Turning mother is one of the most beautiful feelings in the world for every woman.
But with pregnancy comes the nine months of untold hardships, including food cravings, mood swings, and listening to non-stop advice from even strangers.
One of the most common advice you’ll hear is ‘eat fruits regularly.’ However, there are numerous fruits you can and cannot consume during pregnancy. Watermelon, fortunately, falls in the safe zone.
Dig into a plateful of watermelon and learn how this delicious fruit can benefit your pregnancy. C’mon!
Watermelon — A Brief
Scientific Name — Citrullus lanatus
Origin — Southern Africa
Other Names — Tarbooz (Hindi and Urdu), Kadu vrindavana (Marathi), puchakaya (Telugu), Kallangadi (Kannada), Tormuj (Bengali), and Indrak (Gujarati)
With summer comes the sweet and alluring scent of watermelon! The fruit that is known to quench your thirst and satisfy your taste buds without any efforts (if we can forget the trouble of picking out the annoying seeds).
Watermelon, as the name suggests, is a fruit with 92% water and 100% taste. It has a typical sweet, juicy, crunchy flavor with an appealing granular texture that makes it one of the top choices to beat the summer heat.
This summer fruit is an excellent source of essential nutrients, including Vitamin A, C, B6, magnesium, and potassium (1). Watermelon also contains high fiber, a property that makes it a part of the ‘tummy-filling’ clan. The seeds of this fruit are crunchy and wholly edible.
This was watermelon and its properties in a nutshell. Let’s move on to the next section to know about its importance during pregnancy. Stay with us!
Health Benefits Of Watermelon During Pregnancy
Why should we include watermelon in our pregnancy diet? What makes this fruit so special?
Let’s find out:
1. Eases Heart Burns
Watermelon is very soothing for the stomach and the food pipe. Pregnant women suffer from various digestive problems like acidity and heartburn. Watermelon has cooling properties that help ease these problems, giving instant relief.
So next time your heart gives you trouble, go for a watermelon treat and you’ll be fine!
2. Reduces Swelling In Feet And Hands
Edema, or light swelling of the feet and hands, is very common during pregnancy.
Watermelon with its high water content reduces the blockages in the veins and the muscles and thus helps prevent edema.
3. Alleviates Morning Sickness
Watermelon, consumed during the mornings, gives a very refreshing, soothing and light start to the day. It also contains nutritional and energizing properties that prevent the occurrence of morning sickness.
It is a good idea for a pregnant woman to start the day with a glass of fresh watermelon juice. Try it today!
Note: Add a dash of lemon and rock salt to your watermelon juice, if you like it savory and fine.
4. Prevents Dehydration
All pregnant women are advised to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. Dehydration can cause premature contractions and lead to a premature birth.
Watermelon contains more than 90% water and eating it is a great way to stay hydrated.
5. Reduces Muscle Cramps
During pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through a wide array of changes. The extra weight and hormones cause the muscles and bones to ache.
Consuming watermelon in any of its forms helps the body cope better with these changes and ease the muscle cramps.
6. Prevents Pigmentation
Many pregnant women suffer from pigmented skin. This irritating problem can take away the joy from pregnancy.
Watermelons keep the bowel movements smooth and ease the digestion of food. This, in turn, affects the skin texture for good. The pigmentation of the skin in various parts of the body is minimized by the regular cleansing of the body.
So, eat watermelon for that glowing look!
7. Boosts Immunity
When you are pregnant, your body is fending for two souls—you and your growing baby. Any lapse in your health can directly affect your unborn child’s growth and development.
Don’t worry! Having watermelon regularly can help strengthen your immunity.
This fruit contains lycopene, an antioxidant that is responsible for its red color, which helps reduce the chances of pre-eclampsia by 50 percent. It also plays an important part in building up your immunity which might see a drop during pregnancy (2, 3).
8. Treats Constipation
Constipation is a common problem during pregnancy.
Watermelon is a safe and reliable cure to clear away your disrupted bowel movements. It is highly rich in fiber which promotes stool formation, and its water content helps clear the passageway, creating pressure for bowels.
9. Soothes Heat Rashes
Pregnancy also paves the way for more body heat, resulting in heat rashes that can cause irritation and itching. Watermelon, with its high hydrating power and cooling properties, is an excellent solution for these rashes.
This summer fruit also prevents the persistent dryness of the skin, keeping it hydrated and itch-free 24/7.
10. Cures Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
In the early stages of pregnancy, many women complain of urinary tract infection (UTI). It’s a common yet annoying problem that multiplies with our inability to go for proper medication during pregnancy.
Fret not! Here is a tried-and-tested natural formula to put an end to this disorder. Watermelons!
This juicy fruit is perfect due to its high water content and antibacterial properties. This way watermelon helps flush the stagnating bacteria from the urinary tract, relieving you from constant and painful urination.
