Watermelon is a source of carbohydrates, vitamins such as A, C, and B6, minerals, copper, potassium, magnesium, pantothenic acid, lutein, lycopene, and plant compounds (fiber). 91% of watermelon consists of water.
Lutein and lycopene are antioxidants that protect the body against harmful factors, these antioxidants strengthen the eyes, brain, and heart and are a good protector against cancer. Lycopene gives red pigment to watermelon.
Watermelon consumption during pregnancy
- Watermelon can reduce heartburn. Watermelon is very soothing for the digestive system, so it can reduce the acidity of the stomach and improve heartburn.
- The sugar in it can cure morning sickness and dehydration. It should be noted that dehydration can cause premature birth.
- The minerals present in watermelon can be effective in relieving muscle cramps in the third trimester caused by weight gain and hormones.
- Watermelon can strengthen the body’s immune system during pregnancy and help in the treatment of urinary infections because watermelon has antibacterial properties and can help remove bacteria from the urinary tract.
- Watermelon helps to reduce the swelling of the hands and feet. Watermelon, with its high water content, reduces the blockage of muscles and blood vessels, which, in turn, reduces edema.
- Skin pigments that may appear during pregnancy are sometimes annoying for pregnant women, and watermelon can affect the skin and clean the pigments by keeping the intestines flat and digesting food easily.
- Constipation is very common in pregnant women and is caused by dehydration. Constipation will be easily resolved by consuming watermelon and strong hydration and eliminating bowel movement disorders due to a large amount of fiber in watermelon.
- Due to its beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A, watermelon can help with healthy vision and protection of the cornea, as well as optic nerve transmission.
- Calcium and potassium in watermelon can help the bone growth of the fetus.
- Heat rashes that may have occurred during pregnancy can cause irritation and itching, and watermelon with high hydration and cooling properties can be a suitable solution to improve these rashes.
Can watermelon reduce side effects in pregnancy?
Pregnant women need a lot of fluids during pregnancy to maintain the level of amniotic fluid, so dehydration or poor hydration of a pregnant woman can cause hemorrhoids or constipation. Also, poor hydration can cause poor fetal growth, premature birth, and birth defects.
Therefore, the water content of watermelon helps to hydrate pregnant women and supply their bodies with the water they need and prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, and other complications caused by dehydration.
Risk of preeclampsia
Preeclampsia or high blood pressure in pregnancy is a very important complication that causes swelling and loss of protein and can be the main cause of premature birth.
Watermelon is rich in lycopene and it is possible that the lycopene in watermelon can reduce the risk of preeclampsia. Although the studies were conducted on the use of high-dose lycopene supplements, there is no study on the consumption of watermelon and reducing preeclampsia.
Can eat watermelon during pregnancy cause concern?
In general, eating watermelon is safe, but due to high carbohydrates, it can increase the blood sugar of a pregnant woman, so pregnant women who have diabetes or gestational diabetes (GDM) should avoid eating a lot of watermelons. It is important to note that the sliced watermelon should not be left at room temperature for a long time (2 hours) because the watermelon spoils quickly and can cause digestive problems.
How can watermelon be consumed during pregnancy?
- Watermelon lemonade: watermelon, lemon, sugar, water and ice.
- Watermelon ice cream: ice cream and watermelon.
- Watermelon Salsa: Watermelon, cucumber, mango, onion, lemon juice, sugar, salt, pepper and basil leaves.
- Watermelon, arugula, feta and mint salad.
- Watermelon jelly: watermelon, gelatin, sugar, canola oil and lemon juice.
Fruits are an important part of the diet of pregnant women. Watermelon is one of those fruits that can be very suitable for improving dehydration, nausea, rashes, constipation and muscle cramps due to its high water content, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but in general, its consumption is similar to other fruits. There must be a balance in food and if you have gestational diabetes, you must consult a specialist doctor.