Watermelon reduces cancer risk says nutritionist

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KARACHI: Medical professionals frequently advise parents to encourage their children to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables from an early age. Vibrant and flavourful fruits can significantly aid the body’s natural defence against illnesses. Watermelon, in particular, stands out as a fruit rich in nutrients that offers protection against various ailments.

Watermelon, known for its high water content, may contribute to lowering the risk of terminal illnesses such as cancer, according to nutritionist Afira Anees. In an interview with Daily City News on Tuesday, Afira highlighted the health benefits associated with watermelon consumption.

With over 90 per cent water content, watermelon can help address salt and water deficiencies in the human body. Additionally, the components found in watermelon not only provide defence against the hot sun rays in summer but also offer advantages for eye and joint health. Watermelons are primarily cultivated in parts of Sindh, Punjab, and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, where groundwater is abundant. While the growing season for watermelons in Sindh has ended, Karachi is currently receiving supplies from Punjab and Afghanistan.

As temperatures rise, many vendors set up watermelon drink stalls along roadsides. Medical professionals and nutritionists recommend the consumption of fruits and vegetables for a long and healthy life, as they provide essential nutrients the body needs.

Fruits and vegetables are packed with vital nutrients like vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. It is commonly observed that individuals who do not include fruits and vegetables in their diet often lack energy and struggle to perform age-appropriate activities.

Watermelon contains the antioxidant lycopene, which helps shield the body from the prevailing hot and humid conditions, as well as the harmful effects of sun exposure. Furthermore, its high water content satiates the body’s need for salt and hydration.

Vitamins A, B6, and C found in watermelon, contribute to healthy skin and hair, enhancing one’s overall appearance. Due to its low salt and lipid content, watermelon is a safe fruit choice for individuals with high blood pressure and heart conditions, as it does not pose any negative effects. It also aids in improving vision, alleviating joint discomfort, and reducing inflammation.

Watermelon, with its low sugar content, does not cause a significant rise in blood sugar levels. Furthermore, it can strengthen the body’s defences against various types of cancer. For patients suffering from urinary tract infections, increasing water intake is commonly recommended. According to Afira, watermelon, with its nutrient-rich water, serves as an excellent remedy for urinary infections, aiding in a speedy recovery.

The citrulline content in watermelon enhances the body’s blood circulation system. Watermelon seeds are safe to consume and offer defence against illnesses such as cholera. While leucoderma and vitiligo currently have no known cures, consuming watermelon seeds can help alleviate the signs and symptoms associated with these conditions. Nitric oxide present in watermelon plays a crucial role in opening blood vessels, restoring normal blood flow, and regulating blood pressure. Moreover, the presence of magnesium and potassium in watermelon can help reduce inflammation and alleviate joint discomfort.

Nutritionist Afira says the optimal time to consume watermelon is in the middle of the morning, between 8am and 10am, after breakfast, or just before lunch. However, it is advisable to avoid consuming watermelon immediately after a meal, as it can intensify the adverse effects of certain food combinations. Additionally, it is recommended not to drink water immediately after consuming watermelon, as it already contains a lot of water.

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