Watermelon is commonly called as Tarbuj by the Indian people. It is a very delicious, sweet, and fruit of cooling effect, generally eaten by the people during summer season. It belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family and Cucumis genus which was first originated in the southern Africa. Its eatable part called as the mesocarp and endocarp becomes pinkish, reddish however sometimes yellow, orange or white. During 10th of century, it was started cultivating throughout the China which has become the largest producer of the watermelon worldwide. During 13th of century it was distributed to the Europe and then other countries of the world. It takes around 85-90 days to fully grow and develop for eating purpose.
Benefits of Watermelon/Tarbuj
Watermelon (Tarbuj) is a fruit liked by everyone during the summer season to have cooling body effect. It is packed with lots of healthy nutrients, high level of carotenoids, lycopene and good resource of water having mild diuretic effects and antihypertensive effects. Consuming watermelon in limit on daily basis provides amazing health benefits to the people like it. Some of the astonishing health benefits of the watermelon are mentioned below to have clear idea of the nutritional values and its positive health effects:
Benefits of Watermelon for Eyes
- It is the good source of vitamin A (beta carotene) which promotes healthy vision and enhances the level of good eyesight.
Prevents from Eye Problems
- Beta-carotene helps in producing the retina pigments and prevents from age-related macular degeneration, night blindness and other eye sight problems.
Benefits of Watermelon for Immune System
Improves Immunity and Prevents from Infection
- Watermelon or tarbuj is the good source of vitamin C which enhances the body ability to get prevented from various infections and other immune deficiency health problems.
Benefits of Watermelon for Cancer Prevention
Prevents from Cancer
- Red flesh of it is the great source of phytochemicals called lycopene which has ability to prevent from the cancer.
Benefits of Watermelon for Heart
Prevents from Hypertension
- Watermelon has antihypertensive effect which prevents from the pre-hypertension risk thus reduces the risk of chronic cardiovascular diseases.
Regulates Heart Functioning
- It has a special type of amino acid called L-citrulline (L-arginine) which has ability to lower the aortic blood pressure thus keeps the heart tension free. This amino acid involves in making the nitric oxide which is very essential for regulating the vascular tone and managing the healthy blood pressure.
Reduces Risk of Stroke
- Its high level potassium helps in controlling blood pressure, regulating heart beats and preventing form the risk of strokes.
Boosts Functioning of Cardiovascular System
- It contains soluble dietary fibers which supports the cardiovascular system and boosts it functioning.
Keeps Blood Vessels Healthy
- Its antioxidant nature because of lycopene prevents the blood vessels and arteries from getting hardened and fat deposition around the arteries thus relax and reduce the pressure in the arteries.
Benefits of Watermelon for Men
Improves Blood Flow to Reproductive Organs
- It is the good sources of the phytonutrients which relaxes the blood vessels and increases the blood flow to the male sex organ and helps to treat the erectile dysfunction among men.
Reduces Risk of Prostate Cancer
- Lycopene found in it helps in reducing the occurrence of prostate cancer among men.
Improves Male fertility
- Lycopene involves in improving the male fertility.
Benefits of Watermelon for Women
Reduces Risk of Breast and Uterine Cancer
- Lycopene found in it has anti cancer property which helps in reducing the occurrence of breast cancer, endometrial cancer, uterine cancer including lung, colorectal and colon cancer.
Benefits of Watermelon for Women during Menopause
Maintains Energy Level after Menopause
- It energizes the women after menopause by improving their cardiovascular health, if taken on regular basis.
Benefits of Watermelon for Diabetes
Maintains Blood Glucose Level
- It contains good level of dietary fibers which slows down the glucose absorption in the blood thus lowers the blood glucose level.
- Watermelon seeds are very effective in treating diabetes. Make the seed water by boiling handful of watermelon seeds into one liter of water for approximately 45 mins. And take a small sip of it every day just like tea.
Benefits of Watermelon for Bone and Teeth
Reduces Risk of Osteoporosis and Tooth Disorders
- Its lycopene content involves in maintaining and promoting the bone and teeth health by reducing the oxidative stress and activity of the osteoblasts and osteoclasts thus prevents from the osteoporosis and tooth disorders.
Maintains Calcium Level
- It is the rich source of potassium which helps in retaining the calcium level of body which makes the bones, joints and teeth stronger.
Prevents from Arthritis
- It lowers the blood uric acid level thus prevents from arthritis (caused due to uric acid known as gout).
Benefits of Watermelon for Weight Loss
Reduces Fat Accumulation
- Its citrulline content availability has effect of reducing the fat accumulation in the fat cells by converting into arginine.
Keeps Stomach Full
- Its high level dietary fibers and water content makes the stomach feel fuller for long time and reduces the deposition of fat in the body.
Contains Low Calorie, Low Fat and no Cholesterol
- It is low calorie fruit having high level of vitamins and minerals, low level fat and no cholesterol thus helps in managing the weight.
Benefits of Watermelon for Kidney
Removes Body Toxins
- It acts as a natural diuretic which helps in increasing the urine flow, flushes out the body toxins through kidneys and reduces kidney stress.
