The benefits and harms of watermelon for small and adults

The benefits of a watermelon can hardly be overestimated, especially in the heat, if it is chosen correctly. Otherwise, watermelon can harm the health of both children and adults. So how can watermelon be harmful and useful? And who shouldn't eat this summer berry?

Berry or pumpkin?

Traditionally, watermelons are considered a berry, the largest and most juicy, but still some biologists argue. Some call it a false berry, others a pumpkin. And there is no complete understanding.

child eats watermelon

The homeland of watermelons is Africa, so heat is needed for the normal growth of these berries. On the territory of Africa, wild watermelons are still growing, which bear little resemblance to cultivated plants. Previously, the flesh of watermelons was pale pink, and the usual berries with red flesh appeared only towards the end of the 20th century.

This valuable berry was known in antiquity. Seeds of watermelons were found in the tombs of the pharaohs, and there are references to this juicy berry on the wall paintings. Only in the X century did this berry spread to China, and on the territory of Russia they appeared only in the XIII-XIV century. These berries were cultivated in many countries of the world, and festivals are still often held, and even monuments have been erected. Which is not surprising, because the fruits have a unique sweet taste, have a whole list of useful qualities, are used in traditional medicine, not to mention the possibility of using them in cooking and the art of carving.

What else are watermelons useful for?

  • 90% watermelon is water, which is why they are so useful in the heat, as they quench their thirst. And its sweet taste is so popular with children, and perfectly replaces sweet soda and juices. There is practically no protein or fat in watermelons, but there are a lot of carbohydrates that provide energy.
  • For adults during intense workouts, children playing outside, a slice of watermelon or a little smoothie will quickly replenish water reserves and provide energy for further achievements.
  • Watermelon is a valuable source of lycopene, a pigment, and a precursor of vitamin A, but during biochemical processes it does not turn into a vitamin, but continues to act as an antioxidant. Lycopene neutralizes the action of free radicals, which helps to curb aging and more.
  • The pulp of watermelon contains a large amount of folic acid, which is very important for the reproductive health of men and women, especially during the planning stage of pregnancy. This acid is also very important for the condition of the skin. For children, folic acid is very useful, because it is necessary for the development and maturation of the nervous system.
  • Due to the high concentration of magnesium, watermelons are very useful for patients suffering from diseases of the cardiovascular system. This element improves the functioning of nerve and muscle fibers and is especially recommended for patients prone to stress and depression.
  • The pulp of watermelon also contains citrulline - a substance that promotes the expansion of blood vessels, enhances libido. Therefore, watermelons are recommended for men to improve their intimate life.
  • Watermelons have a pronounced diuretic effect, that is, they contribute to the elimination of excess fluid. But this is not only "water", watermelons give a feeling of satiety, therefore, it is in August, September that the popularity of the watermelon diet increases.
  • Watermelon seeds are even healthier and more valuable sources than pulp. They have a high concentration of folic and niacin, magnesium. But these seeds are best eaten dried.

Watermelons and medicine

As a raw material for medicinal oils, traditional medicine uses exclusively seeds, from which the oil extract is obtained. Due to its diuretic effect, this oil can be recommended to patients in order to remove sand from the kidneys. However, you must first consult a doctor who will take into account the indications and contraindications, possible side effects.

The pulp and rind is used by alternative medicine in many countries. According to some concepts, watermelons relieve edema, resist hypertension, prevent constipation, etc. In Chinese medicine, it is believed that watermelon removes all diseases from the body, stimulates skin regeneration.

How can watermelon be harmful?

As stated above, watermelon is a mixture of water and fast carbs. But despite the low calorie content, overeating can raise the glycemic index, which is not good for patients with diabetes and pre-diabetes conditions.

The fact is that in order to remove sugar, the body is forced to spend a large amount of water, and watermelon itself has a diuretic effect. And, contrary to popular belief, with the help of watermelons, not "slags and toxins" are removed, but minerals.

Another side effect associated with a diuretic effect is the provocation of stones. Therefore, watermelon should be limited to people suffering from urolithiasis.

Watermelon is not recommended for children under 3 years old and it's all about the composition of the pulp. Watermelon is not an allergenic product, but nitrates are often found in their composition. An adult organism may well cope with them, but a child's one cannot. By the way, for the same reason, adults are not recommended to eat watermelon to the very crust, where harmful substances are concentrated.

Well, the main danger of watermelons is poisoning, which is very difficult to treat. And the reason is precisely in nitrates and pesticides, which can cause serious and severe poisoning, and the first signs appear after 1-2 hours. Therefore, it is not recommended to buy watermelons before August. But if these are early ripening fruits, then you need to demand a safety certificate from the sellers. This is the only way to avoid poisoning.

During transportation and storage, a huge number of microbes can accumulate on the surface of watermelons. And before you cut the watermelon, it must be thoroughly rinsed under running water.