As the go-to fruit for the summer season, most people associate watermelon with barbecues and fireworks, but many fail to truly comprehend the many health benefits of this massive-sized fruit. In addition to simply tasting great in fruit salads, smoothies, and sorbets, watermelon contains an antioxidant known as lycopene, which helps protect against cancer and heart disease, and boosts immune system function to ward off infection and disease.
Comprised of 92 percent water, watermelon is also especially beneficial for pregnant women, since it helps ease heartburn, reduces swelling, prevents cramps, and even alleviates morning sickness. According to a study recently published in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, consuming lycopene daily can reduce preeclampsia by 50 percent. Preeclampsia is a pregnancy condition in which a woman develops high blood pressure, and passes protein through urine after the 20th week of pregnancy.
In addition to containing high amounts of lycopene, watermelon is loaded with potassium and magnesium, as well as vitamins A, C, and B6 — all of which play vital roles in the development of your baby’s brain, vision, nervous, and immune systems.
Consuming watermelon to ease morning sickness
Many women who suffer from morning sickness say that sometimes, watermelon is the only food they can keep down because of its high water content. Watermelon can be consumed whole, or made into juice or ice pops for those who want a more refreshing snack.
To make watermelon juice, blend about eight cups of seedless watermelon in a blender until smooth, then pour through a strainer to catch any remaining pulp. Discard the pulp, then add a tablespoon of lemon, lime, or orange juice to intensify the flavor of the juice.
To make watermelon ice pops, blend four cups of seedless watermelon and a tablespoon of lemon juice together, then pour into popsicle molds or paper cups. If using paper cups, top each cup with a small piece of aluminum foil, use a knife to make slits in the foil, then insert wooden popsicle sticks in the middle of each cup. Freeze until hardened, then remove from the molds when you’re ready to eat them.
CarePoint Health is dedicated to providing you with the individual care and attention you need so you can relax and focus on what is most important — the birth of your new baby. Contact us today to learn more about our obstetrics and maternity services.
Content on our website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your medical treatment.