The watermelon, otherwise known as Citrullus lanatus (1), is a healthy and delicious fruit that is consumed throughout the world. Historians suggest that the harvesting of the fruit began 5000 years ago in Egypt, and later spread to other parts of the world.
The fruit possesses many health benefits owing to the numerous nutrients it contains. Watermelons are rich in water, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B1 and B6, potassium, magnesium, flavonoids, lycopene, citrulline, and dietary fiber.
Previously, it was believed that tomatoes contained the highest amount of lycopene. However, recent research points to the fact that watermelons contain more lycopene than tomatoes, making them the most important source of the carotenoid.
It is also important to note that scientists consider watermelons as low caloric foods because they contain low amounts of calories.
The following are some of the health benefits of watermelons, as well as five delicious and healthy watermelon recipes.
1. Watermelons contain significant amounts of water
Watermelons contain 92% water, which makes these fruits excellent at promoting hydration. Eating foods and fruits containing high levels of water such as watermelon can help prevent dehydration.
Hydration is important in the maintenance of normal body functions. For instance, hydration is essential when it comes to assisting the body in thermoregulation. This is the process of controlling the core temperature of the body.
Hydration is also essential in improving physical performance. Studies have shown that individuals experiencing dehydration have decreased levels of physical performance, owing to poor thermoregulation, an increased sense of effort, an increase in fatigue, as well as a decrease in motivation.
Studies have also shown that dehydration has negative effects on the cardiovascular, and central nervous systems. Lack of water will also affect the integral metabolic functions occurring in the body.
Other studies have definitively shown that dehydration affects cognition and its functions that include memory, attention, and alertness in people of different ages. People who suffer from dehydration will often experience lapses in memory, as well as difficulty in paying attention.
Scientists have also shown that dehydration is a contributory factor in the development of delirium and dementia as one grows older.
Furthermore, water plays an essential role in the gastrointestinal function, and individuals who suffer from constipation, are usually told to increase their water intake. This is because dehydration is a risk factor for constipation.
Moreover, water is essential in promoting healthy kidney function, as well as the prevention of headaches.
The high water content in watermelons makes the fruits ideal in preventing heat exhaustion and heat stroke among other heat-related diseases.
Bottom Line: Watermelons contain 96% of water, which is essential in ensuring that the body is properly hydrated. Hydration helps prevent heat exhaustion, improve gastrointestinal function, prevent cognitive decline, improve cognitive function, and improve physical performance.