Is a watermelon a berry?

In this brief blog we have answered the question,”Is watermelon a berry?” We have also looked into the nutritional value of watermelons. We have discussed some health benefits of consuming watermelons.

Is a watermelon a berry?

Yes, watermelons are indeed berries. They belong to a group of berries known as pepos which comprises berries that are elongated and are tough skinned in a family known as cucurbitaceae. Other fruits that belong in the cucurbitaceae family are cucumbers and gourds.

Pepos tend to be indehiscent and are usually pods or fruits that do not split open when they ripen. There is usually a lot of confusion that berries are only small and fleshy fruits. However, this is further from the truth, some fruits such as blackberries, raspberries and strawberries have long been considered berries which isn’t botanically true.

Botanically berries are referred to as fruits that have 3 fleshy layers which consist of the exocarp which is the outer skin, the mesocarp wish is the middle layer that is fleshy and the endocarp the layer that holds the seeds and is the innermost.

Watermelons tick all the boxes of the above botanical definition as they have the exocarp which is the rind, they also have the pink as well as the delicious insides complete with the seeds.

What is the nutritional profile of watermelon?

Watermelon is mainly made up of 91 percent water and carbohydrates 7.5 percent. It contains zero amount of protein and fat and is low in calories. A 100 grams of raw watermelon typically provides:

  • Calories: 30
  • Water: 91 percent
  • Protein: 0.6 grams
  • Carbs: 7.6 grams
  • Sugar: 6.2 grams
  • Fiber: 0.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams

Carbohydrates

Watermelon has 12g of carbohydrates in a cup which is equivalent to 152 grams. The carbs are  simple sugars and comprise glucose, fructose and sucrose. Watermelon also contains small amounts of dietary fiber.

The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how much a food consumed raises the sugar levels in the bloodstream after consumption. The GI of watermelons ranges from 72 to 80 which is high.

Although a serving of watermelon is usually low in carbohydrates therefore it should not spike blood sugar levels when consumed.

Fibers

Watermelon is very poor in fiber only providing about 0.4 grams in a 100 grams. It however contains a high amount of fructose content and is therefore considered high in FODMAPS, or fermentable short-chain carbs. 

Consumption of high amounts of fructose can result in gastrointestinal problems in people that cannot fully digest them, an example is people who suffer from fructose malabsorption.

Vitamins and Minerals

Watermelon is an excellent source of Vitamin C and also contains some amounts of various vitamins and minerals. It contains:

  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and is also good for the skin, it as well boosts the immunity.
  • Potassium: This is an essential mineral and it’s important for controlling blood pressure and heart health.
  • Copper: Copper is another mineral that is contained in watermelon. This mineral is usually in abundance in most plants.
  • Vitamin B5: It is also referred to as pantothenic acid. Watermelon is a good source of Vitamin B5 and is useful in the production of energy from production of fats and carbs.
  • Vitamin A: Watermelon contains beta carotene, which the body can convert to Vitamin A.

What are the health benefits of watermelon?

It can help lower blood pressure

Watermelon is a good source of citrulline. Citrulline is an amino acid which is usually converted into another amino acid known as L-arginine. These two amino acids assist in the production of nitric oxide.

Nitric oxide is an important molecule in the body as it aids in the dilation of blood vessels boosting proper blood flow throughout the body as well as other health benefits such as boosting brain function, lowering the blood pressure and improving exercise performance.

Therefore consumption of watermelon or drinking its juice can assist in lowering of blood pressure and arterial stiffness in people who are suffering from high blood pressure.

It can help reduce Insulin Resistance

Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas and helps in controlling the blood sugar levels.

Insulin resistance is a condition where numerous cells in the muscles, fat and liver become resistant and dont respond effectively and cant utilize glucose for energy.

Watermelon juice and arginine have been studied and found to reduce this condition.

Conclusion

In this brief blog we have answered the question,”Is watermelon a berry?” We have also looked into the nutritional value of watermelons. We have discussed some health benefits of consuming watermelons.

We hope you have found this blog to be informative. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to leave them down below.

Citations

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/watermelon-health-benefits

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