summer season, when in Spain we have more exposure to the sun, it is an ideal food. In addition, it alleviates the thirst produced by the summer heat and is favorable to protect our skin from the sun’s rays. [2]

8. Vision aid

It is a powerful source of beta-carotene which is converted in the body into vitamin A. This vitamin helps to produce pigments in the retina of the eye and protects against age-related macular degeneration.

conclusion

This fruit is an essential food to incorporate into our summer diet. The amount of sugar balanced with the amount of liquid, makes it the best option to eat at any time. Watermelon is a healthy option to consider every summer.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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