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Tuesday, 5 November 2013

#Healthy Foods - Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus)


WatermelonWatermelon is species of Citrullus, belong to the family Cucurbitaceae, related to the cantaloupe, squash and pumpkin and originated from southern Africa. Today watermelon is cultivated all over the world as a healthy food and for commercial purpose.

Nutritional supplements
1. Carbohydrates
2. Sugars
3. Dietary fiber
4. Fat
5. Protein
6. Water
7. Vitamin A
8. Thiamine (Vit. B1)
9. Riboflavin (Vit. B2)
10. Niacin (Vit. B3)
11. Pantothenic acid (B5)
12. Vitamin B6
13. Folate (Vit. B9)
14. Vitamin C
15. Calcium
16. Iron
17. Magnesium
18. Phosphorus
19. Potassium
20.Zinc
21. Etc.

Health Benefits
A. Health benefits according to studies
1. Aortic blood pressure
In the evaluation of watermelon supplementation and it effects on aortic BP and arterial function in individuals with prehypertension found that watermelon supplementation improves aortic hemodynamics through a decrease in the amplitude of the reflected wave in individuals with prehypertension, according to "Effects of watermelon supplementation on aortic blood pressure and wave reflection in individuals with prehypertension: a pilot study" by Figueroa A, Sanchez-Gonzalez MA, Perkins-Veazie PM, Arjmandi BH.(a)

2. Cardiovascular diseases, glycemic control, and ameliorating vascular dysfunction
In the investigation of Watermelon is rich in L-citrulline, an effective precursor of L-arginine and its effect in the obese with type II disbetes mice found that there is a beneficial effect of watermelon pomace juice as a functional food for increasing arginine availability, reducing serum concentrations of cardiovascular risk factors, improving glycemic control, and ameliorating vascular dysfunction in obese animals with type-II diabetes, according to "Dietary supplementation with watermelon pomace juice enhances arginine availability and ameliorates the metabolic syndrome in Zucker diabetic fatty rats" by Wu G, Collins JK, Perkins-Veazie P, Siddiq M, Dolan KD, Kelly KA, Heaps CL, Meininger CJ.(b)

3. Prostate cancer prevention
In the identification of Lycopene is a member of the carotenoid family, which is found abundantly in tomatoes, tomato-based products, strawberries, and watermelon and its effect on prostae cancer found that there is insufficient evidence to either support, or refute, the use of lycopene for the prevention of prostate cancer. Similarly, there is no robust evidence from RCTs to identify the impact of lycopene consumption upon the incidence of prostate cancer, prostate symptoms, PSA levels or adverse events, according to "Lycopene for the prevention of prostate cancer" by Ilic D, Forbes KM, Hassed C.(c)

4. Anti-inflammatory activities
In the analyzing the anti-inflammatory actions of cucurbitacin E (CE) (Citrullus lanatus var. citroides) found that CE inhibited both COX enzymes with more selectivity toward COX-2. Intraperitoneal injection of CE significantly suppressed carrageenan-induced rat's paw edema. ORAC and FRAP assays showed that CE is not a potent ROS scavenger. It could be concluded that CE is potentially useful in treating inflammation through the inhibition of COX and RNS but not ROS, according to "Anti-inflammatory activities of cucurbitacin E isolated from Citrullus lanatus var. citroides: role of reactive nitrogen species and cyclooxygenase enzyme inhibition" by Abdelwahab SI, Hassan LE, Sirat HM, Yagi SM, Koko WS, Mohan S, Taha MM, Ahmad S, Chuen CS, Narrima P, Rais MM, Hadi AH.(d)

5. Bone mineral density and bone metabolism
In the observation of Vegetable and fruit (Chinese cabbage kimchi, onion, radish, cucumber, and welsh onion for the age group of 20-29, watermelon, Chinese cabbage kimchi, peach, potato, and onion for the age group of 30-49 and watermelon)intake with serum calcium, osteocalcin and deoxypyridinoline (DPD) and their effect on bone mineral density and bone metabolism, found that watermelon, Chinese cabbage kimchi, tomato, potato, and peach for the age group of 50-64. Of 51 targets, β-carotene intake displayed a significantly negative correlation with serum osteocalcin. While caloric intake as well as protein, carbohydrate, calcium, phosphorous, zinc and total food intake displayed a significantly negative correlation with DPD excretion in urine, tuber vegetable intake displayed a significantly positive correlation with DPD excretion in urine. In the future, a study will be necessary to accurately explain the relevance of vegetable and fruit intake with bone mineral density and bone metabolism. Also, efforts will be required to increase vegetable and fruit intake, according to "Vegetable and fruit intake and its relevance with serum osteocalcin and urinary deoxypyridinoline in Korean adults" by Kang MH, Kim MH, Bae YJ, Choi MK.(e)

