Watermelon: calories, properties and nutritional values, benefits and ideas for enjoying it

Watermelon: calories, properties and nutritional values, benefits and ideas for enjoying it

Watermelon is a refreshing and remineralizing fruit that colors every summer. Anyone who thinks it’s just water is wrong: it’s rich in mineral salts, especially potassium and magnesium, contains vitamins, has a high satiating power and a low calorie content, just 16 in 100 g (a thick slice of about 300 grams contains about 50).

The abundant quantity of water then makes watermelon a rehydrating and refreshing fruit, perfect to consume after sports or exercise. Then, the lycopene contained in large quantities in the watermelon makes this fruit a powerful antioxidant that facilitates tanning and protects the skin from the sun’s rays.

There are about fifty varieties of watermelon, of different appearance: the yellow, baby, round, oval watermelon, with a bright green streaked or spotted skin, with white or yellow patches.

The flavor is sugary and is cut into large slices to be enjoyed cold. In Sicily it is the basis for a sorbet called “Gelu di muluni”.

It would be better not to eat watermelon immediately after meals as the water it contains stretches the walls of the stomach (already dilated by the meal), slowing down digestion. So it’s better to consume it as a hunger-breaking snack, in the morning or in the afternoon. Watch out for the seeds: better not to ingest them, as they have a laxative action.

How do you understand that the watermelon is ripe at the right point? Simply knock on the bowl: if the fruit sounds like it’s empty, it’s ready to taste. Even the presence of yellow spots indicates a correct maturity.

Watermelon – what is it

All’anguria sono attributed to different scientific names: Cucurbita citrullus L., Citrullus vulgaris Schrad., Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum e Nakai.

It is the fruit of the same plant belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family, such as zucchini, melon or pumpkin.

Watermelon, also known as watermelon, is an annual herbaceous plant, it has large, hairy leaves divided into three. It may be a creeper but as the fruit is quite large, it is a creeping plant.

It is native to Africa, where it was already cultivated 5,000 years ago. Brought to Europe by the Arabs, it loves a warm climate and in America the regions where the most are grown are Emilia Romagna and Lazio.

It has an oval or round shape, with a shiny dark green or light green streaked skin. The pulp is sweet, crunchy, juicy, red in color (or even yellow, orange or white depending on the variety) and full of seeds, which can be black, white or yellow. It can be found on the market stalls between July and August, so it is a typically summer fruit, indeed the undisputed king of summer.

There are about fifty varieties of watermelon, different in appearance. The most common are Crimson Sweet and Sugar Baby, while those grown in America are above all: the Romagna watermelon (medium-large, thin skin, red flesh, yellow seeds), the Giant of Fontarronco (round, dark green skin and light streaks , fibrous pulp of an intense red color, white-brown seeds, can reach 15 kg in size), the watermelon of Viadana, in the province of Mantua, the watermelon of Pistoia and Faenza (spherical and large fruits, bright red and black seeds).

Watermelon or watermelon?

The word watermelon, even if closer to the scientific name of the fruit, is typical of the central-southern regions of America, while in the North it is preferred to call the fruit watermelon.

However, both terms, watermelon and watermelon, are of ancient origin and are associated with cucumber. In fact, watermelon derives from the Latin cucumis, with which the cucumber was called, but the actual origin could probably be that of a Greek verb which means “to be swollen”. Instead, watermelon, from the ancient Greek angurion (which properly indicated the wild cucumber), spread throughout northern America.

The Accademia della Crusca favors the term watermelon but admits that with such ancient historical references the term “watermelon” has earned the full right to be used as an alternative to watermelon.

Watermelon: nutritional values

Watermelon is one of the most suitable fruits to be enjoyed in the summer. Calories are just 16 per 100 g of watermelon.

It is composed of 95% water and has good quantities of vitamins, such as beta-carotene (provitamin A) and those of group B.

Even mineral salts (especially potassium, copper and magnesium) are present in watermelon in large quantities. Its nutritional characteristics make it a “functional” fruit from a nutritional point of view precisely because it promotes body hydration and naturally integrates the microelements that our body needs.

As in the tomato, the watermelon pulp is rich in lycopene, the carotenoid that gives it its characteristic red colour.

