Eat Watermelon For Weight Loss!
by Lee Sok Lian｜李淑莲
Watermelons belong to the cucurbitaceae family comprising the cantaloupe, squash, pumpkin, cucumber and gourd, all of which grow and flourish on vines on the ground. I love walking through the watermelon patch on Mahota Farm on Sun Island and harvesting a fully ripened fruit for lunch, having developed a great liking for the fruit the last couple of years in this country of blistering hot summers. On a really hot and sultry day, nothing beats a few slices of this sweet, cool and refreshing fruit which quickly lifts one’s flagging spirits and boosts one’s energy.
China, accounting for over half of the world’s supply of the fruit, is by far the largest watermelon-producing country. Watermelons are plentiful, cheap, and readily available, and served in practically every home and restaurant across the country in the summer months. In many other parts of the world, watermelons are readily available all year long.
Watermelons contain thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, lycopene and betaine. Because of the wealth of nutrients found in watermelons, eating the fruit on a regular basis helps reduce the risk of obesity and overall mortality, diabetes and heart disease while boosting energy and promoting healthy skin and hair.
Choose a fully-ripe fruit to derive maximum taste, nutrients and benefits.
6 Health Benefits Of Watermelons:
- The risk of developing asthma is lower in those who consume a certain amount of certain nutrients. One of these nutrients is vitamin C, found in abundance in many fruits and vegetables including the watermelon.
- A study published by the American Journal of Hypertension found that watermelon extract supplementation reduced ankle blood pressure, brachial blood pressure and carotid wave reflection in obese middle-aged adults with pre-hypertension or stage 1 hypertension and that watermelon extract improved arterial function. Lycopene present in watermelons may help protect against heart disease.
- According to the National Watermelon Promotion Board, watermelons contain more lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable. As an excellent source of the strong antioxidant vitamin C as well as other antioxidants, watermelons help combat the formation of free radicals that can lead to inflammation, general sickness, and chronic conditions such as cancer, stroke and heart attack. Lycopene, known for its ability to neutralize free radical molecules, has been linked with a decreased risk of prostate cancer in several studies. The beta-carotene present in watermelons protects against many types of cancer, especially colon cancer.
- Watermelons, because of their unusually high water and fiber content, help to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.
- Researchers believe the amino acid L-citrulline present in watermelons may help reduce muscle soreness in athletes and improve their recovery time following exercise.
- Watermelons contain vitamin A, a nutrient required for sebum production that keeps hair healthy and lustrous-looking. Vitamin A is essential for the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair. Adequate intake of vitamin C is needed for the building and maintenance of collagen, essential for healthy skin and hair.