11. Promotes A Healthy Vision
Watermelon also contains beta-carotene, an antioxidant that gets converted into vitamin A, in abundance (4). This way it helps scavenge free-radicals that may cause severe damage to the cells.
Vitamin A is also related to a healthy vision, as it helps protect the outer layer of the eye (cornea). It also facilitates a healthy optical nerve transmission (5).
12. Supports Fetus Bone Formation
Watermelon is also particularly high in calcium and potassium, minerals that are directly linked to the proper bone development of your unborn baby.
So don’t forget to take your daily dose of watermelon!
Different Ways Of Consuming A Watermelon
You can get creative and use this fruit in a number of ways. Some of the tried-and–tested methods are given below. Have a look:
1. Watermelon Lemonade
Cheers to the most refreshing juice of the century! This perfect mix of sweet and sour taste is for would-be moms who like to experiment with their drinks.
You Will Need
- 4 cups cubed watermelon
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 cups cold water
- Ice cubes
What You Need To Do
- Throw in watermelon chunks into a blender and puree till smooth. You will need to alternate the setting from high to medium every 30 seconds.
- Pass this puree through a fine mesh and take out the juice. Store the resultant in a glass tumbler and place it aside.
- For the second half of this recipe, bring the sugar and half a cup of water together in a low bottom saucepan. Put the pan on a medium heat and cook till the sugar dissolves completely. Keep stirring, or the solution might stick to the pan. This might take you about 5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and keep it aside.
- In a separate jug, mix half a cup of lemon juice in three cups of water and add sugar mixture to it.
- Add ice cubes to a glass and put three scoops of previously made watermelon puree in it. Top it off with lemonade. Stir it gently.
- Your daily power-booster is ready!
- This recipe makes about twelve glasses. You can store the puree and extra juice in the refrigerator for further use.
2. Watermelon Popsicle
This easy to make recipe is perfect to cure morning sickness.
You Will Need
- 2 cups of watermelon (seedless), cubed
- 1/2 cup water
What You Need To Do
- Puree two cups of cubed watermelon and pass it through a fine sieve to remove any impurities.
- Add half a cup of water to this juice and mix well.
- Take an ice-popsicle mold and pour this mixture on it.
- Let it freeze for 8 to 10 hours.
- Your healthy watermelon popsicle is ready to cool your morning heat!
3. Watermelon Salsa
Here is a dip that can go with your pregnancy cravings!
You Will Need
- 3 cups finely chopped watermelon
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 1 mango, diced
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped basil leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Salt and pepper
What You Need
- Take a big bowl and add watermelon, cucumber, mango, onion, basil leaves and lime zest to it. Toss them well.
- Now pour in lime juice, sugar, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
- Your salsa is ready. Serve this tasty treat with nachos or chips and kill your hunger pang!
4. Watermelon, Arugula, Feta and Mint Salad
Bored with the regular salads? Try this one!
You Will Need
- 1 1/2 cups seedless watermelon, diced
- 1 1/2 cups arugula (rocket salad)
- 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
- 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup finely sliced red onion
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 6 olives, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
What You Need To Do
- In a big bowl, combine the onion, olives, olive oil, and lime juice.
- Let the mixture stay for 15-20 minutes.
- Add diced watermelon, mint, arugula, and feta.
- Toss to make sure that the dressing coats the added ingredients well.
- Your tasty salad is ready to devour!
5. Watermelon Jelly
Love jellies? Then this recipe is just for you!
You Will Need
- 3 cups watermelon juice
- 100 grams gelatin
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
What You Need To Do
- In a small bowl, combine gelatin with one cup of freshly made watermelon juice. Let it stand for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Place a deep bottom saucepan over medium heat and pour the remaining watermelon juice into it. Add sugar and mix till the sugar dissolves completely.
- Pour lemon juice and gelatin mixture into the pan. Whisk well. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Take an 8-inch baking dish and lightly grease it using the canola oil. Pour the mixture into it and cover the dish with a lid. Refrigerate overnight.
- Cut the jelly into small cubes for consumption the next day.
A Word Of Caution
Though watermelon is incredibly good for health, it does have a few side effects, especially when you go overboard with this yummy fruit. Have a look:
- Excessive consumption of watermelons can lead to high levels of blood glucose and, in turn, to gestational diabetes.
- Using watermelon as a cleanser can flush out even the essential nutrients from the body.
- Watermelon spoils quickly. So, avoid any form of watermelon that has stayed in the open for long as it may cause gastrointestinal problems and lead to nausea and vomiting. Eat freshly cut melons and drink fresh juice.
- Last but definitely not the least, consult your doctor if you plan to include watermelon in your diet. Your doctor knows your situation best and can recommend the right portions for maximum benefits.
All in all, it is extremely safe to have watermelon during pregnancy, provided you take it in moderation. It offers plenty of health benefits, stretching from soothing heart burns, to curing nausea and muscle cramps.
Hope this answers all your doubts on whether watermelon is safe to eat during pregnancy! Do leave a comment in the box below!
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