Watermelon - Benefits And Harms, How To Grow A Watermelon In A Greenhouse And Open Field?

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Video: Watermelon - Benefits And Harms, How To Grow A Watermelon In A Greenhouse And Open Field?

Video: Watermelon - Benefits And Harms, How To Grow A Watermelon In A Greenhouse And Open Field?
Video: How to Grow Watermelons - Complete Growing Guide 2023, March
Watermelon - Benefits And Harms, How To Grow A Watermelon In A Greenhouse And Open Field?
Watermelon - Benefits And Harms, How To Grow A Watermelon In A Greenhouse And Open Field?

The benefits and harms of watermelon, how to grow a watermelon in a greenhouse and open field?


Watermelon is a plant that belongs to the pumpkin family. Its fruits are suitable for food - the largest berries of all known to mankind. The plant is native to South Africa, where it still grows in the wild, without any domestication.

Watermelon has been known to people for a long time, the first mentions of it are found in the Bible. This suggests that the berry was used as food more than 1500 BC. The plant came to European countries from China. Watermelon cultivation began in Europe in the seventh century. In Russia, it began to be cultivated later, in the eighth century, but in order to become a popular berry among Russians, the watermelon had to "wait" until the 17th century. Until that time, it was grown and eaten only in certain areas.

It is interesting that before it was not eaten raw, as it is customary to do it now. Previously, the pulp of the fruit was soaked in a soda solution, and then molasses was prepared from it, adding pepper and spices. It is possible that it was precisely such a strange way of preparing the berry, which does not need additional processing, that became the reason that it did not take root in Russia for so long.

The watermelon has an oval, spherical shape. The bark varies in color and can be white, yellow, dark green with spots, stripes, mesh, or no pattern at all. Under the bark there is a juicy flesh of raspberry, red or pink hue, although depending on the type of plant it can be white and yellow. The seeds are located in the pulp of the fruit in large quantities, they have a flat shape, different colors.

Watermelon blooms in summer. The flowers are boat-shaped. The stems of the plant are long, they can be four or more meters. The leaves of the plant are large, can reach a length of 22 cm and a width of 18 cm.


  • Composition and calorie content
  • Useful properties of watermelon
  • Harmful properties of watermelon
  • Who can eat watermelon?
  • How to choose the right watermelon?
  • How to keep a watermelon in winter?
  • Folk recipes from watermelon for various diseases
  • Watermelon diet for 3 days for weight loss
  • Contraindications to the use of watermelon
  • How to grow watermelons outdoors?

Composition and calorie content


The beneficial properties of watermelon are primarily due to the chemical composition of the fruit. Sugars in the pulp in large quantities (from 5.5 to 13%) are easily absorbed by the body. If you take a fresh watermelon, then sugars such as fructose and glucose will prevail in it. In the case when the fruit has been stored for some time, sucrose begins to accumulate in it. At the same time, watermelon is not a very high-calorie fruit, no more than 30 kcal per 100 g.

  • Fats: 0.1 g
  • Proteins: 0.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7.5 g
  • Water: 91.5 g
  • Ash: 0.3 g
  • Cellulose: 0.4 g

Vitamins (per 100 g):




4532 μg


Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

8.1 mg


Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)

0.22 mg


Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)

0.05 mg


Minerals (in 100 g):




77 mcg



12 mg



18 mcg



2 μg


Other important connections:

  • Phytosterols - 2 mg (3.6% of the RDI)

  • Purines - 8 mg (6.7% of the RDI)

Complete chemical composition ➤

Useful properties of watermelon


The beneficial properties of watermelon are as follows:

  • Diuretic effect. It is especially important to consume the fruit for people with kidney disease. This allows you to remove sand from them, preventing the development of urolithiasis. Thanks to watermelon, you can get rid of edema.
  • Due to its high content of fiber, lycopene and other antioxidants, watermelon can lower blood cholesterol levels, which is the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Watermelon helps lower blood pressure, which is important for people with hypertension. The pulp of the fruit contains a substance such as citrulline, which is transformed into arginine in the body. This acid, in turn, takes an active part in the regulation of blood pressure levels. In addition, substances such as potassium and magnesium help support the work of the heart and blood vessels. Therefore, regular consumption of watermelon is the prevention of heart attacks and strokes.
  • Those people who often include watermelon in their diet are not in danger of heatstroke due to overheating of the body. Indeed, the pulp of the fruit contains a large amount of water, which enables the body to regulate body temperature.

