Watermelon is a very tasty and healthy product that is ready to give you great pleasure, provided you learn how to choose and store it correctly.
The fruit pulp of a watermelon contains from 6 to 13% of easily digestible sugars (g of lucose , phructose and sucrose). By the time of ripening, glucose and fructose predominate, sucrose accumulates during the storage of watermelon. 100 grams of the edible part of the fruit contains only 38 kilocalories.
The pulp contains vitamin A, B vitamins (B1, B2, B6, B9 and PP), vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium.
The antioxidants abundant in watermelon include lycopene, niacin and thiamine, as well as the aforementioned carotene, riboflavin, and ascorbic acid.
This composition of sweet watermelon causes a lot of positive effects on the body.
Firstly, the high water content allows the use of watermelon as a diuretic and choleretic agent, watermelon juice is able to cleanse the liver and kidneys from toxins and toxins.
Secondly, the dietary fiber contained in watermelon is tender and soft, it also helps to lower cholesterol.
Thirdly, the content of folic acid in watermelon positively affects the formation of DNA and RNA, cell division, protein metabolism, affects the beauty and health of the skin, hair, as well as the functioning of digestion.
Fourth, the high content of antioxidants in watermelon prevents aging processes, protects the body from age-related disorders, fights free radicals, and helps to resist the development of cancer.
The high content of magnesium (about 60% of the daily value in 100 grams) ensures the normal absorption of other nutrients (calcium, sodium, potassium), which is beneficial for the internal organs, in particular for the cardiovascular system.
The content of the same magnesium and a variety of antioxidants in watermelon determines its anti-stress properties, and the summer taste of watermelon itself affects the production of joy hormones in the body.
The use of watermelon strengthens human immunity, stabilizes vision.
By removing excess fluid from the body, watermelon thereby helps to get rid of several unnecessary kilograms. At the same time, it suppresses the desire to have another snack, satisfying the feeling of hunger.
In summer, watermelon does a good job of quenching thirst like a refreshing drink. Juices and sparkling water cannot be compared with the healthy juicy slice of watermelon, since they do not contain hard-to-digest sugars. This watermelon is useful for diabetics, but in moderation.
Watermelon is used in medical nutrition for anemia, atherosclerosis, hypertension, liver diseases, stones of the gallbladder and urinary tract, arthritis, gout, and obesity.
When is it better to give up watermelon?
Watermelon is not the most harmless fruit imaginable. Watermelon is one of those fruits that insidiously take revenge for the misuse of oneself in food. First, it is a strong diuretic and too large portions at a time are fraught with subsequent discomfort in the bladder area. Secondly, if you eat watermelon right after another meal, you can get an attack of flatulence, bloating and pain in the abdomen, as well as bowel upset.
It is important to take into account another property of watermelon - an increased tendency to multiply microbes. This means that a medium for the growth of microorganisms develops very quickly in both the pulp and the crust. That is why you cannot buy damaged or already cut fruits, and also store the opened but half-eaten watermelon outside the refrigerator.
Watermelon is especially dangerous if grown under artificial conditions, so to speak, at an accelerated pace. For rapid ripening and weight gain, watermelons are fed with nitrogen fertilizers, which are not particularly toxic in themselves, but getting into the gastrointestinal tract, they are converted into harmful N-nitros compounds and nitrites. It is they who cause cancer. At the same time, if the shelf life is not observed, nitrates become nitrites in the fetus itself. Nitrites disrupt the transport function of blood - this affects hemoglobin, which can subsequently lead to hypoxia - a lack of oxygen in the tissues. It is especially difficult for children and those who suffer from cardiovascular diseases, as well as diseases of the respiratory and excretory systems.
In order to avoid acquaintance with a useless or frankly dangerous watermelon, it is recommended to feast on berries in the season, and to approach their choice with full responsibility
Who is not recommended to consume watermelon?
The use of watermelon is contraindicated for people with diseases of the genitourinary system, especially those burdened with kidney stones with a diameter of four millimeters or more, diarrhea, flatulence, colic, severe pathologies of the pancreas and prostate gland.
