The Medicinal Water Melon
Watermelon (Citrullus lantanas) is a fruit that belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae. It is grown in favourable climates from tropical to temperate regions worldwide.
Watermelon is one of the commonly consumed fruits in many countries. The watermelon contains more than 91% water and up to 7% of carbohydrates.
It is a rich source of lycopene and citrulline. Watermelon is also a good source of fibre with a little fat and protein.
Additionally, watermelon has a number of essential micronutrients: iron, manganese, zinc and potassium. It is also rich in vitamins such as niacin, vitamin C, vitamin A and pantothenic acid.
- Watermelon contains high level of lycopene which is very effective in protecting cells from damage and lowers the risk of heart disease.
- Watermelon contains cucurbitacin E which is anti-inflammatory phytonutrient and Lycopene which is an inhibitor for various inflammatory processes and also works as an antioxidant to neutralize free radicals extracts which help to reduce hypertension and lower blood pressure in obese adults.
- Lycopene helps in reducing prostate cancer cell proliferation. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin-A is known to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
- Watermelon fruit is also a good source of potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that help in controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Thus, it prevents against stroke and coronary heart diseases.
- The fruit also contains a good amount of vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin–C and manganese. Consumption of food rich in vitamin–C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.
- Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
- Watermelon is an excellent source of Vitamin A, which is a powerful natural antioxidant.
- It is one of the essential vitamins for vision and immunity.
- Watermelons are the perfect example of a food that can help you stay hydrated. Watermelons are nature gift to beat summer thirst due to its rich electrolytes and water content. The watermelon contains fibre, which encourages a healthy digestive tract and helps keep you regular.
- Vitamin A helps keep the skin and hair moisturized, it also encourages healthy growth of new collagen and elastin cells. Vitamin C is also beneficial in this regard, as it promotes healthy collagen growth.
Like other fruits and vegetables, watermelons may be helpful in reducing the risk of cancer through their antioxidant properties. Most people throw away the watermelon rind and seeds. The rind not only contains plenty of health-promoting and blood-building chlorophyll, but the rind actually contains important amino acid citrulline than the flesh. Citrulline is a non-protein amino acid which improves circulation by reducing muscle soreness and heart rate.
- Masih, A and Kaur, M (2021) Watermelon (Citrullus Lanatus): A Comprehensive Review. Available at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/352030752_Watermelon_Citrullus_Lanatus_A_Comprehensive_Review/stats Tomar, R and Timaru M. (2017).
- Watermelon: A Valuable Horticultural Crop with Nutritional Benefits. Available online at www.popularkheti.com.