Ask Well: Is Watermelon Good for You?
Is watermelon good for you? How much?
Watermelon is rich in nutrients – including vitamins A and C, B vitamins and potassium — but where it really packs a punch is with lycopene, the antioxidant pigment that gives the fruit its deep red color. Some studies suggest that lycopene may have cardiovascular benefits, including reducing the risk of stroke, and eating watermelon may slightly lower blood pressure. Researchers have also looked at lycopene’s possible role in protecting against various cancers, though evidence is scant.
You can get lycopene from tomatoes, particularly cooked and stewed tomatoes, but “on a fresh basis, you can’t do better than watermelon,” said Penelope Perkins-Veazie, a professor at North Carolina State University in Raleigh who has studied lycopene and is an unpaid science adviser to the National Watermelon Promotion Board. Red watermelon has more lycopene than other watermelon varieties, and “seedless watermelon tends to have more,” she said.
人们可从番茄，尤其是经过烹制的熟番茄中吸收番茄红素，但“在新鲜的情况下，西瓜是最好的，”在位于罗利的北卡罗来纳州立大学(North Carolina State University)研究番茄红素的教授佩内洛普·珀金斯-维齐(Penelope Perkins-Veazie)说，她同时还是全国西瓜促进委员会(National Watermelon Promotion Board)的无薪科学顾问。她表示，红色西瓜中的番茄红素比其他品种的西瓜多，且“无籽西瓜中的番茄红素往往更多”。
Lycopene from watermelon is also easily absorbed into the body. In one small study, researchers gave volunteers lycopene from tomato juice and lycopene from watermelon; the tomato juice had received heat treatments to boost absorption. They found the two groups had similar blood levels of lycopene.
Though watermelon doesn’t have as much fiber as many other fruits and vegetables, it is fat-free, contains a lot of water and is low in calories, with about 45 calories in a one-cup serving.
Many people worry about the amount of sugar in watermelon, but “that’s a bit of a misconception, because the sugar content is actually lower than some other fruits, gram for gram,” said Jennifer McDaniel, a registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. While a cup of diced watermelon has about nine grams of sugar, a medium banana contains 14 to 15 grams of sugar, as does a cup of blueberries. Dietary guidelines recommend adults eat two cups of fruit a day.
很多人担心西瓜的含糖量，但注册营养师、营养与饮食学会(Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics)发言人珍妮弗·麦克丹尼尔(Jennifer McDaniel)表示，“这里有一些误解，因为同等重量的话，西瓜的含糖量其实比其他一些水果还低。”一杯切成丁的西瓜所含的糖分约为9克，而一根中等大小的香蕉的含糖量为14到15克，和一杯蓝莓相当。一些膳食指南建议成年人一天吃两杯水果。
And while watermelon has a high glycemic index, a measure of a food’s ability to raise blood sugar levels, that also adds to the confusion. In fact, its high water content gives it a low glycemic load, meaning it does not raise blood sugar levels quickly in amounts typically eaten.