Summer's Super-fruit Watermelon: Complete Nutrition and Recipes

Did you know that watermelon helps you ease muscle soreness and improves recovery? Not only this, makes a powerful food for weight-loss owing to high water content along with nutrients. Yes, next in the series on super-foods is ‘watermelon’ written by Dt. Nitu Singh Pal.

Watermelon is a refreshing fruit packed with nutrition. It has vitamin A, B6, C, lots of lycopene, antioxidants, amino acids and potassium. All these nutrients are required for growth of all body tissues including skin and hair.

It is packed with 90% of water. If you or your children are struggling to drink enough water, especially, on hot summer days, try a few servings of watermelon. You' ll get extra micronutrients along with your hydration. So watermelon is one of the super-fruits in summers. It is a good source of both citrulline and lycopene, two powerful plant compounds.

Citrulline might help increase the supply of ingredients the body needed to certain proteins. Lycopene gives sun protection, improves heart health and lowers the risk of certain types of cancer.

The watermelon (citrullus lanatus) is a large, sweet fruit originally from South Africa. It’s related to cantaloupe, zucchini, pumpkin and cucumber.

Health Benefits of Watermelon

Keeps you Hydrated

Watermelon are rich in electrolytes and water content. This makes it hydrating and helps you feel full. Melons are nature's gift to beat tropical summer thirst. It makes for a good after workout snack because of it is outright refreshing with nutrients.

A Pack of Nutrition

Watermelon is full of nutrition and low in calories. It is high in some nutrients especially carotenoids, vitamin C, lycopene. VitC is  an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage from free radicles.

Carotenoids are class of plant compounds that includes alpha- carotene and beta-carotene which your body converts to Vitamin A.

Lycopene is a type of carotenoid that doesn't change into Vitamin A. This potent antioxidant gives a red colour to plant foods such as tomatoes, watermelon and is linked to many health benefits.

Helps in Weight Loss

This super-fruit is called fat-free as it is very low in calories. It's a great source of amino acid called arginine, which helps burn fat quickly. It is a good option for people who are working towards loosing excess weight. As it is very low in calories and packed with water and fibre, It fulfills your appetite with less calories and good nutrition. Water promotes weight loss by flushing out toxins, other impurities and curbing your appetite.

Helps Ease Muscle Fatigue

The amino acid citrulline present in watermelon helps in reducing fatigue during exercise. This juicy fruit may reduce muscle soreness and improve recovery time.

Reduces Blood Pressure

An amino acid citrulline present in watermelon may help to manage high blood pressure.

Prevents Heart Diseases

Watermelon is a good source of potassium. Potassium is an important component of a cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. It thus, offers protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.

Prevents Cancer

Watermelon is full of antioxidants flavonoids like Beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthin. These antioxidants give protection against breast, colon, prostate, endometrial, lung and pancreatic cancers.

Lycopene and carotenoids, the phytochemicals present in watermelon have the ability to help protect cells and other structures in the body from oxygen free radicles.

Nutrition

100 gm of watermelon gives you approximately:

  • Calories: 30 kcal, Protein: 0.6 gm, Dietary fibre: 0.4 gm
  • Sugar: 6.2 gm, Sodium: 1 mg, Calcium: 0.7 mg, Potassium: 112 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 7.6 gms
  • Total Fat: 0.2 gms, Vit A:-11% and Vit C: 13%

Healthy Recipes of Watermelon

You can use watermelon in many ways. So here are some healthy recipes of watermelon which keep you full with energy and good for those too, who are looking for weight loss.

Watermelon slush:  Take some watermelon pieces, deseed it  and grind in a mixer. Now add lemon and honey according to your taste. Serve with mint leaves.

Watermelon smoothie: Take 1 cup watermelon (deseeded)and1 cup coconut water. Now add 1 tsp chia seeds and grind them well. Serve with 1 tsp flaxseeds.

Watermelon jam : You can made watermelon jam for your kids as it is full of nutrition rather than market one.

Cook watermelon pieces or puree on low flame with some jaggery till it becomes thick. Now add some chia seeds in it as it will soak extra liquid and give it texture of jam. By adding some lemon juice you can store it for 10-12 days in refrigerator.

Watermelon protein shake: You can have healthy watermelon shake in the morning after workout or in the evening. Take some watermelon, deseed it, add some soya or coconut milk (not dairy or animal milk), some banana and 1tsp chia seeds. Now grind them together and serve with chopped almonds.

You can eat watermelon in salad too. Its seeds are also healthy. You can have them mixed with other seeds like muskmelon seed, flaxseed, pumpkin seed etc. to boost your immunity.

About The Author

Nitu Pal

Nitu Pal is a nutritionist. She runs her own clinic in Bhopal. She is an expert in kids’ nutrition, cardiac issues pregnancy, diabetes, thyroid, PCOS and liver issues. She.... Read More..

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