Fresh fruits and vegetables are among the basic sources of many vitamins and minerals needed by the human body. Since many types of fresh fruit are grown in spring and summer, it is not possible to reach fruits grown in season in winter. With the arrival of spring, you can add many types of fresh and healthy fruits to your diet, while meeting your need for energy and nutrients, you can gain many health benefits. One of the most popular and very nutritious fruits of the summer months is watermelon. Thanks to its high liquid ratio, it provides refreshments during the summer months, while it also improves health with the help of antioxidant components it contains and provides protection against many types of diseases.
What is a watermelon?
Watermelon, an annual plant belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family, consists of fruits in the shape of a large ball. The mass of one watermelon, a sweet and juicy fruit, can range from 1.5-2 kilograms to 8-10 kilograms. It has a reptile body and its trunk can spread quite a lot over the soil. It can be said to be durable when grown in the right climate because of its wide leaves and thick skin. Watermelon grown in temperate climates is very sensitive to cold. Considering the world, watermelon, which has a high consumption and production, is the most produced fruit type after tomato. The water content is approximately 92%. It can be said that watermelon has very high water content, as is the case with many foods belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family. Other plants in this family include products such as melons and cucumbers. Although it is produced in many places in our country, it is mostly produced in the Southeastern Anatolia Region. Especially Diyarbakır watermelon is the most preferred type of large and sweet watermelon in our country. In addition to these, different types of watermelons such as new world watermelon rose water watermelon, Tekirdağ watermelon is produced in Bursa, and Tekirdağ and distributed throughout the country.
What are the nutritional values of watermelon?
Watermelon is one of the fruits with high nutritional value as well as being very tasty. Due to its high water content, the amount of energy it contains in unit volume is low. 100 grams of watermelon provides approximately 30 kilocalories of energy to the body. One serving is about 200 grams and is approximately one thin slice. This amount of watermelon corresponds to a standard fruit change of 60 kilocalories. 100 grams of watermelon contains 8 grams of carbohydrates, 0.6 grams of protein, 0.2 grams of fat. Vitamin and mineral content is also very high and 100 grams of watermelon contains 14% of the daily vitamin C requirement, 12% of the vitamin A requirement, 3% of the potassium mineral requirement, 2% of the magnesium requirement, and vitamins B1, B5, B6. It meets 2% of the requirement. It is rich in carotenoids.
What are the benefits of watermelon?
Rich in vitamins and minerals and antioxidant nutrients, watermelon provides many health benefits to the body thanks to this feature. Although watermelon alone is not effective in obtaining these benefits, it may be possible to take advantage of all these positive effects with the addition of watermelon to a healthy and balanced diet. Here are the top known benefits of watermelon:
- Fights Against Cancer
Watermelon is one of the foods containing plenty of carotenoids called lycopene, which gives the red color pigment. Lycopene is a type of carotenoid that cannot convert to vitamin A and is a very powerful antioxidant. Lycopene, which has a reducing effect on free radicals in the body, reduces oxidative stress thanks to this feature and protects cells against cancer. Lycopene, which is found in red-colored fruits such as tomatoes, watermelons, rosehips, and pink grapefruit, provides protection against many types of cancer, especially prostate cancer. In addition, it has been found that it has positive effects in slowing the progress in existing cancer patients, strengthening the body defenses, and supporting the treatment.
- Supports Cardiovascular Health
Another positive effect of the high lycopene content in watermelon is that it helps protect against cardiovascular diseases. Lycopene, an important herbal ingredient, has effects on maintaining and strengthening the elasticity of the arteries. Thanks to this feature, it prevents the formation of atheroma plaques in the arteries and prevents them from occlusion, and provides protection against diseases such as atherosclerosis. In addition, lycopene, which helps prevent hypertension, is a phytonutrient that fights heart and vascular diseases. Considering that the disease group that causes the most deaths in the world is cardiovascular disease, it is seen that it is very beneficial to consume watermelon and other food types with high lycopene content regularly.
- It is a Very Valuable Food for Athletes
Watermelon is a very suitable fruit for consumption before exercise. Thanks to its high water rate, it prevents dehydration that may develop due to sweating during sports activities, while it does not create a feeling of swelling in the abdomen due to the low fiber content. Thanks to its high potassium content, it increases performance by strengthening muscle functions during exercises. Thanks to the amino acid L-citrulline it contains, it is known to support performance during training. In addition to these, watermelon accelerates the recovery process of the muscles after training and reduces pain. Thanks to minerals such as amino acids, potassium, and magnesium, it accelerates the repair process of the muscles and helps to replenish the glycogen stores in the muscles thanks to its high nutritional value.
- Improves Skin Health
Water, which is in the composition of foods consumed during the day, meets approximately 20% of the total water need. In addition, the consumption of food such as watermelon with a high rate of water is very effective in maintaining the moisture balance of the body when it is supported by daily consumption of at least two liters of water. It is very important to maintain the ideal moisture content of the skin in order to renew the skin regularly and prevent skin imperfections by protecting the health of the skin. The high rate of water contained in watermelon supports this moisture content, while the high vitamin and mineral content in watermelon is effective in beautifying the skin and preventing problems such as dryness and eczema.
- Prevents Dehydration
Insufficient fluid consumption is a very common problem in the world. However, in case of health problems that increase water excretion such as the use of various drugs, excessive tea and coffee consumption, diarrhea, dehydration may occur when water consumption is insufficient. Dehydration is a serious acute condition that can be life-threatening in advanced cases. In order to prevent this, the daily fluid requirement should be fully met. At least 2 liters of water should be consumed, and beverages such as tea and coffee that provide water excretion from the body by showing diuretic effects should not be included in this amount. In addition to water consumption, the consumption of food containing 92% water such as watermelon is also important in terms of preventing dehydration. In cases of nausea, vomiting, watermelon,
If you also care about your health, you should take care to create an adequate and balanced diet. If you do not have a health problem that prevents you from consuming watermelon, you can consume watermelon in moderation in the summer months to improve your health and protect against many diseases.
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