Defined, the watermelon plant is considered an African vine. Its fruit, also known as the watermelon, is large and edible, with a rind that is hard green in color. The flesh of the watermelon fruit is watery pink or reddish pink. Watermelons can be found in many countries in the world and thus is readily available for most of us. Watermelon can be eaten plain, sliced or cut into balls or chunks.
What is In a Watermelon?
A watermelon contains an abundance of carotenoids. Some of these carotenoids are phytofluene, beta-carotene, neurosporene, lycopene, phytoene and lutein. Of the mentioned carotenoids, lycopene is one of the more recognized ones. A majority of the carotenoids found in watermelon is lycopene. The seeds of the watermelon are also great sources of protein.
The amount of carotenoid in a watermelon depends on its kind. For instance, a watermelon having a red flesh will usually have a carotenoid content of between 37 mg to 121 mg for every kilogram of fresh weight and the lycopene content would be between 35 mg to 112 mg for every kilogram of fresh weight.
A watermelon seed contains about 35 percent protein, 50 percent oil and 5 percent dietary fiber. Aside from protein, watermelon seeds are also rich in magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, calcium, iron and zinc. Watermelons also contain lots of water. In fact, for every 100 g of watermelon, about 91 g of it is water.
Benefits of the Watermelon to Health
Carotenoids, which are found in watermelon, have the ability to scavenge for free radicals. These compounds are primarily considered as antioxidants that stop cell damage. In some studies that have been done, it has been suggested that lycopene obtained from diet significantly lowered the incidence of prostate diseases, as well as oral cancers. Lycopene has also been suggested to lower the risk of cardiovascular illness.
Because a watermelon has lots of water, this fruit is a very good choice for hydrating the body, especially during summer, where the hot climate can strip the body of moisture. The sodium and potassium that is found in watermelon replenishes the body’s supply of these electrolytes that are lost through perspiration. The vitamin B complex content of this fruit plays an important role in the production of energy, which the body will use to perform daily activities. Aside from preventing cell damage and certain cancers, the antioxidants present in watermelon also help reduce severe asthma attacks and rheumatoid arthritis. Watermelon also helps protect the eyes from developing macular degeneration.