Diabetics should be especially careful about the benefits of watermelon. As noted earlier, this fruit can be included in the diet of persons with disorders of carbohydrate metabolism, at the same time it must be remembered that watermelon has a high glycemic index, it causes a rapid but short-term increase in blood glucose, consume no more than 700-900 grams per day, taking into account the consumed calories or bread units.
For patients with type 1 diabetes, watermelon is allowed on the general principles of diet, the amount of carbohydrates in the food should correspond to the administered dose of insulin and physical activity;
For patients with type 2 diabetes, early and immature fruits are more recommended, in which there is a lower content of sugars, but in any case, the use of watermelon will affect urination, and the alkalinity of urine will increase.
What are the recommendations for using watermelon for pregnant women?
Pregnant women should also know when to stop eating watermelon. Of course, it is useful for them: the presence of vitamin B9 in watermelon has a beneficial effect on the formation of the nervous system of the unborn baby, helps the digestive process of the mother herself and increases the amount of breast milk during lactation.
However, it should be noted that the abuse of watermelon pulp is fraught with the development of flatulence. It is recommended to eat watermelon in the morning on an empty stomach, or at least separately from other forms of food. This should be especially taken into account by pregnant women - gas formation in the later stages can cause not only discomfort, but also pain. Expectant mothers need to be careful with watermelon also because the overflow of the bladder after a portion of the watermelon in parallel with the pressure on it by the growing fetus is also not a pleasant sensation. At the same time, this is a tangible load on the kidneys.
Are there any restrictions on the use of watermelon for children?
Watermelon is not recommended for children under two years old, it can provoke food allergies. A portion of watermelon for a baby 2-3 years old should not exceed 80-100 grams of pulp, by 3-6 years a single portion can be increased to 150 grams of pulp.
How to choose a quality watermelon?
There are several rules for choosing a watermelon.
Do not buy watermelons lying on the ground on the road. After a few hours of such lying, this melon culture is saturated with heavy metals that are found in car exhaust.
Do not buy a burst watermelon, as well as one that was defiantly cut by the seller. Bacteria are able to multiply at a tremendous speed, finding themselves on its sweet surface or pulp.
A ripe watermelon has a dry tail, a light yellow or orange spot on the side, and the stripes are contrasting to the maximum.
Try to pierce the crust with your fingernail, if you succeeded easily, it means that you have an unripe fruit in your hands. If you rub the rind, a ripe watermelon will not give off a smell, but if it smells of freshly cut grass, the fruit is not ripe.
If you hit a ripe watermelon, it bounces. If you slap it, it resonates. A ripe fruit, when tapped on it, emits a clear and sonorous sound.
The flesh of a watermelon full of nitrates is bright red with a purple tint. If the pulp of such a fruit is placed in a container of water, the water will turn pink or red. The flesh of the fruit without nitrates will only make the water cloudy. In a healthy watermelon, the inner fibers are white; they turn yellow in fruits full of nitrates.
Another thing to look out for is the size of the watermelon.
The fact is that our country does not have the climate to grow giants, so the huge watermelon was probably fed with something not very useful. The ideal solution is a medium watermelon weighing 5-7 kg.
Here are some more helpful tips when buying a watermelon.
Watermelons must be sold in specially designated and equipped places for this, under a canopy and must lie in special pallets with a height of at least 20 cm. Be sure to ask the seller for a certificate of the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Supervision and other documents confirming the quality of watermelons.
Before eating, be sure to wash the fruit well with soap using a brush and dry thoroughly with a dry towel.
The ideal time for the most delicious and naturally ripe watermelons is August - September. Do not rush to eat watermelons in June-July, there is no benefit from them, but there is a lot of harm. Do not spoil your summer with unpleasant memories and do not rush to pamper your children with this fragrant and juicy pumpkin. Indeed, at this time there are so many tasty and healthy berries that have grown naturally, without nitrates and other chemicals.