  • Watermelon can be consumed in small quantities for people with diabetes. The fruit does not contain cholesterol and fats, but it does contain many useful vitamins and minerals. Therefore, if you eat it in small portions, the sugar level in the body will not increase.
  • Maintaining the health of the organs of vision. Regular consumption of watermelon in food is the prevention of age-related changes in the structures of the eye, prevents the development of macular degeneration, glaucoma, damage to the optic nerves. This is possible due to the content of lycopene, beta-carotene, ascorbic acid, lutein, zeaxanthin in the berry.
  • Watermelon is especially useful for men, as it helps to increase sexual desire. After all, the fetus is a natural source of arginine, which affects the quality of erection.
  • It is good to eat watermelon for people with bronchial asthma, as it contains substances that can relieve attacks of the disease. We are talking about antioxidants that bind to free radicals, which contribute to the spasm of the airways.

  • Watermelon is a source of lycopene, which prevents prostate cancer in men. This fact has been proven by numerous studies. In addition, it is useful to include this giant berry in the menu for people at risk of developing lung cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer.
  • The delicate fiber of the fetus and its low acidity make it possible to eat watermelon for people with diseases of the digestive tract, for example, patients with gastritis, gastroduodenitis.
  • Watermelon helps prevent the development of age spots, as it contains beta-carotene, which improves the barrier function of the skin.
  • Watermelon helps the immune system fight off infectious diseases by supporting its normal functioning due to the glutathione and antioxidants in the fruit.
  • Watermelon can help you lose weight when consumed in moderation. For example, 100-200 g of watermelon can be a great snack option for a dieter. However, people with extra pounds should not get too carried away with watermelons, since the pulp of the fruit has a high glycemic index and will contribute to the rapid appearance of hunger.

So, the beneficial properties of watermelon: providing a choleretic and diuretic effect, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic effect, laxative, tonic, antitumor effect, increased intestinal motility.

A person uses not only the pulp of watermelon, but also watermelon seeds, which contain fatty oil rich in linoleic and palmitic acids. This oil has the beneficial properties of almond oil and tastes like olive oil.

Harmful properties of watermelon

Harmful properties of watermelon
Harmful properties of watermelon

You should not offer watermelon for food to children under two years old, if it is not grown on its own site. The consequences of eating low-quality fruit rich in nitrates can be very serious. The younger the child, the weaker his protection from the effects of harmful substances - toxins, microbes, nitrates, which can be found in large quantities in watermelons. Therefore, in order to protect yourself and the child from poisoning as much as possible, you should eat watermelon only at the end of August and in the fall.

Symptoms of poisoning are expressed primarily in gastrointestinal upset with diarrhea and vomiting. Signs of poisoning may appear after an hour or even 2 days later, after eating a poor-quality fruit. However, not only nitrates that were introduced by humans when growing a fruit are dangerous, but also those that accumulate in it during storage if the fruit is not stored correctly for a long time. The first signs of poisoning are headaches, nausea, weakness and fatigue, diarrhea. Subsequently, high body temperature, joint aches, convulsions, general intoxication of the body may join.

Excessive consumption of watermelon, especially if it occurs systemically, can cause flatulence, nausea, and diarrhea. So, the harmful properties of watermelon can manifest itself when it is overeating or when eating overripe or nitrate fruits.

Who can eat watermelon?


As has been emphasized more than once, watermelon is a healthy product. Of course, as with any other products, it is necessary to observe the measure here.

Can diabetics eat watermelon? People with diabetes can include watermelon in their diet. The berry contains a small dose of carbohydrates - even less than apple, orange and green peas. Sugar and glucose, the consumption of which should be especially taken into account by patients with diabetes, in the composition of watermelon are also found in minimal quantities. Fructose gives incredible sweetness to watermelon, which in certain quantities (no more than 40 grams per day) is permissible for diabetic patients, since its absorption occurs without the cost of insulin. One kilogram of watermelon contains exactly this dose of fructose - 40 grams.

