Yellow Watermelon and Red Watermelon. Which One is Healthier?
Watermelons are consider best for summers as they have nearly 92% of water content to keep us hydrated. Watermelon not only keeps dehydration at bay in summers but also providing your body with powerful antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. There are two most common watermelon varieties, which are red and yellow. Red watermelons can be easily picked up at local supermarkets while yellow watermelons are slightly harder to come by. What are the benefits of red watermelon or red watermelon that are good for health? Is it true that the benefits of red and yellow watermelons are different due to nutrients content? Let's take a look!
What are the Differences?
Lycopene and Beta-Carotene
The color of red watermelon is the result of high percentage of the phytochemical, called lycopene which is also the reason tomatoes are red. However, studies showed that watermelon has 40% higher lycopene than raw tomatoes. Lycopene, a carotenoid of great interest because of its antioxidant capacity and potential health benefits. Consumption of lycopene has been linked to decreased risk of prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease. Epidemiological evidence has suggested that consumption of food containing lycopene may decrease risk for breast cancer. Studies also showed that consumption of lycopene has protective effect against UV-induced sunburn.
The color of yellow watermelon is due to the presence of the phytochemical, called beta-carotene. Beta-carotene, is also a carotenoid, precursor of Vitamin A, which helps to maintain tissue health and lower your risk of chronic diseases. Beta-carotene will be converted to Vitamin A in our body. Vitamin A also helps you make white blood cells, a component of your immune system and regulates white blood cell function. Thanks in part to its beta-carotene content, a cup of watermelon contains 29 and 37 percent of the daily vitamin A requirements for men and women, respectively, according to recommendations from the Institute of Medicine. Beta-carotene also important for good vision as it helps to prevent macular degeneration and slow down the progression of cataract. An additional study, published in the "Journal of the National Cancer Institute" in 2012, found that a diet high in beta-carotene helps reduce the risk of breast cancer. Beta-carotene provides natural sun protection, according to a study published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" in 2012. It neutralizes free radicals created by sun exposure and prevents them from damaging your skin.
Citrulline and Arginine
Watermelon is a great source of citrulline, an non-essential amino acid that can be metabolized into arginine, an essential amino acid. Arginine can readily be used to make a key signalling molecule called nitric oxide, which has the ability to increase blood flow through muscles, providing potential benefits during exercise. Study showed that L-citrulline improves systolic and diastolic blood pressure and may be more efficacious in pre-hypertensive and hypertensive populations. Nitric oxide aids in blood vessel relaxation, which allows more blood to flow through your body. Some research shows that this may help individuals with erectile dysfunction.
Vitamins and Minerals
Rich in potassium, watermelon is a great natural electrolyte and helps regulate the action of nerves and muscles in the body. Potassium determines the degree and frequency with which our muscles contract, and controls the excitation of nerves in our body. The vitamin C content in watermelon is astoundingly high. Vitamin C improves our immune system, helps heal wounds and has been observed in numerous studies because it is essential to the formation of new connective tissue. The enzymes involved in forming collagen (the main component of wound healing) cannot function without vitamin C. Watermelon juice and pulp contain considerable amounts of fiber and carbohydrates. Fiber plays a significant role in blood cholesterol and helps to maintain normal bowel movement to pre3vent constipation. Watermelon also rich in vitamin B, which is responsible for the production of energy. Watermelon is a natural diuretic which helps increase the flow of urine without strain the kidneys. Watermelon helps the liver process ammonia, a waste product, which ease strain on the kidney while getting rid of excess fluid.
Polyphenols, commonly known as polyphenolic compounds, are defined as structural class organic chemicals characterized by the presence of large multiples of phenol structural units including phenolic acids, flavonoids, stilbenes, and lignans. Total polyphenols of fresh watermelon juice are reported to be 16.94–20.23 mg GAE/100 ml Increasing scientific evidence has suggested that due to their antioxidant properties, daily consumption of foods and beverages rich in polyphenols induces positive effects on human health, which results in having specific biological activities affecting gene expression, cell signaling, and adhesion. In vitro and in vivo studies have proven that polyphenols possess anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities. Moreover, it results in protective effects against a series of diseases such as diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders, osteoporosis, inflammation, arthritis, high arterial pressure, and headaches.
The bottom line
Although watermelon is super nutritious and healthy, moderate amounts of watermelon present no serious health risk for most people. However, some may need to consume on moderation and control their portion size. Watermelon is a fruit with natural sugar content. People with diabetes must account for these carbs in their daily meal plan. It is better to consume watermelon whole rather than as a juice, as juicing removes the fiber, making the sugar easier for the body to absorb. This may increase the risk of a glucose spike. Remember to watch portion sizes as with all fruit and juices. Chronic kidney disease and dialysis patients still can enjoy watermelon in small portion, one cup serving per day. When consume in small portions, it is low in potassium and very low in sodium and phosphorus.