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Is Watermelon Vegan?
Watermelon stands out as an extraordinary fruit. It’s packed with water, yet it is so nutritious. It’s also filling when you eat it but remains low in calories. Many people love its juicy and refreshing sweetness, especially in summer. It is also an excellent addition to healthy eating.
Different Ways of Eating Watermelon
Like other fruits, you can eat watermelon directly from the farm. You only need to cut it up and eat the inside flesh, with or without the seeds. Another way of eating watermelon is by blending it to produce a sweet juice. You may or may not add other fruits, vegetables, or spices to the mixture.
You can also have it as an ingredient in a fruit or vegetable salad.
For a long time, nuts, chickpeas, lentils, and soy have substituted meat in vegan cuisine. Watermelon is an unexpected foodstuff that is fast joining vegan meat substitutes in American restaurants and beyond.
The trend began in a New York restaurant where they marinate, dry, and smoke watermelon before scoring, basting and roasting. This cooking process gives watermelon a meaty look. It replicates a meat steak, even oozes bloodlike red juice, and has fibrous lines like a sliced steak.
Nutritional Value of Watermelon
The following nutritional values are according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
Nutritional value of watermelon per 1 cup:
Health Value of Watermelon
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s guidelines recommends watermelon as part of a healthy meal plan. Here are some of the health values of eating watermelon!
Source of Hydration
Watermelon contains 92% water. One to two servings are equivalent to a water cup. Watermelon is a good source for maintaining and restoring body hydration.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Watermelon has high citrulline levels, an amino acid that relaxes and dilates blood vessels once it is absorbed into the body.
A steady intake of watermelon may control blood pressure, especially in people with high blood pressure.
Reduces Muscle Soreness
The magnesium in watermelon is instrumental in maintaining normal nerve and muscle function, including growing strong bones.
Controls Body Weight
The high water content and fiber content in watermelon make you feel full. Together with the low-calorie level, watermelon is delicious dietary food.
Helps in the Prevention of Alzheimer’s, Heart Disease, Diabetes, and Arthritis
Watermelon has plenty of an electrolyte called choline. It strengthens muscles, reduces chronic inflammation, aids in fat absorption, transmits nerve signals, and aids in sleep.
The American Heart Association recommends the intake of 4,700mg of potassium per day. High potassium levels in watermelon help digestion by aiding the excretion of stored sodium in the urine and muscle contraction to reduce blood vessel tension.
Good for Libido
Reports from preliminary research in Texas A&M University state that beta carotene, which converts into vitamin A and the red pigment called lycopene, relax the blood vessels in the same way as Viagra.
Good for Your Skin
The water and antioxidants in the watermelon help hydrate the skin, increasing its elasticity and preventing spots and wrinkles.
Are There Any Health Risks in Eating Watermelon?
Most people have no issue with eating watermelon. But there are rare cases where people get allergic reactions or digestive problems from eating watermelon.
Watermelon allergy is very rare, and it’s associated with people sensitive to pollen.
Symptoms are swelling of the mouth, throat, ears, tongue, lips, and itchy throat and mouth.
People with too much potassium in their blood should not take more than a cup of watermelon a day.
Symptoms may be mild such as muscle weakness, numbness, and tingling. Or serious ones such as heart palpitation, vomiting, chest pain, nausea, and shortness of breath.
Watermelon contains relatively high fructose amounts, a type of sugar that may cause intestinal distress in some people.
Symptoms are gas, bloating, constipation, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.
Alternatives to Watermelon
Where watermelon is unavailable, or a person has issues with eating it, other fruits can offer similar or more benefits than those eating watermelons. These alternatives are:
Tomato beats watermelon at 94% water content, which has a 92% water content. Besides, tomatoes also have outstanding nutritional value, just like watermelon.
It is a fiber-rich and low-calorie content food and provides vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C and A. There are disease-fighting antioxidants in tomatoes, including lycopene, which may help prevent prostate cancer and heart disease.
Besides using it as a vegetable in cooking, tomatoes can be consumed raw, just like watermelon. It yields more nutritional value when you eat it raw or as an ingredient in raw salads.
Strawberries rival watermelon at 91% water content, making them a highly hydrating fruit. They are an excellent alternative to watermelon because they share similar nutritional properties like antioxidants, high fiber content, vitamins, and minerals.
This fruit is a nutritious alternative to watermelon. It has a 90% water content and is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
89% of their content is water. Peach is high in potassium, vitamins A, C, and B vitamins, and its skin offers disease-fighting antioxidants.
The high fiber and water content in peaches make them so filling. And with only 60 calories per peach, this fruit is useful in body weight control.
This healthy citrus fruit can substitute watermelon in your diet because of its water content of 88% and high levels of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
For example, the vitamin A found in half a grapefruit provides 120% of your daily needs. It’s also packed with folate, potassium, and vitamin A.
Like watermelon, the 88% water-content orange offers sweet, succulent juice that is low in calories.
Oranges are a good source of antioxidants, potassium, and vitamin C. The citric acid in oranges can help prevent kidney stones.
The sweet soothing succulent juice of watermelon is a perfect natural water source. It offers an excellent alternative to highly processed and chemical-laden ice creams and sodas during the hot summer. However, it’s also important to drink plain water to be adequately hydrated.
When it comes to weight control, the filling feeling you get from eating a few slices of watermelon keeps your food intake in check. The nutrient-laden yet low calories fruit is almost a complete meal when you want to watch your weight. Nevertheless, avoid relying entirely on watermelon while dieting. Because though it might give you fast weight loss, you will regain it as soon as you resume your diet.
You can only get the full benefit from watermelon if it is not garden-fresh. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to know how fresh it is unless you cut it. A good watermelon should have water retention; therefore, it should be heavy. It should not have dented skin, should be symmetrical in shape, and have a yellow spot at the bottom.
Store a whole watermelon at room temperature and once you cut it up, place it in an airtight container in the fridge.