6. Etc.

B. Health benefits according to concentration
1. Vitamin C
Besides is essential in preventing the breaking off small vein cause of hardening of the vessel wall, vitamin C also improves the digestive system in maximum absorption of vital nutrients. Overdoses can cause diarrhea, It also plays an important role in enhancing immune system fighting against the forming of free radicals that cause muscle damage, according to the study of "Does antioxidant vitamin supplementation protect against muscle damage?" by McGinley C, Shafat A, Donnelly AE., posted in PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19902983)

2. Vitamin A
As famous in improving eye sight, vitamin A also plays an important role in enhancing immune system fighting against the forming of free radicals that cause tissue, muscle and cellular damage and infection, according to the study of "Vitamin A, immunity, and infection" by Semba RD., posted in PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21775644), researchers found that vitamin A and its metabolites are immune enhancers that have been shown to potentiate antibody responses to T cell-dependent antigens, increase lymphocyte proliferation responses to antigens and mitogens, inhibit apoptosis, and restore the integrity and function of mucosal surfaces. Vitamin A and related retinoids may have potential applications in therapy for some infectious diseases.

3. Potassium
Beside is a important minerals for lymphatic function in regulating the body fluids, it is also essential in preventing the forming of kidney stone, according to the study of "Empiric use of potassium citrate reduces kidney-stone incidence with the ketogenic diet" by McNally MA, Pyzik PL, Rubenstein JE, Hamdy RF, Kossoff EH., posted in PubMed(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19596731), researchers wrote in conclusion that Oral potassium citrate is an effective preventive supplement against kidney stones in children who receive the KD, achieving its goal of urine alkalinization. Universal supplementation is warranted.

4. Magnesium
Magnesium not only important for bone health, according to the study of "Magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium levels in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Can magnesium play a key role in osteoporosis?" by Odabasi E, Turan M, Aydin A, Akay C, Kutlu M(3) but also play and important role in protecting against Alzheimer's disease, according to the study of "Altered ionized magnesium levels in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease" by Barbagallo M, Belvedere M, Di Bella G, Dominguez LJ.(4)

5. Etc.

C. Other health benefits
1. Lycopene
After absorbing from foods through digestion, lycopene is transported into the blood then accumulated in the liver, adrenal glands, and testes. It is one most powerful phytochemical in preventing the forming of free radicals, resulting in lessening the risk of tumors and cancers, According to the study of `Can the consumption of tomatoes or lycopene reduce cancer risk?` by
Hwang ES, Bowen PE. (Source fromDepartment of Human Nutrition (M/C 517), 1919 W. Taylor Street, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.) posted in PubMed, researchers indicated that Data suggest lycopene may account for or contribute to chemoprevention, but this hypothesis requires further study. Numerous other potentially beneficial compounds are present in tomatoes and complex interactions among multiple components may contribute to the anticancer properties of tomatoes.

2. L-Arginine
Watermelon is exceptionally high in citrulline, an amino acid that helps to make L- arginine. L-arginine enhances the blood vessel to relax, thus increasing blood flow in carrying nutrients to the body cell, including the reproductive organs, thus prevent erectile, dysfunction., according to the atudy of "Oral L-citrulline supplementation improves erection hardness in men with mild erectile dysfunction." byCormio L, De Siati M, Lorusso F, Selvaggio O, Mirabella L, Sanguedolce F, Carrieri G., posted in PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21195829)

3. Erectile dysfunction
Since water contains high amount of zinc, it enhances the function of prostate grand in serving its purpose of assisting the test in sperm production and preventing erectile dysfunction, according to the study of "Zinc, hydrochlorothiazide and sexual dysfunction" by Khedun SM, Naicker T, Maharaj B., posted in PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8556776)

4. Etc.

Side effects
No side effect is known, but watermelon has glycemic load per food serving of 4, you may want to limit the quantity you intend to eat, if you have high blood sugar.

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Sources
(a) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20616787
(b) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18029483
(c) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22071840
(d) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21871542
(e) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21103089
(1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19539268
(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21951617