Watermelon is a great summer fruit that features a high water content and low-calorie count, so you can generally eat as much as you want. This fruit originated in West Africa and has been cultivated for hundreds of years. In fact, watermelon seeds have been found in the tombs of Pharoahs in Ancient Egypt, so they have been enjoyed by just about everyone. In this article, we will be looking at nutrition facts about watermelon!
Nutrients in Watermelon
1. Calories and Carbs
The general serving size for watermelon is 2/3 of a cup, which contains right about 30 calories. Over 90% of the fruit is water, with about 7% being carbohydrates.
Watermelon has a high glycemic index, which means that it can raise a person’s blood sugar quickly after it is eaten. The reason for this high glycemic index is because the carbohydrates in watermelon are largely simple sugars, such as glucose and fructose, which get metabolized readily. Even with this high glycemic index, eating watermelon (unless you eat a lot) doesn’t tend to affect your blood sugar because there are only a few grams of carbohydrates that make up the fruit.
Watermelon has a small amount of fiber in it, a substance that is beneficial to digestion and regulating the gastrointestinal tract. In a 2/3 cup serving, there are only 0.4 grams of fiber.
2. Vitamins and Minerals
You might wonder why you should bother eating watermelon other than its low calories, but you’d be missing a great deal of vitamins and minerals. In fact, this fruit is high in lycopene, an antioxidant, as well as vitamin C and A, which are important for immune function and vision, to name a few things.
Vitamin C offers a host of important functions, such as skin health and immune function. Pantothenic acid, or vitamin B5 is also found in watermelon, and it is important for making red blood cells and convert the meals you consume into energy. When you eat watermelon, you’re consuming beta carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A. This vitamin protects your eyesight from declining and may decrease your risk for some cancers.
Watermelon also contains potassium, which is important for helping to control blood pressure, as well as being essential for heart health. Copper is another mineral found in watermelon that is often lacking in the diets of Westerners. This mineral is important for helping nerve cells function, as well as making red blood cells, and copper is useful to help form collagen.
3. Other Helpful Components
In addition to the vitamins and minerals mentioned, watermelon is helpful and healthful even though it is not as high in antioxidants as some fruits. It contains compounds such as citrulline and lycopene, which are very helpful to the human body. Citrulline is an amino acid precursor that the body needs, while lycopene is an antioxidant.
Citrulline is important for the body because it gets made into an essential amino acid, known as arginine. Watermelon is the most concentrated source of any foodstuff of citrulline, with the majority of it being in the white part of the rind that surrounds the watermelon flesh. However, you would have to consume several pounds of watermelon to meet the daily reference intake for arginine.
Arginine helps with wound healing, as well as helps several organ systems function, including the lungs, liver, and reproductive systems. Arginine and citrulline both play a part in the synthesis of nitric oxide, which is important in relaxing your blood vessels, leading to lower blood pressure. Watermelon juice is a great source of citrulline, which is a great nutrition fact about watermelons!
Watermelon is also a great source of lycopene, which gives watermelon its red color. Even though tomatoes are well-known for having lycopene, watermelon is actually a better source than this other fruit.
In addition to serving as an antioxidant, watermelon can be used to make beta carotene. This is then able to be converted into vitamin A, which helps your eyesight, improves immune function, and is useful for a host of other body processes. Watermelon juice can be used to raise blood levels of both lycopene and beta carotene.
Watermelon is a healthy fruit that leads to many health benefits. For example, it is useful in helping to reduce insulin resistance, largely associated with watermelon juice and the amount of arginine it contains. Some studies have also shown that watermelon juice is helpful in reducing muscle soreness, especially in untrained individuals after strenuous exercise. In addition, arginine and citrulline both help lower blood pressure, which helps decrease your risk for developing chronic diseases or die prematurely. Overall, it’s a great fruit with low calories, and most people find it delicious as well.
I hope that this article on the watermelon nutrition facts was helpful. If you are interested, visit the health facts page!