A diet means a combination of different foods. But a healthy diet is something which is full of proper nutrients and vitamins. To maintain a disease-free lifestyle, the nutrients in the diet should not be in excess or deficient. Not every diet suits all individuals. One should consume food that suits his body. Some healthy foods include broccoli, almonds, blueberry, oily fish, sweet potatoes and oatmeal. For healthy living, it is necessary to follow healthy meal plans. One can start off his day by having oatmeal, egg, berries, cottage cheese, peanut butter and yogurt as breakfast. This is the healthiest breakfast containing all the essential nutrients, vitamins and proteins needed for our body. One can also include some good diet foods that help in providing energy and even weight loss:
- Olive oil
- Green tea
- Cranberry juice
These foods can be taken along with proper exercise to maintain good health. Having green vegetables and fruits helps a man stay away from several diseases and maintains overall health. Watermelon is a fruit that’s full off nutrients and it is the best choice for summer season.
Watermelon- a healthy fruit
Citrullus vulgaris is the botanical name of watermelon, and belongs to the citrus fruit family. Watermelon was first produced in Southern Africa. China is the leading producer of watermelon. It contains about 92% water and that is why ancient travelers used to pick watermelons as a replacement to water. In today’s modern age, watermelon is a popular and versatile fruit that is full of nutritious properties:
Watermelon comes in 5 types: seeded, seedless, mini, yellow and orange. It is made up of water and sugar but is a rich source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, thus offering a very low amount of calories. It also contains thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin-6, folate, betaine, pantothenic acid, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, choline, lycopene and magnesium. According to the National Watermelon Promotion Board, watermelon is the only fruit containing more of lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable. A moderate amount of energy is provided by watermelons. If a person eats 100gm of fruit he may get about 30 calories whereas a cup of diced watermelon contains 46 calories. It provides 7.5 g of carbohydrates and 0.4g of fiber per 100g fruit. The modest amount of dietary fiber in watermelons helps to promote the stool movement through the digestive system. According to U.S Agricultural Research Service, 1.5 cups of watermelon contains about 9-13mg of lycopene. Citrulline is another phyto-chemical, which after converting to arginine benefits heart and blood circulation. Additional health benefits of watermelon include:
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- Prevent asthma- It has been found out that those who frequently consume watermelon do not develop asthma. Watermelons also contain Vitamin C, which helps in building your immunity system.
- Cancer- The lycopene content in watermelon is helpful in preventing prostate cancer.
- Hydration– Because watermelon contains 92% of water and important electrolytes, it is very useful in preventing dehydration.
- Skin- Watermelon contains vitamin A, a good nutrient needed for sebum production and skin protection. It is also necessary for the growth of body tissues that includes skin and hair. Consumption of vitamin A helps in improved vision and immunity and also offers protection from lung and oral cavity cancers.
- Muscle soreness- Watermelon reduces muscle soreness due to the presence of amino acid L-Citrulline.
- Reduce blood pressure- Consuming large quantities of watermelon helps in improving cardiovascular health as it helps in improving blood flow via vasodilation.
- Improves erectile dysfunction in men – Our body converts Citrulline into the amino acid, arginine. This enhances the nitric oxide level in the body which is good for relaxation of blood vessels. Hence, watermelon consumption is good for increasing libido.
- Helpful in weight loss: Watermelon is an incredible fruit which has heaps of health effects. The presence of citrulline makes it a critical component of a weight loss diet plan. It helps in reducing the accumulation of fat in our fat cells.
- Cancer prevention: Watermelons contain antioxidant flavanoids like Lycopene, Beta-carotene, Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Cryptoxanthin that help in offering protection from colon, breast, lung and pancreatic cancers.
However, watermelon should be consumed in moderation to avoid its negative effects. Some negative effects of watermelon on health are:
- Gastrointestinal disturbance– Although lycopene is really beneficial for health, it does cause adverse side effects too. Over consumption of lycopene in either tomatoes or watermelon may lead to gastrointestinal disturbances. A person may experience problems like nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, indigestion and bloating.
- Hyperkalemia- Hyperkalemia is a condition in which potassium content is enhanced in the blood. In that case, eating watermelon which is rich in potassium may worsen the condition of person diagnosed with Hyperkalemia. Hyperkalemia may lead to some dangerous cardiovascular problems like irregular heartbeats, weak pulse, muscle control and may also affect the nervous system. According to a report published by Medline Plus, excess potassium is removed by kidneys,which causes Hyperkalemia due to kidney malfunctioning. A cup of watermelon has 176 mg of potassium whereas 3 cups contain 560mg of potassium which is too much for people having kidney problems.
- Allergies- Some people may also develop allergies by watermelon consumption.
- Pregnancy problem– Pregnant women should not consume watermelon in excess as it causes blood sugar levels to rise. Increased watermelon consumption can lead to increased blood sugar levels, which results in diabetes. Consuming cold watermelon juice may also result in abdominal problems like severe stomach pain and diarrhea.
On a hot summer’s day, a glass of cool watermelon juice is the best choice. It serves as an excellent weight loss technique and so you can replace higher-calorie snacks or desserts with watermelon or fruit salad. Whether you have watermelon as a snack or turn it into a refreshing beverage, the health benefits are many. Just don’t add a lot of sugar to your watermelon beverage, since this increases the energy density and the calories. So eat healthy and stay fit forever.
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