Watermelon is a summer fruit and, as the name implies, contains 92% water. The Latin name of the fruit is Citrullus lanatus. In a tropical country like India, during summer, the scorching heat sometimes becomes unbearable in the majority of states. During those times, a bowl full of diced red watermelon pieces not only soothes the eye, but helps to fight the heat and add some water to the body. Major portions of the watermelon are edible, including the rind and the seeds. The low fat and less sugar content makes it edible for people of all ages.
The fruit is rich in nutrients, free from fat content, and low in calorie content. When consumed in controlled amounts, watermelon is highly beneficial for health. The fruit is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, lycopene, antioxidants, and amino acids. Amongst electrolytes, watermelon has a considerable amount of potassium content. In summer, the intake of this fruit helps maintain the fluid balance of the body, and helps in circulation and digestion amidst the intense heat.
The presence of amino acid citrulline and the powerful antioxidant lycopene makes this food very beneficial for cell growth and maintaining a healthy system. The Presence of Vitamin C in watermelon helps to strengthen the immune system. The presence of Vitamin A, on the other hand, helps improve vision. Apart from these, watermelon contains other very important natural ingredients, the benefits of which have been discussed in the following sections.
The seemingly sweet taste of watermelon often gives the idea that the fruit is rich in calories and sugar. However, as per IFCT-NIN (Indian food composition tables- national institute of Nutrition) 100 gms of watermelon is just 17 kcal. Some of the vital ingredients are:
Watermelon is a low sugar, low fat, and very less sodium fruit, containing beneficial amino acids, minerals, electrolytes, and antioxidants that help in cell growth, boost the immune system, and help maintain a healthy body.
Watermelon contains a diverse amounts of phytochemicals with vital pharmaceutical importance majority of which have been attributed by the abundant occurrence of citrulline, lycopenes, and polyphenols. Lycopene is a potent antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties. Another important ingredient is Citrulline, which gets converted to the amino acid arginine necessary for protein synthesis. It is effective in reducing the extent of cancer insurgence, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes and macular diseases. Hence consumption of water melon should be encouraged due to its rich nutritional profile and allied health benefits
Learn more, start your journey to combat the summer heat, book an appointment with the dietician or doctor at Medanta to know more about this wonder fruit and say hello to a healthy summer.