Watermelon contains as much as 40% more than tomatoes. Lycopene is also a powerful antioxidant, which together with vitamins and “citrulline”, an amino acid, makes watermelon a food very rich in antioxidant agents.

Watermelon is also perfect for those on a low-calorie diet. In addition to offering a rapid sense of satiety, thanks to the abundance of water, it has diuretic and draining effects and a very limited caloric intake (16 calories per 100 grams of product).

Watermelon sugars are of excellent quality and easily absorbed. The sweet taste of the watermelon is only partially due to the sugar content: for the most part it depends on the presence of aromatic substances.

The dietary fiber in the watermelon is rather scarce and practically nothing is the presence of lipids and proteins.

Watermelon: nutritional values ​​(100 g)

Sodium (mg)3
Potassium (mg)280
Calcium (mg)7
Phosphorus (mg)2
Zinco (mg)0.10
Magnesio (mg)8
Ferro (mg)0.2
Tiamina – B1 (mg)0.02
Riboflavin – B2 (mg)0.02
Niacin – B3 (mg)0.10
Vitamin B6 (mg)0.14
Total folate (µg)2
Vitamin E (mg)0.10
Vitamin A (µg)37

Data source: Food Composition Database for Epidemiological Studies in America and CREA Research Center for Food and Nutrition

Watermelon: chemical composition (100 g)

Water (g)95.3
Energy (kcal)16
Protein (g)0.4
Lipids (g)tracks
Cholesterol (mg)0
Available carbohydrates (g)3.7
Dietary Fiber (g)0.2

Data source: Food Composition Database for Epidemiological Studies in America and CREA Research Center for Food and Nutrition

Watermelon: calories

How many calories are in watermelon? And can anyone on a diet eat it? With just 16 Kcal per 100 g of product, watermelon is one of the least caloric summer fruits. Therefore, a 500 g slice of watermelon provides more or less 80 Kcal, not too much sugar and lots of water and dietary fiber.

This means that watermelon does not make you fat and can be easily included in a low-calorie diet, always paying attention to balance the nutrients well and therefore the overall caloric intake. It should also be borne in mind that we are talking about a whole slice, not just the pulp and that the peel is not edible, so the calories go down.

In fact, even if it does not make you fat, it is always good not to eat it in large quantities but to consume it in moderation as part of a healthy and balanced diet. It also contains a lot of water, which together with the fibres, increase the sense of satiety, helping to curb the ‘appetite.

A nice slice of watermelon is therefore allowed on a diet, perhaps away from meals so as not to burden digestion.

Watermelon: properties and health benefits

Watermelon is a summer fruit appreciated by young and old for its sweet and refreshing taste. Besides being delicious, watermelon also offers several health benefits.

It is important to note that, as with any food, it is advisable to consume watermelon in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.

Here are some of the main health benefits.

Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory

Watermelon is an excellent source of antioxidants. Lycopene, together with other carotenoids and vitamin E, constitutes a kit capable of counteracting the harmful activity of oxidative stress produced in the body by free radicals, the cause of cellular aging and chronic degenerative diseases.

The antioxidants present in watermelon can then help reduce inflammation in the body. This can have several health benefits, as chronic inflammation is associated with several diseases.

Strengthens the immune system

In synergy with the other carotenoids and antioxidants, beta-carotene strengthens the immune system and plays a very important protective role for many biological functions of the body, constituting a fundamental defensive bulwark to prevent and fight many pathologies and dysfunctions.

In particular, it seems to have the ability to increase resistance against infections and intervenes in the processes of toxin disposal by the liver.

Carotenoids, like vitamin A, ultimately stimulate the production of T lymphocytes, white blood cells that act as scavengers to defend the body.

Helps hydration

Watermelon is about 92 percent water, making it a great choice for staying hydrated during the hot summer months. Consuming watermelon can help restore fluid levels in the body and prevent dehydration. In fact, being properly hydrated is the basis not only of a good general state of health but of any diet to lose weight.

The high water content found in watermelon can also help keep your skin hydrated and glowing. In addition, thanks to the micronutrients it contains, it promotes skin health and fights free radical damage.

Thanks to the diuretic and purifying properties, its consumption can also bring benefits in case of swelling due to water retention.

Then, potassium is useful for…