The ketogenic diet is one of the most effective diets in terms of weight loss, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
While there aren’t enough studies to determine how well watermelon fits into the keto diet, it does provide a healthy alternative to fruit juices and soft drinks.
Ketogenic diets are popular because they help people lose weight quickly. But there are risks associated with this type of diet, especially for diabetics.
A ketogenic diet involves drastically cutting down carbohydrates while increasing fats.
This change causes your body to use fat rather than sugar as fuel, which leads to a state called ketosis. Ketones are produced during the process.
Some people experience “keto flu,” or flu-like symptoms, including headaches, fatigue, muscle aches, nausea, and diarrhoea.
There are ways to mitigate the side effects of ketosis, however. You can start slowly and ease into the diet over several weeks. Or, you can follow a modified version of the Atkins Diet.
And although many people find themselves craving sweets once they’ve begun a ketogenic diet, fruit contains carbs and should therefore be limited although watermelons are one of the best options, since they’re packed full of fibre and nutrients.
Watermelons contain about 90 calories per cup and are rich in vitamin C, potassium, fibre, folate, and magnesium.
They’re also a great source of lycopene, which is associated with a decreased risk of cancer, particularly prostate cancer.
In fact, watermelon juice is often recommended as a way to kickstart a keto diet because it provides about 70% of the daily value for vitamin C, which helps support immune function.
While you don’t want to go overboard on carbs, you do want to avoid cutting out whole food groups like fruit. Fruits that are full of fibre and phytonutrients help promote digestive health.
You’ll also want to limit your consumption of processed foods, since they tend to be packed with added sugar and preservatives. Instead, opt for natural versions of everything from bread to ice cream.
Watermelon is one of those foods that people either love or hate. In fact, they’re packed full of nutrients and antioxidants.
They just don’t contain nearly as many calories as most people think. Here’s a few tips about buying and consuming watermelon.
- Buy organic if possible.
- Choose a ripe melon over an unripe one. The riper the melon, the less likely it will have been treated with pesticides.
- Don’t cut off the stem. This is where all the flavour resides.
- Slice the melon lengthwise, then crosswise.
- Serve chilled.
One cup of diced watermelon contains over 20% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C.
Antioxidants are essential nutrients that help protect our bodies against free radicals, which are unstable molecules that cause damage to cells.
As mentioned earlier watermelons contain high levels of antioxidants like beta carotene and lycopene. These compounds help prevent cell damage caused by oxidation, ageing, and cancer.
A cup of diced watermelon contains around 17% vitamin A. The fruit contains around 13.9 micrograms per serving.
Vitamin A is essential for vision, bone growth, immune function, reproduction and cell division.
One medium sized piece of watermelon provides almost half of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A and is definitely recommended eating it as part of a healthy diet.
Red-flesh watermelon contains about three times more lycopene than green ones. Lycopene is one of the most powerful antioxidants known.
It helps prevent cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and stroke and certain types of cancers including prostate, breast, lung, colon, stomach and pancreatic cancer.
It also protects cell membranes from free radical damage.
There are many ways to enjoy watermelon. You can make a simple salad, toss it into a slushy, use it as a garnish, or even turn it into a juice.
We’ve rounded up some low carb recipes for you to try:
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 2 cups cubed watermelon
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 small tomato, seeded and diced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
In a large bowl combine the ingredients. Toss until well combined.
Watermelon Ice Pops
- 3 cups cubed watermelon (about 1 pound)
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1/2 lime juiced
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split open and seeds scraped out
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth. Pour mixture into ice pop moulds and freeze overnight.
- 2 cups cubed watermelon
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 banana
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.
- 5 cups cubed watermelon, seed removed
- 1/2 orange, peeled and segmented
- 1/2 grapefruit, peeled and segmented (optional)
- 1/4 lemon, peel only
- 1/4 lime, peel only
- 6 stalks of celery, cut into chunks
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves picked
- 1/2 jalapeno pepper, stemmed and seeded
- 1/2 inch ginger root, peeled and minced
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/2 gallon apple cider
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Serve chilled.
If you’re looking for a tasty way to get your watermelon fix, we hope these recipes will help you along.
Watermelon is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. It’s also rich in fibre, potassium, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, zinc, selenium, and vitamin B6.
As well as being great for your health watermelon is also a delicious summer treat. It’s easy to prepare and fun to eat. It makes the perfect low calorie treat if following a keto diet.