Whether or not they’re serving as snacks at a household reunion or props in a late-night comedy act, watermelons and enjoyable simply appear to go collectively. However how does watermelon maintain up health-wise?
Smashingly, you would possibly say.
“I am positively impressed by its health benefits,” mentioned Tim Allerton, a postdoctoral researcher at Louisiana State College’s Pennington Biomedical Analysis Heart in Baton Rouge.
Fruit is at all times a part of a nutritious diet. However watermelon’s mixture of vitamins makes it particular, Allerton mentioned.
It is a wealthy supply of minerals reminiscent of potassium and magnesium. It is also a superb supply of nutritional vitamins C and A (plus beta carotene, which helps produce vitamin A), and it has honest quantities of nutritional vitamins B1, B5 and B6. You get all of that for less than 46.5 energy per cup.
Befitting its title, watermelon is about 92% water, which suggests why ancestral watermelons had been carried in Africa’s Kalahari Desert so long as 5,000 years in the past. It is a deal with with a lineage: Trendy-looking variations are depicted in historic Egyptian tombs.
The place watermelon actually stands out is in its focus of sure antioxidants, which regulate cell-damaging free radicals within the physique. “Our physique has its personal antioxidant system, nevertheless it helps to get a lift from our food regimen,” Allerton mentioned. “And watermelon is an efficient supply of these antioxidants.”
Lycopene, which provides watermelon its reddish shade, is a kind of antioxidants, together with nutritional vitamins C and A. Lycopene additionally works as an anti-inflammatory and has been linked to decrease stroke danger. It’s most considerable in cooked tomato merchandise, however watermelon’s lycopene ranges are about 40% greater than uncooked tomatoes.
Watermelon additionally has glutathione, which Allerton referred to as a “versatile, international antioxidant.”
And watermelon is excessive in an amino acid referred to as citrulline, which has been a spotlight of Allerton’s analysis. “Watermelon is fairly distinctive as a result of not plenty of meals are excessive on this,” he mentioned.
In a small 2013 research revealed within the Journal of Agricultural and Meals Chemistry, citrulline in watermelon juice was credited with serving to relieve sore muscle tissue in athletes.
Citrulline is also linked to the manufacturing of nitric oxide, which is essential for the well being of blood vessels. A number of small research counsel citrulline in watermelon extract might lower blood pressure, though these results had been seen in folks consuming the equal of greater than 3 kilos of watermelon a day for six weeks.
That is plenty of watermelon. However other than the final concept that overindulgence in something is a nasty thought, Allerton mentioned there is no draw back to having fun with it.
Despite the fact that it has pure sugar and a high glycemic index—a measure of how briskly sugar enters the bloodstream—it has a low glycemic load. Meaning its precise impact on blood sugar is small. And it’ll fill you up sooner than, say, a bowl of cookies.
All vitamin and science apart, afficionados of the fruit simply benefit from the style. Superfan Mark Twain wrote, “It’s the chief of this world’s luxuries, king by the grace of God over all of the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he is aware of what the angels eat.”
Allerton prefers his straight up, however he provides that watermelon juice retains lots of the advantages of the entire fruit as a result of a lot of the fruit is water already.
That makes watermelon work nicely in smoothies. Or you possibly can flip it right into a fruit salsa.
Specialists agree the key to discovering a ripe one is to search for a creamy yellow spot from the place the watermelon sat on the bottom. If the spot seems extra white than yellow, then the melon might not be absolutely ripe. Weight additionally is an indication of high quality—the heavier the higher.
However most consultants say you possibly can’t be taught a lot a few watermelon‘s ripeness from thumping one. So you possibly can most likely depart that to the comedians.
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Watermelon is a summertime staple. However what’s hidden behind the sweetness? (2021, July 1)
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