12 Jun 2023 Article

In this article I want to recruit you into my camp of watermelon lovers by explaining what the health benefits of watermelon consumption are.

There are about a thousand different types of watermelon, but they all belong to the same plant species called Citrullis lanatus. Watermelons are related to melons, pumpkins, and cucumbers.

Watermelons are enjoyed all over the world. Especially in the summer. The combination of taste, high water content and red, yellow and pink colors make watermelons very attractive to consume. I am really fond of watermelons. I can eat half a kilo in one sitting. Fortunately, watermelons are very healthy, and I don’t have to worry about the consequences of my watermelon consumption. Here are the seven health benefits of watermelons:

  1. Perfect thirst quencher

More than 92% of watermelon content is water. A standard serving of watermelon (225 g) therefore provides 207 ml of water.

  1. A Source of vitamin A

Watermelon is an excellent source of vitamin A.

In the Netherlands, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin A is 800 mcg/day. A 225-gram serving of watermelon contains 450 mcg of vitamin A, so more than half of what we need per day.

  1. A source of vitamin C

Watermelon is a good source of vitamin C. A standard serving of watermelon (225 g) provides 18 mg of vitamin C, or about 25% of what we need per day.

  1. A Source of potassium

In the heat, it is important to eat foods rich in potassium, as you lose potassium through sweat. The RDA for potassium in the Netherlands is 3500 mg per day. One serving of watermelon (225 g) contains about 360 mg of potassium.

  1. Good for prostate health

This one is for the male readers: Watermelon is an excellent source of the carotenoid lycopene. Of all carotenoids, lycopene is predominant in human plasma, various tissues and the prostate. It is believed that consumption of lycopene can reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

  1. Limits ultraviolet damage

The same carotenoid lycopene is known to be effective in fighting ultraviolet damage of the skin, thus helping to prevent premature skin aging.

By the way, lycopene is lipophilic (“loves fat”). This means that the optimal absorption of lycopene takes place in the presence of fats. In practice it means that, if possible, try to combine watermelon with fatty foods. One of the famous combinations is a watermelon salad with feta cheese and olive oil.

  1. Has a beneficial effect on blood pressure

Clinical studies demonstrate the hypotensive (blood pressure lowering) effect of watermelon. Regular consumption of a small amount of watermelon can lower blood pressure in both normal weight and obese people suffering from hypertension. One theory is that this is made possible by the amino acid L-citrulline. L-citulline is converted in the human body into the essential amino acid L-arginine. Arginine is known to improve blood circulation.

In addition, watermelon is a natural diuretic. Diuretics are substances that make you urinate more often and thus help to get rid of excess fluid. Diuretics are known to lower blood pressure. Hence, drugs with diuretic effect become standard for people with high blood pressure.

  1. Helps to lose weight

Because watermelon mainly consists of water and because it is normally eaten in large quantities, watermelon is a good choice if you want to lose weight. It will keep you full for a significant amount of time thus reducing the risk of overeating.

A scientific study correlated watermelon consumption over a four-week period with significant reductions in body weight, body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio and blood pressure.

Watermelon contains about 35 kcal per 100 g. This is very little. In fact, it is significantly less than other fruits.

How to select a tasty, sweet watermelon?

Buying sliced ​​watermelon in a plastic container is easy, but not sustainable. Think of all that plastic. And it is much more expensive than buying a whole watermelon from a greengrocer. But how do you choose a good watermelon? Here are a few tricks.

  • Look at the stripes. The green stripes should be deep and dark green, and the pale stripes should be light yellow. If the melon is very shiny, it is probably overripe. Go for a matt watermelon.
  • Find a large, discolored spot on the surface of your watermelon, also called the field spot. This mark shows where the watermelon lay on the ground as it matured. As a rule of thumb, the color should be dark yellow or almost orange, indicating a melon full of flavor.
  • To choose a watermelon that has had enough time to ripen, inspect the stem. It should be dry and yellow-brown.
  • Watermelon mainly consists of moisture. If you have two watermelons of identical size, but one is heavier than the other, you should go for the heavier one. It will be very juicy.