The Watermelon ( Citrullus lanatus) is a delicious fruit known as a pin, sangria, aguamelón, watermelon, or Melania.
In addition, it is one of the most significant fruits of all those known and can reach up to 10 kilos in weight. Likewise, there have been cases where this fruit weighed 88.5 kg.
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What is the watermelon?
The Watermelon ( Citrullus lanatus) and s the fruit of the sandier. 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.
The world has 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 significant presence in Asia, but today it is grown worldwide 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 fibre. As a consequence, it favours intestinal transit and improves digestion.
The colour of the pulp is red, but there is also the “melon watermelon” or yellow watermelon. The yellow variety is prevalent throughout Europe for its beneficial properties that contribute to our health.
Where does the watermelon come from?
Historical quotes say 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 niyyah, a modification of the classical Arabic niyyah, which refers to a fertile region of Pakistan.
Today it is grown mainly in Andalusia and 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 is one of the star fruits of the summer. The watermelon season in Spain takes place during this season, between 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.
The Watermelon ( Citrullus lanatus) or pin is rich in healthy nutrients, and their consumption brings different benefits to our body. It is rich in vitamins A, B, and C and minerals such as potassium.
These nutrients provided by watermelon are necessary for our bodies. However, the actual star nutrient of this fruit is lycopene, which is the antioxidant pigment that gives the fruit its deep red colour.
It is also noteworthy that studies suggest 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, and is essential for our health.
Ideal food for the summer
Watermelon ( Citrullus lanatus) has less fibre than other fruits or vegetables. Instead, in its pulp, we can find a great water source.
Also, it contains very few calories, about 45 calories per glass. Although it is a sweet fruit, its amount of water does not increase blood sugar.
Including this fruit in our diet benefits us if consumed responsibly, 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 because they contain vitamins and minerals and are delicious fruit; we must incorporate them 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 into our diet.
Average nutritional value per 100 grams of watermelon
Watermelon contains vitamins C and A, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium, among other minerals. In addition, it is rich in lycopene and beta-carotene. Its caloric value is low, less than 30 calories per 100 grams.
Watermelon is one of the fruits that, due to its nutritional properties, 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 mainly to a large amount of water and its sugar content.
This composition can be helpful 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 fibre it contains favours 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 cardiovascular disease and increase our cholesterol levels. Article: Cherry or Cherry, the delicious red fruit
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 produce nitric oxide, which is necessary 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, a carotenoid known for its antioxidant capacity. This compound plays an active role in fighting degenerative diseases by protecting cells against free radical damage.
Watermelon can actively reduce cell oxidative damage thanks mainly to lycopene, vitamin C, and potent antioxidants.
5. Helps against high blood pressure
Even if it is not daily, eating watermelon 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 colour makes us want to taste it. In addition, they are sweet fruits that provide us with natural sugar. Likewise, its excellent hydration power gives us extra energy needed in warmer times.
7. Watermelon for radiant skin
Its high lycopene content and vitamins A and C make it an ideal fruit for maintaining healthy skin.
In addition, thanks to the antioxidant power of lycopene and since most of the content of watermelon is essentially water and fibre, 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 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 excellent food. In addition, it alleviates the thirst produced by the summer heat and is favourable to protecting our skin from the sun’s rays.
8. Vision aid
It is a powerful source of beta-carotene, which is converted in the body into vitamin A. This vitamin helps produce pigments in the eye’s retina and protects against age-related macular degeneration.
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.
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.