Diabetics in the season of watermelons (provided that they include them in the diet) are advised to significantly limit the intake of other carbohydrate foods.

People with type 2 diabetes are advised to limit their consumption of watermelon to 200-300 grams per day.

Can pregnant women drink watermelon? Pregnancy is a special time in every woman's life. Of course, given the normal course of pregnancy, the expectant mother wants sweet, salty, sour, etc. However, there is a wide list of foods, the consumption of which is highly undesirable for pregnant women. Watermelon is not included in this list. In reasonable quantities, the berry has a positive effect on the body of women.

This unique delicacy serves to quickly and effectively quench thirst and at the same time has an excellent diuretic effect. Only now it is strictly not recommended to get involved in eating watermelon: it is permissible to consume no more than 150-200 grams of pulp once or twice a day.

How to choose the right watermelon?

How to choose the right watermelon
How to choose the right watermelon

Every lover of this sweet berry should know how to choose the right watermelon. Doctors warn Russians that buying early melons can be hazardous to health. Often they are overfed with nitrates and growth stimulants, which leads to poisoning.

It is the early watermelons that contain a high concentration of nitric acid salts, which are fed to their sellers in an effort to get more benefits. Once in the body, nitrates will provoke irritation of the mucous membranes of the intestine and stomach, lead to the accumulation of heavy metals in the liver, and prevent useful substances from being absorbed normally. The nitrites found in early watermelons, in turn, have a negative effect on hemoglobin, converting it to methemoglobin. This transformation is no longer able to transport oxygen, thereby provoking oxygen starvation of organs and tissues.

Therefore, it is important to adhere to the following recommendations of doctors:

  • Do not buy watermelons along highways, as they quickly absorb heavy metals, which are abundant in exhaust gases.
  • Don't buy early fruits. The watermelon season begins no earlier than August, so until that time you should be especially picky in choosing the fruit.
  • Require the seller for documentation confirming that the watermelons released by him are safe.
  • To test a watermelon for nitrates, you should use a nitrate meter, which can be purchased for personal use. The maximum permissible concentration of nitrates in a watermelon should not exceed 60 mg per kilogram of weight.

However, watermelon is prized not only for its safety, but also for its taste.

The following tips will help you choose not only healthy, but also tasty, juicy and ripe fruit:

  • It is worth choosing a large, but not too heavy fruit.
  • The watermelon should be checked for ripeness. To do this, press on it with your hands from both sides, but not too hard. In this case, a characteristic crunch should be heard.
  • The surface of the fruit should be shiny, without a matte shade. The crust is difficult to pierce with a fingernail, it must be hard and dense.
  • If you knock on the crust, a dull sound should be heard.
  • The fruit itself should not have any damage: cracks, cuts, scratches.
  • The stalk of the watermelon must be dry.
  • A medium-sized yellow spot should be located on the side of the fruit. This is the so-called earthen spot formed during the ripening of the watermelon.
  • If a variety of watermelon suggests a pattern, then it should be clearly pronounced.

As for the fruit release point, there must be a canopy above it, and the watermelons themselves must be stored on a pallet with a height of at least 20 cm from the floor. Before proceeding with cutting the fruit, you should thoroughly wash the watermelon with a brush and wipe it with a clean cloth.


You should not eat watermelon to the very rind, leave a distance of at least 2 cm. The fact is that the maximum concentration of nitrates accumulates in the bark of the berry.

There is one more tip that allows you to check the watermelon for harmful substances after it has already been cut. You need to pour water into a glass and dip a piece of pulp there. If, after stirring, the liquid turns pink, then such a fruit should not be eaten. Also, do not eat those fruits, the pulp of which has a purple hue and an abundance of yellow veins.

If you still have doubts about the quality of the watermelon, you can drink green tea and eat two tablets of ascorbic acid before drinking it. This will neutralize the nitrates entering the body.

