Watermelon: Nutrition Facts, Health Benefits and Use
Watermelon is used as a mean to treat sicknesses and lose weight. Watermelon has a favorable effect upon human body due to its composition. Red flesh, hard green rinds and seeds are very good for your body. Different parts of watermelon contain certain substances which help to treat sicknesses.
Composition of Watermelon Flesh
Flesh of watermelon is the one to enjoy. This is why it is so important to know what it is made from.
Chemistry of Flesh
100 g of watermelon flesh contains the following vitamins:
- Vitamin C – 7mg;
- E – 0,1mg;
- A -17mcg;
- PP (niacin’s analogue) – 0,3mg;
- Folic acid (B9) – 8mcg;
- Pyrodoxin (B6) – 0,09mg;
- Riboflavin (B2) – 0,06mg;
- Thiamine (B1) – 0,04mg.
Watermelon also contains provitamin beta-carotene from which the human body forms vitamin A in amount of 0,1mg per 100 grams of product.
Macro- and Microelements
100 g of watermelon flesh contains iron (microelement) and macro elements as follows:
- Potassium – 110mg;
- Calcium – 14mg;
- Magnesium – 12mg;
- Phosphorus – 7mg.
Lycopene is making fresh looking red and it acts as antioxidant in human body. It lowers risk of formation of cancerous cells in intestines and lungs. Lycopene is an allergen, which can cause skin reddening, however it can happen so if the one is oversensitive to this substance.
Watermelon flesh contains fiber which helps to cleanse body and remove cholesterol deposits. It also cleanses bile ducts and intestinal tract.
Watermelon for Weight Loss
Watermelon flesh has low nutritional value, 100 grams of this product contain only 28-35kcal. Watermelon has a pleasant sweet taste and is absolutely safe to eat in terms of calories. It can also keep one full for a long period of time. Some people favor short-term mono diets or diets low in calories which include watermelon.
Watermelon Rinds: Chemistry and Use
Watermelon flesh and rinds are similar in terms of their chemistry, however rinds contain less sugar and water and more amino acids, fiber and bioactive substances compared to flesh.
Raw hard rinds are not used as a dessert. They are usually candied. Health benefits of rinds lower during thermal processing and their nutritional value goes up due to added sugar.
People make extracts from raw and dry watermelon rinds to treat the following sicknesses:
- Kidney diseases;
- Stomach sicknesses;
- Liver diseases;
To reduce swelling and treat urinary tract diseases, people use juice made from white part of fresh watermelon rinds.
Juice made from watermelon rinds as well as pureed watermelon rinds can improve digestion and are used to treat dyspepsia, colitis and dysbiosis.
Watermelon Seeds: Chemistry and Use
Watermelon seeds have different chemistry compared to one of a flesh and rinds. 100 gram of watermelon seeds contain the following substances:
- Folic acid (B9) – 58mcg;
- Pyrodoxin (B6) – 0,09mg;
- Nicotinic acid (B3) – 0,35 mg;
- Riboflafin (B2) – 0,15mg;
- Thiamine (B1) – 0,2 mg;
- Zinc – 7,3 mg;
- Copper – 690mcg;
- Iron – 7,3 mg;
- Manganese – 1, 62mg;
- Sodium – up to 100mg depending of watermelon’s kind;
- Phosphorus – 750mg;
- Magnesium – 500mg;
- Calcium – 55mg;
- Amino acids such as glutamic acid, arginine, tryptophan and lysine.
Watermelon seeds are consumed raw, dry, fresh or roasted. Roasted seeds taste better, but contain less healthy substances as thermal processing destroys part of them.
Watermelon seeds are rich in calories; 100 grams of seeds contain 550-600kcal.
Watermelon seeds are used to treat and prevent development of the following diseases:
- Kidney stone disease as they remove uric acid and increase urine alkalinity;
- Prostate-related diseases and sexual dysfunctions due to presence of zinc and selenium;
- Kidney diseases due to presence of alkaline substance and potassium.
Raw watermelon seeds are often used as a cleansing mean. They can be consumed alone or in combination with other substances. They contain hemicellulose, which in turn contains polysaccharides which do not dissolve in water.
People also use watermelon seeds to get rid of parasites. They powder them and mix with low-fat milk.
Watermelon contains lycopene as it was mentioned in the above. So, it shouldn’t be consumed in case of an oversensitivity to this substance. Watermelon flesh, rinds and seeds also contain citrulline, which is a very useful amino acid transformed into L-arginine in intestines. Citrulline helps to regulate glucose levels in blood as well as blood pressure due to its ability to expand blood vessels and lower ABP. Sufficient amounts of citrulline help to prevent impotence. Watermelon is good to consume as a source of citrulline, however it should be done in moderation as excessive amounts of citrulline can cause harm to your body.
Watermelon flesh also irritates intestines as it is rich in fiber so strained watermelon juice only should be consumed in presence of different gastric diseases.