Reduces Kidney Load
- It also helps liver to process out wastes materials of protein digestion like ammonia and etc thus reduces the stress of kidneys.
Reduces Risk of Age Related Problems
- Its high level potassium reduces the risk of formation kidney stones as well as age-related bone problems.
Reduces Blood Uric Acid Level
- Its potassium content helps in removing toxic materials from the body and flushes out renal calculi thus reduce blood uric acid level.
Benefits of Watermelon for Nervous System
Controls Functions of Nerves and Muscles
- It is the rich source of potassium, a natural electrolyte, which helps in controlling the activities of nerves and muscles like muscles contraction, nerves excitation and etc.
Maintains Electrolyte and Acid-Base Balance
- It is the good source of potassium which maintains the muscle and nerve functions by maintaining the appropriate electrolyte and acid-base balance.
Benefits of Watermelon for Digestive System
Prevents from Acidity
- Well ripened watermelon has alkaline effect on the body thus reduces the risk of various diseases caused due to acidity.
Prevents from Colon Cancer
- Its high level of dietary fibers makes the digestion process easy and reduces the risk of colon cancer.
Eases Digestion Process
- It contains insoluble dietary fibers which eases the digestion process and reduces the risk of digestive disorders like constipation, diarrhea and etc.
Benefits of Watermelon for Skin
Nourishes Skin Deeply
- As it contains high level of water, it nourishes, hydrates, moisturizes and softens the skin if taken on daily basis.
Prevents Skin Damage
- It reduces the risk of skin damage, sun burn, due to sun heat as it is the rich source of lycopene.
Prevents from UV rays
- Its antioxidant property prevents the skin from the UV rays thus makes skin free of sunburn and wrinkles.
Prevents from Skin Cancer
- Its lycopene content reduces the risks of skin cancer.
Keeps Skin Healthy and Glowing
- Watermelon seeds are rich source of unsaturated fatty acids (oleic acid, linoleum acid and etc) which keeps skin healthy and glowing.
Prevents form Skin Disorders
- It moisturizes, softens, firms the skin and prevents from acne, sign of ageing and other skin disorders. It opens up the skin pores by removing sebum, dirt and clears the skin.
- It helps in combating with age related health degradation and rejuvenates by maintaining the elasticity of skin.
Benefits of Watermelon for Hair
Keeps Hair Healthy
- Watermelon seeds are very high source of protein which helps in keeping the hair healthy, strong and shiny.
- Its essential amino acids like arginine, lysine, tryptophan, glutamic acid and etc which nourish the hair.
Provides Natural Color to Hair
- It contains copper mineral which involves in producing melanin, a color providing pigment to the hair and skin
Benefits of Watermelon for Brain
Relaxes Brain and Induces Sleep
- It relaxes the brain during night by inducing deep sleep by increasing the level of serotonin which relaxes brain from disruptive stimuli such as noise.
Benefits of Watermelon Seeds/Seeds Oil
Source of Protein
- Watermelon seeds are the good source of proteins (1 g per 24 seeds) which helps in nourishing the muscles and bones.
Nourishes and Moisturizes Skin and Hair Scalp
- The oil extracted from the watermelon seed (Ootanga oil or Kalahari oil) is very beneficial for the hair and skin. It nourishes and moisturizes the skin and hair scalp and provides better growth.
Maintains Heart and Sexual Health
- It has some essential amino acids (tryptophan, lysine, glutamic acids and etc) which enhance the calcium absorption, collagen formation, improve metabolism, enhance cardiovascular functioning and maintain the sexual health.
Rich Source of Magnesium
- It is the highest source of magnesium which helps in normalizing the heart functioning, maintaining normal blood pressure and protein synthesis.
Promotes Recovery from Illness
- It also provides better recovery from illness as well as sharpens the memory level.
Enhances RBCs Production
- It is the good supplement of niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, folates, vitamin B6 and etc which enhances RBCs production and maintains the nervous system and immune system functioning.
Rich Source of Healthy Fat
- It contains omega-6 fatty acids and fats like saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat which are the great source of energy.
Fulfills Protein Need
- It is the good source of protein which prevents from the protein deficiency diseases like marasmus and kwashiorkor as well as also enhances the growth and repair of skin, connective tissues, muscles and regulating enzymes.
Benefits of Watermelon Juice
Beats Summer Heat
- Watermelon juice acts as a refreshing drink which hydrates and cools down the body during summer heat.
Normalizes Body Functioning
- It is full of vitamins, minerals and other health nutrients which normalize all the body functioning very well.
- It is the rich source of beta carotene and vitamin C which helps in relieving inflammations throughout the body and reduces the risk of osteoarthritis and joint pain.
Cleanses Kidney and Bladder
- Its high water content helps in cleansing the kidneys and bladder.
Eliminates Excess Fluid
- It is best to treat fluid retention and helps in eliminating the excess fluid among women during menstruation and pregnancy.
Regulates Body Metabolism
- Its B group vitamins help in regulating the body metabolism and energy level.
