Watermelon, the juicy, refreshing, summer fruit is filled with nutrients such as lycopene, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, beta-carotene and amino acids that play an essential role in our body. This quintessential summer snack is fat-free, low in sodium and calories. It makes you feel satiated, thanks to the high fibre and water content in it.
Lycopene is a phytonutrient that is high in watermelon. It is a naturally occurring compound in fruits and vegetables that help the human body to trigger healthy reactions. It is the red pigment that gives watermelons, tomatoes, red grapefruits and guavas their colour. Lycopene is beneficial for heart and bone health, and prostate cancer prevention. It’s also a powerful antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties. The lycopene content in the watermelon can be detected by the redness of the fruit. The darker the colour of the fruit the higher the lycopene content.
Beta-carotene and phenolic antioxidant content increases as the fruit ripens. These antioxidants help in improving immunity, skin health and prevents the risk of cancer. The white flesh near the rind has high amount of citrulline, an amino acid that gets converted to arginine that promotes good blood flow, leading to good cardiovascular function.
The fruit has many health benefits such as, antioxidant property that scavenges free radicals and prevents the cancer risk, anti-inflammatory property from lycopene, it helps relieve muscle soreness as it is rich in electrolytes such as potassium and the amino acid citrulline helps soothe sore muscles and reduce muscle fatigue after a heavy workout.
Citrulline helps to accelerate the process of lactic acid removal, thereby relieving muscle soreness. The fibre in watermelon helps aid digestion, and can help prevent constipation. Potassium in watermelon also helps in relieving blood pressure. The high water content in watermelon is known to prevent hyperthermia and thus prevent heat stroke. Watermelon is rich in vitamin B that facilitates energy production in your body and therefore keeping you fresh and active.
Consume watermelon as much as you can as this powerful antioxidant-rich fruit helps you stay fresh, hydrated, and keeps your skin healthy and glowing.
The writer is founder and chief nutritionist at Sano Holistic Nutrition Clinic