What is useful watermelon and when it can be harmful

At first glance, watermelon is solid water with sugar. And this is partly true : the liquid makes up up to 92% of the watermelon pulp, and the nutritional value is almost 90% represented by sweet carbohydrates.

But besides this, there is a lot of vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, B vitamins in watermelon, and there are even more carotenoids (vitamin A precursors) in it than in many other berries and fruits. And that is not all.

What is useful watermelon

That’s what a striped berry is capable of.

1. Watermelon will provide you with the necessary moisture

Adults should drink 2.7 to 3.7 liters of fluid daily: this is necessary for the normal functioning of the body. And watermelon is a great alternative to regular water consumption. So, 3-5 watermelon slices will give you up to 1 liter of fluid, and this is an effective prevention of dehydration.

2. You can lose weight effortlessly

Watermelon is an extremely low-calorie berry: only 30 kcal per 100 g. This is about the same as in low-fat kefir. However, with such a ridiculous calorie content, watermelon is easy to eat.

There are two reasons: high water content, as well as fiber , which is found in all plant foods. These dietary fibers are not digested in the intestines, but, absorbing liquid, increase in volume and create a feeling of satiety for a long time.

3. You will get a lot of antioxidants

Antioxidants are compounds that help the body overcome oxidative stress, the process of cell damage and destruction by free radicals. It affects the cells of the skin, brain, heart, and other internal organs. Scientists directly link it to accelerated aging, early dementia and other brain disorders, an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, as well as the development of autoimmune and oncological diseases.

In general, oxidative stress is bad, and watermelon is the berry that helps curb it. It contains many antioxidants: vitamin C, carotenoids (alpha- and beta-carotene, which are converted into vitamin A in the body), and lycopene (a type of carotenoid that is not converted into vitamin A).

Of particular note is lycopene , a powerful antioxidant that gives fruits and berries their red color. There is more of it in watermelon than in any other red plant products. Even tomatoes lose to him.

4. Watermelon boosts heart health

Such a bonus is provided by the same lycopene: it reduces the level of “bad” cholesterol and reduces the thickness of the walls of blood vessels. And this is an effective prevention of a heart attack.

Other vitamins and minerals found in watermelon are also beneficial for cardiovascular health. Such cardioprotectors include vitamins A, B6, C, magnesium and potassium.

5. And improve the condition of the skin and hair

Two vitamins contained in watermelon are responsible for this. Vitamin C helps the body produce collagen, a protein that keeps skin elastic and hair strong. Thanks to vitamin A, the skin is renewed more actively and recovers faster after damage.

In addition, eating watermelon reduces the risk of sunburn.

Sun protection is provided by carotenoids, such as beta-carotene and lycopene. However, be careful: this does not make watermelon a full-fledged replacement for sunscreen. Carotenoids only prolong the time your skin can withstand UV light.

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6. It Protects Joints From Arthritis

The natural pigment beta-cryptoxanthin found in watermelon protects the joints from inflammation. Some studies show that beta-cryptoxanthin use is associated with a reduced risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

7. And maybe relieve muscle soreness after workouts

This effect is provided by citrulline, one of the amino acids found in watermelon. It also helps to quickly return the pulse to normal after physical exertion.

8. Watermelon can help keep your eyes healthy

Even one slice of watermelon will provide you with a decent dose of vitamin A, which is critical for eye health.

Lycopene also plays a role: the antioxidant protects the eyes from damage and, according to some reports, slows down or even prevents age-related macular degeneration, a common vision problem that can cause blindness in older people.

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9. It will improve digestion

The water and fiber found in watermelon help prevent constipation and diarrhea. In addition, watermelon is easily digestible and due to this it is considered a dietary product.

What are the consequences of watermelon abuse?

If you eat watermelon in reasonable amounts – no more than 3-5 slices at a time, then you will not face unpleasant side effects. But if you overeat, there may be some problems. They are not found in everyone, but it is worth knowing about them.

1. Nausea, bloating, diarrhea

A safe dose of lycopene is up to 75 mg per day. Or, in terms of the weight of watermelon pulp, about 1 kg. However, according to some reports , even 30 mg of lycopene cause symptoms of indigestion – nausea, diarrhea, a bursting feeling in the stomach.

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2. Hyperkalemia

Watermelon has a lot of potassium – 112 mg for every 100 g of pulp. This mineral is useful for healthy people. But if you suffer from hyperkalemia or your body is unable to regulate the level of potassium in the blood, you will have to be careful with watermelon. An excess of this substance can lead to nausea, difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat and muscle spasms.

3. Lack of nutrients

This problem threatens those who decide to sit down on a watermelon diet. Watermelon is rich in nutrients. However, for example, it contains very little protein and fat. Just as few are some of the most important vitamins and minerals – sodium, vitamins B12, K, folates, without which the normal functioning of the body is impossible.

Therefore, doctors recommend not to abuse the “watermelon” fasting days and insist: the diet should be balanced and varied.

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