Harmful effects of watermelons in summer

May 2, 2013 1:54 PM |

Summer is here and we are all melting in the merciless heat of Delhi with our skin, hair and throat all going dry! So one of the main things on everyone’s mind is cooling down. And then comes out the favorite summer fruit, watermelon! No matter how it is cut or presented, it is a popular dessert in India, being both sweet and refreshing. Watermelon is the ideal summer fruit as it has high water content and replaces salts like potassium and sodium that are lost due to sweating. It also prevents dehydration, dry skin and headaches. Watermelons are also a good source of vitamins A, C and B6. But did you know, consuming watermelon may also have some unexpected side effects on you?

Here are some negative effects of watermelons that you must be careful about this summer:

Allergy - Including watermelon in your diet may trigger allergic reactions in some. Allergens in this fruit consist of malate dehydrogenase, triose phosphate isomerase and profiling, all of which are enzymes. You may experience an allergy to watermelon if you have allergic sensitivities to cucumber or carrot as well. Watermelon allergy symptoms may range from mild to severe, facial swelling, diarrhea or anaphylaxis. Visit your doctor if you notice anything unusual in your body after you have consumed a bowl full of watermelon.

Pregnancy - Eating too much watermelon while pregnant will cause the blood sugar to rise. During pregnancy, many women are psychologically and physiological unstable and eating good quantities of watermelon can push up the blood sugar levels, causing diabetes. Also, a cold watermelon may cause severe stomach pain and diarrhea in pregnant women. Remember, eating a watermelon before a meal will take up too much space in the stomach, so it will affect the absorption of the nutrients taken in from the food. Such influence will therefore be much more serious for the health of children and pregnant women.

Intestinal Disturbance - It is often advised to not eat a watermelon when it is too cold as well as when your own body is too cold. Here’s why. When the heat outside is killing and the first thing on your mind is a cold watermelon straight from the fridge, that’s the time when you should avoid it the most. Some experts believe having a very cold watermelon can have an enormous influence to your stomach, making it unhealthy and not easy to digest. Excessive consumption of lycopene (A red carotenoid pigment present in many fruits, such as the tomato) rich watermelons can cause symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, gas and indigestion. The simplest and most effective way to have it is to keep the watermelon at the temperature of up to 8⁰C to 10⁰C. This temperature will ensure that the fresh melon flavor is retained. People with cavities should also try to avoid eating a cold watermelon since a sudden chill may cause extreme tooth aches.

Hyperkelemia - Consuming larger quantities of foods containing potassium, such as watermelon, may adversely affect people diagnosed with hyperkalemia (higher than normal levels of potassium in the circulating blood; associated with kidney failure). Hyperkalemia can potentially result in dangerous cardiovascular effects such as irregular heartbeats, a weak or absent pulse and cardiac arrest as well as adversely affect nerve and muscle control. A typical wedge of a watermelon contains around 560 mg of potassium which is too much for people with serious kidney disorders.

There’s no reason to stop eating this spectacular fruit, just consider these points in case you have experienced any abnormalities in the past before you start binging on watermelons this summer again.


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