How to keep a watermelon in winter?


Given that the green fruit is a source of nutrients, many people are wondering how to preserve watermelon in winter. For long-term storage, it is necessary to choose late varieties. Naturally, recommendations for choosing a fruit should not be overlooked. First of all, there should be no dents or cracks on it. If there is any damage, the watermelon will not stay fresh for a long time.

What matters is the room where the berry will be stored. It should be dry, shaded and well ventilated. Place the watermelon in such a way that the area of its contact with other surfaces is minimal. The same applies to the contact of the fruit with other watermelons. The surface on which the green berry lies should be soft. Straw is ideal. The optimum air temperature is +1 - +3 degrees with a humidity of 80-85%. If the temperature is higher, the pulp will become mushy and sour.

It would be best not to put the watermelon on the shelf, but to hang it on a hook. To do this, it is wrapped in paper and placed in a mesh bag. Thus, the fetus will be able to breathe, and there will be no contact with the surface at all.

An old way of storing watermelons is to coat them with alabaster. To do this, dry alabaster is diluted with water and applied in a dense layer to the berry. The consistency of the mixture should resemble sour cream, and the layer thickness should be at least 10 mm. Thus, you need to apply 3 layers alternately, one after the other. After that, the watermelon is also placed in the net and hung on the hook.

For two months, you can store a watermelon in an apartment, provided there is a glazed balcony. To do this, the fruit must be wrapped in a clean cotton cloth (not synthetics) and placed on the loggia.

Subject to all recommendations, it will be possible to keep the watermelon fresh until December-January.

Folk recipes from watermelon for various diseases


Watermelon rind decoction: 1 tbsp. pour a spoonful of crusts with boiling water (1 glass), prepare a water bath and "simmer" the broth for 10-15 minutes, after which it is cooled and filtered.

Infusion of watermelon peels: 100 g of dried peels are poured into 500 ml of hot water and infused until the infusion is cooled.

Diuretic: the watermelon peels are thoroughly washed, a thin layer (zest) is peeled off the surface, after which the peel is cut, dried and stored in a dry place. It is recommended to take dried peels 3 times a day 20 minutes before meals. One dosage is 5-6 g.

Gruel made from fresh crushed roots of wild watermelon is an effective remedy for breast tumors. It is applied externally in the form of compresses.

Anthelmintic agent: 100 g of fresh watermelon seeds (pre-pounded) are poured with 1 liter of purified water, then boiled in a water bath for 45 minutes and carefully filtered. Drink 2 glasses outside meals, twice a day.

Watermelon diet for 3 days

The 3-day watermelon diet is rightfully considered one of the most delicious. But one should not forget that, before deciding to follow the watermelon diet, it is necessary to consult with a specialist who, perhaps, will make certain adjustments according to the patient's state of health.

There are two most common versions of the watermelon diet.

Version one: one hour before the main meal, you need to eat 1–2 kg of watermelon.

Version two: a person's weight is divided by 10, the resulting figure is the norm of watermelon pulp, which a person should eat within a day (and nothing else).

Read more: Watermelon diet for weight loss: menu, interesting recipes

Contraindications to use

Contraindications to the use of watermelon
Contraindications to the use of watermelon

Contraindications to the use of watermelon is a list of diseases and conditions of the body in which it is forbidden to include it in the diet.

The fruit should not be eaten with the following pathologies:

  • Renal failure
  • Violation of the outflow of urine.
  • Kidney stones over 4 mm.
  • Age under 2 years old.
  • Colitis of any etiology.
  • Stool disorder.
  • The last trimester of pregnancy. In this case, we are talking about limiting the consumption of too much watermelon, as this will lead to discomfort and frequent urination.
  • Obesity and diabetes are also reasons why you should limit your watermelon intake.

In all other cases, you can eat watermelon, but in everything you should observe the measure. Another advice from doctors is to limit the joint consumption of watermelon and salt, as this promotes fluid retention in the body, which will lead to the formation of edema.

How to grow watermelons outdoors?

