Watermelon contains about 90% water, its consumption in the daily menu is another way to maintain the body’s fluid economy, especially in the hot Israeli summer. The combination of a high amount of fluids together with the dietary fiber it contains, can give a feeling of fullness and satiety.
Watermelon is a low.calorie fruit. 100 grams of fruit contain only about 30 kcal, and its sugar content is considered low. For comparison, 100 grams of green apple has about 55 kcal, and the amount of sugar in it is 2.5 times higher than the amount of sugar in watermelon. This means that watermelon can be eaten in greater quantities than other fruits.
Watermelon contains lycopene, a bright red pigment belonging to the carotenoid family. Lycopene is considered to be one of the most powerful antioxidants that our body is unable to produce on its own. Therefore, we should consume it in the diet by enriching the menu with red fruits and vegetables for example: tomatoes, squash, red grapefruit and more. Lycopene has an anti.inflammatory effect and anti.proliferative effect. Cancer cells. You will also be surprised to find that watermelon is 1.5 times more lycopene compared to a large fresh tomato.
It is known to be a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from inflammation and neutralizes damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin C plays an important role in creating the collagen protein in the body that is essential for maintaining healthy skin and creating connective tissue such as tendons and bones. In addition, the vitamin helps the absorption of iron in the intestines. So even though citrus fruits have gained fame in the context of vitamin C you will be surprised to know that watermelon contains a nice amount as well. A slice of watermelon (250 grams) contains about 20 mg of vitamin C, which is 22% of the daily requirement for men and 26% of the daily requirement for women.
Watermelon contains high amounts of the amino acid citrulline. And if you tend to give up the white part in the watermelon, too bad !. You should know that there are extremely high amounts of this amino acid. Citroline is converted in our body to the amino acid arginine and from it to an oxygen nitrogen also known as (NO) which helps in relaxing the blood vessels and maintaining normal blood pressure.
Recommended food combinations with the red fruit
In order to enjoy the health benefits of watermelon one should also pay attention to the foods consumed along with it in that meal.
Lycopene and vitamin A found in watermelon are fat soluble and in order to enjoy their maximum absorption
It is recommended to eat the fruit alongside a portion of fat, for example: almonds, nuts, seeds or various oils.
Also, combining a portion of fat in the same meal will help slow down some of the sugar absorption in the fruit.
And of course the familiar and well.known snack in front of the breeze – ripe watermelon with salted Bulgarian cheese.
Combining the protein portion with the fruit may also slow down the rate of sugar absorption.
In addition, adding salty cheese to the fruit dish is a way to enrich the dish with protein and calcium.
* The author is a clinical dietitian