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Watermelon, properties, benefits and contraindications

August 13, 2023
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Watermelon, properties, benefits and contraindications

Watermelon contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, hydrates, protects the heart, supports the liver in its detox action, stimulates the formation of muscle mass and counteracts fatigue during exercise, helps to counteract overweight and obesity, is anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory, ally of male health

Watermelon quenches thirst even on the hottest days, it's fresh, colorful and everyone likes it. But today we will see other reasons why serving watermelon is really an excellent choice, not only for the palate but also for the health of the entire body. Watermelon is often thought of solely as a source of water, and this is certainly true. But watermelon is so much more, as evidenced by the surge in scientific studies that have been dedicated to watermelon and its health properties in recent years. Today we are talking about the results of the most interesting scientific research and there will be surprises. We bet that after reading this article we will all eat watermelon with even more fun!

Watermelon, nutrients

Watermelon is one of the most popular fruits in summer, and rightly so. In fact, watermelon does not contain fat or cholesterol, it is sodium-free, while it provides water to keep hydrated and a high amount of vitamins, such as vitamins of group B, C and A, mineral salts, such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron, amino acids such as the very important citrulline, and antioxidants, including lycopene and beta carotene (Rotimi et al, JBRA Assist Reprod, 2023). In particular, watermelon shows an anti-free radical action even greater than strawberries and tomatoes (Rotimi et al, JBRA Assist Reprod, 2023).

Watermelon, a fruit against high cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar

Watermelon is able to reduce the bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and at the same time to increase the good HDL cholesterol in people with hypercholesterolemia (Rotimi et al, JBRA Assist Reprod, 2023 - Fulgoni et al, Nutrients, 2022). Not only that, watermelon is also a source of citrulline, an amino acid that increases the release of nitric oxide and helps regulate blood pressure, counteracting hypertension, if present (Rotimi et al, JBRA Assist Reprod, 2023). Finally, watermelon also acts on blood sugar, helping to reduce it (Wong et al, Curr Dev Nutr, 2019).

Watermelon against obesity

Consuming the fruit of the watermelon helps to keep body weight under control and reduces the body mass index (Fulgoni et al, Nutrients, 2022). In particular, 300 grams of watermelon a day, consumed every day for 4 weeks, is enough to already show interesting effects, even in overweight and obese people, such as body weight and waistline reduction thanks also to greater control of hunger attacks (Lum et al, Nutrients, 2019).

Watermelon against cellular degeneration

Tasting watermelon can really be a healthy choice since this fruit, thanks to its antioxidant action, counteracts the damage of free radicals and reduces the risk of some tumors, such as cellular degeneration that can affect prostate, breast and lungs (Fulgoni et al, Nutrients, 2022).

Watermelon, the best ally after exercise

We all know the typical feeling of fatigue during exercise. But why does fatigue occur? One of the causes of fatigue during and after physical activity is the accumulation of certain substances whose production increases during exercise, such as ammonia. Ammonia is produced within the body and accumulates in the muscles causing the feeling of fatigue. Ammonia is toxic, but fortunately, the body is well equipped to remove this substance through the liver. This does not mean that it is not possible to help the liver in its ammonia removal function, in order to improve performance and ensure a faster recovery. Citrulline, which is a substance contained in watermelon, has shown a powerful detoxifying action against ammonia, acting precisely at the level of the liver (Takeda et al, J Nutr Sci Vitaminol, 2011). Not only that, citrulline helps to increase muscle mass (Villareal et al, Mol Nutr Food Res, 2018).

Watermelon and men's health

A recent review gathered studies previously conducted and showed in this way that the consumption of watermelon is able to protect men's health, counteracting infertility and other reproductive system disorders. This action can be traced back to the presence of vitamins and anti-free radical substances (Rotimi et al, JBRA Assist Reprod, 2023).

Watermelon, contraindications

Watermelon is generally a safe fruit. However, some people may have an allergy to watermelon, causing itching and swelling of the mouth. Not only that, pay attention if you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. In fact, watermelon contains sugars that, in case of intestinal problems, can be difficult to digest, thus leading to a worsening of bloating and the appearance of constipation or diarrhea.

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