Every gardener knows how to grow a watermelon in the open field, if the climatic conditions in the region allow it. However, it is not always possible to harvest a high harvest, since summer residents often pay little attention to the intricacies of planting and caring for such a picky berry like a watermelon.

  1. How to grow watermelons
    How to grow watermelons

    The choice of soil and place for planting. The soil in which the watermelon is supposed to be planted should not be too wet. Choose a sunny location, away from bushes and trees. The plant loves sunlight. If the earth is dense, then first it must be well loosened, since the root system of watermelons penetrates deep into the soil, extracting nutrients from there. It is also worth making sure that there are no weeds near the plant. Watermelon does not tolerate their neighborhood.

    It is good to plant the plant in the place where winter wheat used to grow. After planting melons last year, you should not re-plant watermelons there.

    In autumn, you need to take care of introducing rotted manure into the soil. 4 kg of fertilizer is enough per square meter. Do not add fresh manure, as this will lead to fungal diseases of the watermelon.

  2. Image

    Planting without germinating seedlings. The seeds must first be warmed up well. To do this, they are laid out in the sun right in the bag. They are left to warm in the sun for 10 days, after which the seeds are placed in water and left for half an hour. The floating seeds are thrown away, and the ones that have settled to the bottom are left for further planting. They are placed in hot water (60 ° C), and when the water has cooled, they are taken out and laid out in a damp cloth until germination.

    3 days before planting, the seeds are kept in a solution of ash and water (2 parts of water, 1 part of ash) throughout the day. In the evening, the seeds are taken out and dipped for 20 minutes in a solution of potassium permanganate, washed and again dipped in an ash solution overnight. In the morning, the seeds are taken out, dried and sown.

    Possible time for sowing is late April to mid June, depending on the weather conditions in the region. The optimum soil temperature is 16 ° C.

    The depth of planting a seed is 7 cm, more than 10 seeds should not be planted per square meter, since there is no guarantee that all the seeds will sprout. After sowing, the soil is watered with warm water. After 7 days, the first shoots should be expected. It is necessary to huddle watermelons after 5 leaves appear on the plants, the soil is loosened carefully. When the diameter of the fruit reaches 10 cm, the main lash must be pinched.

  3. Image

    Preparation of watermelon seedlings for open ground. Peat-humus pots are well suited for growing seedlings, since you do not need to remove it before placing the plant in the soil. It is enough just to place the pot in the prepared hole. If the seedlings are grown in other containers, then remove the plant very carefully so as not to harm the root system. Before planting in a pot, the seeds must be soaked in warm water for 10 minutes, and then placed in the soil 1 cm deep. The soil needs to be poured as the plant grows. The room temperature should not be lower than 23-25 ° C. It will be possible to feed the sprouts with mineral fertilizer when the first real leaf appears on them. When the sprouts are one month old, they can be planted in open soil. At the same time, the plant should not have less than 5 true leaves. 7 days before disembarkation, watermelons need to be hardened,lowering the daytime temperature to 17 ° C.

    Before planting, compost must be added to the soil and watered abundantly. In this case, the root collar should rise a couple of centimeters above the ground. If two plants are placed in one hole, then you need to make sure that their leaves do not come into contact.

  4. Image

    Plant care in the open field. Watermelon should be watered sparingly, and when the fruits begin to ripen, watering is completely reduced to a minimum. It is possible to add ammonium nitrate, 2 liters per bush. A bucket of water takes 20 g of fertilizer.

    Do not leave more than 6 ovaries on the kuta, but you can reduce their number to 2 pieces. The soil must be loosened after each watering, until the leaves of the watermelons close. Foil can be placed under the plants. This will help protect the fruit from the wireworm. For even ripening, the fruits can be turned over.

  5. Harvesting. When the bract dries up and the fruit rind becomes glossy, you can harvest. This usually happens in the month of August. In this case, all the hairs will fall off on the stalk, and when you tap on the watermelon, it will make a dull sound.


The author of the article: Kuzmina Vera Valerievna | Endocrinologist, nutritionist

Education: Diploma of the Russian State Medical University named after NI Pirogov with a degree in General Medicine (2004). Residency at Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry, diploma in Endocrinology (2006).

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