Summer is here, and so is the constant need to keep ourselves hydrated and fresh. What better than a bowl full of watermelon, which is not only tasty, but filling and healthy too. One of those fruits boasting of high-lycopene content, watermelon has a lot to offer, especially when you are looking to lose weight. Rich in numerous nutrients and health benefits, watermelons make for a great snacking option. The fruit is known to promote heart care, healthy kidneys, relief from heat stroke and is believed to help normalise blood pressure too. If you ever feel like binge eating or crave sugar, trust a watermelon to do the job without worrying about the calories. Renowned Nutritionist, Dr. Shilpa Arora shares, ‘Watermelons consist of 94 percent water, lycopene, potassium and a lot of other nutrients. It has fiber that is a wonderful source to keep the digestion process going.’
So while a watermelon may be a healthy fruit to enjoy overall, when you eat it is equally important. It is recommended to not consume watermelons at night right before going to bed. “I would not recommend consumption of watermelon or any fruit after 7 pm. Watermelon is slightly acidic and if consumed at night, it may delay the process of digestion when the body is inactive. The best time to eat watermelon is around 12-1 pm when the digestion rate is high and active.”
According to experts, watermelons are not a good alternative to munch on at night and may invite health issues -
- Watermelons are not digestion friendly when it comes to consuming it at night and may cause irritable bowel syndrome and other problems, making your stomach upset the next day. The digestive process is slower than usual at night, hence, it is recommended to keep off sugary and acidic foods.
- Watermelons have a large percentage of natural sugar which may promote weight gain in some cases if eaten at night.
- Consisting of a huge percentage of water, watermelons may actually lead to frequent trips to the toilet leading to poor sleep and sleep deprivation and fatigue the other day.
What Does Ayurveda Recommend?
Ayurveda, according to Dr. Dhanvantri Tyagi, does not recommend eating watermelon or any fruit at night as they promote diarrhea and in some cases, constipation too. Hence, it is advisable to eat alternative foods rather than fruits. The right time to eat a watermelon is in the morning or afternoon and not after that. “Considering these hot summers, one must remember to soak the watermelon in water for some time, as it minimises any harm to the consumer. You must eat the watermelon right when it is bought, do not store it, and rather have it fresh for best results on health.” Dr. Dhanvantri insists.
The Good Side – Benefits of Watermelons
While nobody recommends consumption of watermelons at night, let us not forget that watermelon when eaten in the daytime has many benefits.
Here are a few reasons that will make you fall in love with watermelons this summer:
1. Refreshing Fruit to Beat The Heat
The hot sun may take a toll on your body, but watermelons are great to prevent heat strokes. It also keeps you hydrated because of the water content. Try having watermelons regularly so as to prevent yourself from falling sick in summers.
2. A Friend of Our Kidneys
Watermelons are full of potassium, the nutrient that helps to flush all the toxins from the kidneys.
3. Heart Friendly
Watermelons contain lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant that protects and repairs the body from causing multiple diseases. It also carries beta-carotene that has anti-aging properties that keeps you active and young. Vitamin C and potassium helps reducing cholesterol and keep the heart safe.
4. Good for the Eyes
The phytonutrients present in the watermelons help maintain the healthy functioning of eyes. Lutein, Vitamin C and beta-carotene help in preventing degeneration, hence protecting your eyes from blindness and cataract.
5. Maintains High Blood Pressure
The magnesium and potassium contents in the watermelons are responsible for keeping the blood pressure normal.
How to Make the Most of Watermelons
Here are healthy yet fun watermelon drinks to savor this summer!
1. Lime and Watermelon Tonic
The Detox Cookbook & Health Plan book by Maggie Pannell has suggested this refreshing juice that will not only quench your thirst but also cool your body. It reads, “This refreshing juice will help to cool the body, calm the digestion and cleanse the system – and may even have aphrodisiac qualities.” A mix of watermelon, chilled water, lemon juice, clear honey (to taste) and ice cubes will rejuvenate your mind too!
2. Fresh Watermelon and Cucumber Juice
How about we mix two summer foods together to make a cooler that’s tasty and healthy? Prepare some quick juice from fresh watermelon and cucumbers, with a dash of mint to give it an even better taste. It will help your body cool down from the hot summer day.
3. Watermelon Smoothie
If you feel like having a hearty and heavy watermelon drink, mix some strawberries, watermelon and tangy yoghurt to make a yummy smoothie. Do remember to miss out on sugar as the natural taste of melon and berries will make it sweet enough.