The keto diet is becoming increasingly popular – and it’s not hard to see why! It is a diet that has proved to be a fast method of losing weight, gaining muscle, and improving your overall health.
That being said, the keto diet isn’t a simple one. It is a low-carb diet that forces you to eliminate many different foods.
It is particularly tricky because many foods that you may assume are low in carbs are actually high in carbs (e.g. many different types of fruit).
That’s why we are here to help. Below, we discuss the nutritional content of watermelon, and whether it can be realistically included in a keto diet.
We cover everything you need to know so that you can make the most informed dietary decisions possible. Check it out.
Watermelon Nutritional Profile
Watermelon contains a wide variety of nutrients that work to keep our bodies healthy and working properly.
Check out the table below to get a closer look at the nutritional profile of watermelon. It describes the nutrients in 1 cup of raw, diced watermelon.
|Vitamin A||5% of Daily Value|
|Vitamin C||14% of Daily Value|
|Potassium||4% of Daily Value|
|Magnesium||4% of Daily Value|
Watermelon Health Benefits
Watermelon is an amazing fruit. It boasts an incredible array of health benefits. Take a look at some of the best benefits of eating watermelon below.
By now, everyone should know that staying hydrated is one of the most important things that we need to do for our health. Hydration is necessary for our bodies and brains to function properly.
In addition to drinking enough water, eating foods with a high water content can also help to give your body the water it needs to function.
Watermelon is 92% water, making it an ideal choice if you want to boost your daily intake of hydrating foods and drinks.
Additionally, thanks to its very high concentration of water, watermelon has very few calories considering its weight.
In turn, it is likely that watermelon would help with weight management and weight loss.
A number of plant compounds that are found in watermelon have potentially got anticancer properties.
Specifically, lycopene and cucurbitacin E may lower the risk associated with certain types of cancers.
For example, some studies have concluded that a higher lycopene intake may reduce one’s risk of prostate cancer.
Similarly, cucurbitacin E may hinder the growth of tumors thanks to the way in which it prompts the autophagy of damaged cells.
However, such research is often conflicting and produces confusing results. As such, to confirm such properties, much more research is required.
Although, eating watermelon is associated with very few side effects, so it’s always worth a try!
There are promising studies that show that several of the nutrients within watermelon support heart health.
Specifically, studies have found that lycopene can help to lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and prevent oxidative damage.
In turn, it is fair to assume that lycopene can help to reduce one’s risk of heart conditions such as heart disease.
Watermelon also contains an amino acid called citrulline which works to increase nitric oxide levels in the body and, in turn, lower blood pressure.
Many of the vitamins in watermelon are known to be great for overall heart health.
For instance, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B6, and vitamin C are all known to help to maintain a healthy heart.
Inflammation is a key aspect of many chronic illnesses and diseases. However, the combination of vitamins and minerals in watermelon are thought to lower inflammation, and potentially reduce the risk of oxidative damage.
An 8-week study found that individuals who took vitamin C twice a day experienced a significant decrease in inflammatory characteristics compared to those who did not. Vitamin C is one of the most prominent vitamins in watermelon.
Thanks to its antioxidant properties, lycopene may also help to reduce inflammation and delay the onset of certain diseases. However, a lot more research is needed to confirm these findings.
Relieve Muscle Soreness
The amino acid citrulline is thought to improve exercise performance and reduce muscle soreness after exercising.
It was found that regularly taking citrulline for a week helps to expand blood vessels so that the heart can more easily pump blood around the body.
However, there is increasing evidence to suggest that watermelon itself, rather than just citrulline, may work to help your body recover post-exercise. More research is needed, but the studies so far are very promising.
If you’re a skincare enthusiast, you’ll be interested to hear that watermelon may be excellent for your skin! This is because watermelon is a great source of vitamins that have been proven to improve the appearance of the skin.
Specifically, vitamin C works to help your body produce collagen. Collagen is the protein that keeps your hair strong and your skin looking young and plump.
Vitamin A also helps to repair skin cells which ensures that your skin is always healthy.
Thanks to its high water content and a small amount of fiber, watermelon is great for maintaining healthy digestion processes.
Fiber and water ensure that waste is able to move through your digestive tract more effectively.
Is Watermelon Keto-Friendly?
After reading about all of the benefits of watermelon, you’re likely wondering, but… is it keto? Well, we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but watermelon, unfortunately, isn’t keto-friendly. Why? Well, it’s actually a bit complicated.
As you can see from the table above, watermelon has quite a high carbohydrate content. Additionally, watermelon has a high GI value of around 76.
In turn, this means that it raises your blood sugar and insulin levels quite quickly once your body has absorbed it.
As such, watermelon shouldn’t be consumed on a strict keto diet.
However, if you are following a more relaxed keto diet, and you just can’t give up your watermelon, it can still be incorporated into the diet with careful consideration and planning.
Following a keto diet can be stressful, especially when there is conflicting evidence regarding what foods you should and should not include.
We hope that this article has helped you understand why watermelon isn’t strictly allowed on the keto diet.
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