Keeps Body Active
- It has highly concentrated health nutrients which energizes the body instantly.
Other Health Benefits of Watermelon/Tarbuj
Neutralizes Free Radicals
- It has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties because of its richness in phenolic compounds (flavonoids, triterpenoids, carotenoids and etc) which neutralizes free radicals and reduces inflammations throughout body.
Involves in Important Activities
- Well ripened watermelon contains more tripterpenoids which blocks cyclo-oxygenase enzyme activity and reduces inflammation.
Reduces Pain and Muscle Soreness
- It is very effective in alleviating pains related to the post-exercise muscle soreness due to its high level of L-citrulline.
Prevents Cells and DNA Damage
- Vitamin C found in it prevents the cells and DNA from getting damaged due to free radicals.
- It acts as an instant body energy booster as it contains lots of vitamins like B6 which helps in synthesizing dopamine.
Creates more ATP
- Its magnesium content helps in making adenosine tri phosphate (ATP) which provides more energy for cellular functions.
Combat Summer Thirst
- It is rich in electrolytes, minerals and water which are necessary to combat with tropical summer thirst.
Nutritional Benefits of Watermelon/Tarbuj per 100 g
(Source: USDA Nutrient Database)
Energy: 30 Kcal
Carbohydrates: 7.6 g
Sugars: 6.2 g
Water: 91.45 g
Protein: 0.6 g
Total Fat: 0.15 g
Dietary Fibers: 0.4 g
Thiamin: 0.033 mg
Riboflavin: 0.021 mg
Niacin: 0.178 mg
Pantothenic acid: 0.221 mg
Pyridoxine: 0.045 mg
Folates: 3 µg
Choline: 4.1 mg
Vitamin E: 0.05 mg
Vitamin A: 569 IU
Vitamin C: 8.1 mg
Sodium: 1 mg
Potassium: 112 mg
Calcium : 7 mg
Copper: 42 µg
Iron: 0.24 mg
Phosphorus: 11 mg
Magnesium: 10 mg
Selenium: 1.1 mcg
Manganese: 0.038 mg
Zinc: 0.10 mg
Alpha-carotene: 303 µg
Beta-carotene: 303 μg
Crypto-xanthin-beta: 78 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin: 8 µg
Lycopene: 4532 µg
Selection and Storage of Watermelon
Always buy organic watermelon which is cultivated organically (without using chemicals or pesticides) as they are tastier and loaded with more nutrients than the inorganically grown. Select fresh, smooth, bright colored, solid, heavy and well ripened watermelon from the market. Avoid buying dull, bruised surface, wrinkled or loose skin and light. It can be stored for many days if placed in cool, dry and well ventilated place.
Fully ripened watermelon can be determined by examining the bottom and top. Bottom of fully ripened watermelon should be yellowish cream in color (white or green means unripened) and top color should be somewhat dulled (bright means unripened). It can also be stored in the refrigerator for many days to keep it fresh. It should be well washed under the cold running water before eating to remove dust, insecticides or fungicides residues on its surface.
How to Enjoy Watermelon
Fresh watermelon can be enjoyed in many ways like eating fresh by cutting in small slices, fruit salad, jam, mixed fruit juice, fruit cocktail, as a snack in between meals and etc. Peel of watermelon is used to make pickles or candied.
Disadvantages, Side Effects and Precautions of Watermelon
Watermelon is a natural source of healthy nutrients such as high level vitamins, minerals, potassium and other beneficial plant chemicals like lycopene and citrulline. However, its high consumption has some adverse effects on the health. Some of the disadvantages, side effects and precautions of watermelon are mentioned below:
- High consumption of it may cause digestive problems, cardiovascular and nerve disorders.
- It is the highest source of phytochemical called lycopene which may cause gastrointestinal disturbances (Bloating, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, indigestion and etc) if taken over limit.
- As, it is also the good source of potassium, over consumption of it may cause hyperkalemia means high blood level of potassium which leads to the cardiovascular problems like cardiac arrest, irregular heartbeats, weak or absent pulse, irregular nerves and muscles control and so many.
- Hyperkalemia also lead to the kidney malfunctions as it overloads the function of kidney, thus it should be avoided by the person already suffering from the kidney problems.
- Overconsumption of it may also lead to the impotence and erectile dysfunctions.
- Eating cold or iced watermelon may add lots of extra weight to the body as it is rich in sugar which may easily change into the fat if eaten cold.
- Eating iced or cold watermelon may also cause gastrointestinal disorders like diarrhea, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, indigestion and etc.
- Eating iced watermelon just after the long journey or strenuous exercises may cause spasmodic contractions to the gastric smooth muscles and lead to the stomachache.
- Iced watermelon may also cause pharyngitis, toothache and etc.
How Much Watermelon to Eat
As I have mentioned above that over consumption of watermelon may cause severe health problems so, avoid over consumption according to your health conditions. It is better to consult your doctor to start it on daily basis if you have some problem. However, it can be eaten fresh around 1 to 2 cups of sliced watermelon by any normal person.
Find the Benefits of other Similar Summer fruits