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Watermelon Diet: Know About the Nutritional Benefits & Risks of Following This Diet

A watermelon diet involves eating nothing but watermelon for a set time period. It usually consists of eating watermelon for three to seven days and then adding some of the foods you usually eat.

Aarushi Chadha
Watermelon’s high-water content helps us remain hydrated for longer periods of time during summer

Watermelon belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae. It is a large round fruit that has a green rind and a red interior. It is believed that the watermelon was first domesticated in Northeast Africa over 4,000 years ago. Watermelon is a nutrient-rich summer fruit that is sweet and juicy. Watermelon is a treasure trove of nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, carotenoids, lycopene, cucurbitacin, and magnesium. It has a high water, sugar, and carbohydrate content. But it is generally low in calories and fat.

Health benefits of watermelon

Watermelon’s flesh is almost entirely made from water. Watermelon’s high-water content helps us remain hydrated for longer periods of time during summer. It also makes us feel fuller which helps us avoid overeating. Watermelon is packed with nutrients that support heart health. For instance, lycopene present in watermelon helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Watermelon also contains citrulline which increases the levels of nitric oxide in the body. And nitric oxide helps expand the blood vessels which lowers our blood pressure. Antioxidants, lycopene, and vitamin C present in watermelon helps lower inflammation and prevent age-related macular degeneration. Some studies also show that citrulline present in watermelon reduces muscle soreness and improves exercise performance.

How does the watermelon diet work?

There is no one way of the watermelon diet. People can put their own spin on it as they please. However, a common variation of this diet is the watermelon cleanse which involves eating nothing but watermelon for a relatively short period, followed by a slow return to your regular diet.

Unlike other diets, the watermelon diet seems to appeal to people as the finite time period of the watermelon diet gives the dieters a realistic and achievable goal. Dieticians say that the watermelon diet should be seen as a cleanse instead of a diet as watermelon is low in calories, provides some vital vitamins and minerals, is hydrating and refreshing, and can keep you full, at least temporarily. Dried and roasted watermelon seeds are also a great snack as they are full of iron, magnesium, and fiber.

Potential health benefits of following the watermelon diet

  • Helps lose weight- Watermelon is a low-calorie fruit. Therefore, people can eat a large amount of watermelon, which helps them feel full and satiated, without consuming too many diets. This allows people to lose weight.

  • Good source of hydration- Watermelon, which is considered a summer fruit in most countries, is primarily made up of water. Therefore, consuming watermelon along with drinking water during hot weather will help you keep stay hydrated even after exerting.

  • Doesn’t affect the cholesterol- Watermelon doesn’t have any fat or cholesterol, and only has a trace amount of sodium.

  • It is a great source of vitamin A and C- Both vitamins A and C support and boosts our immune system, promotes healthy skin and prevents sun damage, maintains our vision, fights inflammation, and even lower our risk of chronic diseases.

Potential health risks of following the watermelon diet

While watermelon is a great source of water and some vital vitamins and minerals, however, this diet leaves people without any dietary source of protein, fibre, and sodium. Because of this, pregnant women, children, and people with health conditions that require a special diet should not follow this diet.

This restrictive diet doesn’t work in the long run because as soon as this diet period is over, people fall into their old habits and regain the weight. This diet can also make people excessively hungry as they are not meeting their proper dietary requirements, which leads to irritability and loss of concentration. Following this diet for a prolonged period of time might lead to the loss of muscle tissue.

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