How nutritious are watermelons
February 25, 2009
You cannot expect for a source of greater delight, if a ripe watermelon is placed before you on a hot summer day. The fact is that watermelon is much beyond a thirst-quencher. This fruit is indeed gifted with many other beneficial nutritional qualities. It is found to quench the inflammation that results in ailments such as asthma, arteriosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer, and arthritis.
The sweet fresh juice of watermelon is power packed with a few of the most vital natural antioxidants. Watermelon is an abundant source of vitamin C. It contains and vitamin A and is also known for its concentration of beta-carotene. These antioxidants help the body by neutralizing free radicals.
Free radicals refer to those harmful substances that oxidize cholesterol, making it stick to the walls of the blood vessel walls.
That is how these free radicals contribute to stroke and heart attack, by limiting the passage of blood to the vital internal organs. The clamping down of the airways makes a person prone to respiratory ailment such as asthma. The harmful radicals increase joint inflammations and gradually lead to osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In some people, free radicals cause severe damage to the colon cells as well.
Vitamin C and beta-carotene, present in fruits such as watermelon, are very good at getting rid of these harmful molecules. Studies indicate that watermelon is also high in its concentration of carotenoid lycopene.
Lycopene is found to be effective in reducing the risk of certain types of cancer especially, those affecting the prostate, lung, and stomach. Other nutritious elements present in watermelons include vitamin B6, vitamin B1, potassium and magnesium.
The absence of cholesterol and fat makes the ripe flesh of watermelons an all the more enjoyable picnic dessert. It is estimated that a whole cup of grated watermelon flesh, contributes only forty-eight calories. If kept uncut, watermelons will remain fresh in room temperature for more than a couple of weeks.