Is watermelon useful for weight loss?
Fruit tastes sweet. Watermelon is no exception to this rule. However, just because it tastes sweet doesn’t make it high in sugar. All naturally sweet foods contain some form of sugary carbohydrates. Sugar consumption can make you gain weight, so some people wonder if fruit is on the approved list of “weight-loss” foods. What they fail to realize is that the natural sugars found in fruit are different from regular sugar and are far healthier. Due to this, the Glycemic Index (GI) of most fruit is quite low (far lower than even brown bread) and because of their nutritional profile, they can actually help you lose weight.
In this post you’ll find out why exactly watermelon is so useful for weight loss along with many others health benefits. You will also find out why it’s a good idea to drink watermelon juice or consume a fresh slice of watermelon immediately after a strenuous workout.
Here’s why watermelon and weight loss go hand in hand
Watermelon is a great option for those looking for a sweet low-calorie treat while trying to lose weight. The fibre and water content in watermelon can keep you feeling full for longer, which cuts down cravings.
Even though the Gl of watermelon is higher than other fruit, due to its high water content, the Glycemic Load (GL) is actually quite low. In terms of nutritional value, watermelon is full of water, carbohydrates and fibre along with essential vitamins and minerals that provide nutrition to the body for better metabolism.
100 g of watermelon contains 90 per cent water and 7 per cent carbohydrates providing just 46 calories per 100 g.
Furthermore, watermelon is a natural diuretic, which is another reason that makes it useful for weight loss, and is a blood purifier. And finally, it’s also a great source of an amino acid arginine, which helps burn fat quickly.
Watermelon after a workout?
Is it good to eat watermelon after a workout? Definitely! Here’s why.
Whether you’re an athlete or a casual gym-goer, you know that post-workout nutrition is paramount. One way to replenish your electrolyte stores and stay hydrated after training is to drink watermelon juice. Or, you can replace your post-workout snacks with a fresh slice of watermelon.
One glass of watermelon juice contains roughly 22 grams of simple carbohydrates, making it a great choice for a post-workout recovery. Consuming carbs after exercise replenishes tired muscles by replacing the glycogen that your body relies on for energy.
If we compare a traditional sports drink and watermelon juice, one should choose watermelon juice. Traditional sports drinks are loaded with artificial sugar whereas watermelon juice contains natural sugar. It is a healthy choice over sports drinks.
Key nutrients in watermelon
Key nutrients in watermelon include fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, fructose, glucose, sucrose, zinc, copper, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin E, and small amounts of lipids and amino acids. Important phytochemicals include lycopene, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, cucurbitacin E, pectin, and phytosterols.
Health benefits of eating watermelon
Watermelon is not only a refreshing fruit to beat the heat on a hot summer day but it also has a few health advantages.
- The antioxidants found in watermelon strengthen the body’s immune system.
- It may be effective in managing blood pressure and help in reducing inflammation that contributes to conditions like asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer and arthritis.
- A watermelon-rich diet can also help keep your skin glowing.
- Watermelon has the highest concentration of lycopene which is an important antioxidant helpful in fighting heart disease and cancer.
- It also contains a high amount of potassium which is essential for muscle and nerve function and helps lower blood pressure.
- Amino acids – citrulline and arginine – can help maintain arteries, blood flow and overall heart health. The amino acids also improve the body’s sensitivity towards insulin.
- Watermelon juice is a top-notch kidney and bladder cleanser. Its diuretic action helps to eliminate excess fluids from the body. Watermelon juice is also endowed with plenty of enzymes.
Is watermelon juice also healthy?
Processed juice is often loaded with sugar to make it taste better, it has preservatives for longer shelf life and does not have most of the fruit fibre. So, no, processed watermelon juice should not be considered as healthy. Fresh watermelon juice is slightly better since it does not have preservatives and might have more fibre, but we definitely recommend eating the whole fruit for maximum benefit.
Those who prefer less sugar in their juices (because of the weight loss diet) will be interested to know that the juice of the whole watermelon is less sweet than the juice of the red meat alone. By juicing the rind, you will increase its mineral and chlorophyll content.
What about watermelon seeds?
The nutrition of the watermelon does not end with the flesh of the fruit. Watermelon seeds are also available in the market in dried form and have high nutrition. The seeds are rich in magnesium and contain a high amount of protein and fat.
Watermelon provides essential vitamins and minerals, fibre and other substances that are important for good health and looking good. Because 90 percent of a watermelon’s weight is water, it’s one of the best fruits to eat if you’re trying to lose weight. It’s also a great source of an amino acid called arginine, which helps burn fat quickly. Therefore, losing weight and burning fat when eating watermelon is not a myth!
In addition to helping the body stay hydrated, snacking on watermelon will help you feel full so you won’t have cravings between meals. Furthermore, watermelon is an excellent choice to help relieve muscle soreness due to the high content of the essential amino acid L-citrulline. Finally, natural sugar we can find in watermelon will help restore glycogen we are losing during the workout. Therefore, watermelon is an ideal post-workout snack!