Benefits of Watermelon for Pregnant Women
Consumption of nutritious food during pregnancy is highly recommended for a healthy pregnancy. Watermelon may be a fruit that’s recommended for consumption by pregnant women due to its nutritional content. Various nutrients in watermelon can support the growth and development of the fetus.
Watermelon is round in shape, has red flesh, and a runny texture. The taste is sweet and a lot of water content is indeed refreshing to eat. Various nutrients contained in watermelon have a good effect on the body, including relieving muscle pain, increasing insulin, and lowering blood pressure.
Watermelon Nutrition and Benefits for Pregnant Women
The composition of watermelon consists of 91 percent water and 7.5 percent carbohydrates. Watermelons contain almost no fat and protein, and only a few contain calories. The high water content is very good for the body because it can help pregnant women be well hydrated. Moreover, pregnant women do need more water than ordinary people.
Water plays an important role in fetal development, which helps the formation of the placenta and amniotic sac, and is one of the amniotic fluid-forming materials. Dehydration in pregnant women can cause serious complications for both mother and fetus.
Nutrition and other benefits of good watermelon for pregnant women are as follows:
Watermelons are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that makes the fruit red. Lycopene is used by the body to form beta-carotene which is then converted into vitamin A. Another benefit of lycopene is to reduce the risk of cancer.
In pregnant women, antioxidants such as lycopene might have a good effect on preventing preeclampsia and the small size of the baby’s body at birth. But further research is still needed to ensure that data.
- Citrulline amino acid
Watermelon is a food source with the highest amino acid content of citrulline. Citrulline is mostly found in white skin that surrounds watermelon flesh. In the body, citrulline is converted to arginine essential amino acids. Both citrulline and arginine can help lower blood pressure by dilating and relaxing blood vessels.
Potassium is a type of mineral and electrolyte that is important for controlling blood pressure and keeping the heart-healthy. In pregnant women, lack of potassium can cause leg cramps, weakness, and disturbed heart rhythm.
Pregnant women are advised to consume potassium (potassium) as much as 4,700 mg per day. Whereas in nursing mothers, the amount of potassium consumed must be even more, which is 5,100 mg per day.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is required by pregnant women to make collagen. Collagen is a protein that forms connective tissue, such as tendons, cartilage, bone, and skin. Vitamin C also plays a role in repairing damaged body tissue, bone growth, maintaining healthy skin, and helping the absorption of iron.
- Vitamin B5
Vitamin B5 can help relieve cramps that often occur in pregnant women, as well as helping the formation of pregnancy hormones. Pregnant women are advised to consume vitamin B5 as much as 6 mg per day.
Copper plays an important role in the formation of red blood cells. This mineral is very important during pregnancy, because more red blood cells are needed. Copper also helps to form fetal blood vessels, heart, bones, and nerves. Pregnant women need at least 1 mg of copper intake per day.
- Vitamin A
Vitamin A is important for fetal growth and development, especially in helping the development of the lungs, kidneys, heart, bones, eyes, breathing, blood circulation, and central nervous system. Besides, vitamin A can also help repair maternal body tissue after giving birth.
Tips for Choosing and Serving Watermelon Fruit
To get the utmost benefits of watermelon for pregnant women, the choice of watermelon must be considered. Choose a watermelon that is strong, symmetrical, free from cracks and bruises. Mature watermelons will have a shiny skin, butter-yellow bottom, and have dried stems.
You are not advised to choose watermelons that are too hard and white or pale green. Watermelon with these characteristics may not be ripe and the taste is sour.
Watermelons can be eaten directly or processed into juice and salads. Considering that citrulline is abundant in the white skin that surrounds watermelon flesh, you are also advised to eat this part.
The benefits of watermelon are good for pregnant women, but this fruit contains only a touch fiber. So that the intake of fiber and other nutrients remains fulfilled, also meets the needs of vegetables and fruit during pregnancy. If necessary, consult your nutritional needs during pregnancy with the nutrition doctor.