There are concerns to why watermelon should not be eaten on empty stomach. Even though watermelon is rich in nutrients and can serve as a great source of hydration, it may not be suitable for everyone on an empty stomach.
Staying hydrated in the mornings helps maintain electrolyte balance and provides you with the energy needed for the day ahead. However, when it comes to kickstarting your day with food, watermelon appears to be a wholesome dietary option.
With its 90% water content and an abundance of vitamins and minerals, the fruit offers a delightful way to give your well-being a fantastic boost.
It has a substantial fiber content and nutritional value that makes it an ideal addition to your breakfast spread. However, is it a suitable choice for everyone to consume on an empty stomach? Let’s find out.
Why Watermelon Should Not Be Eaten on Empty Stomach
Eating fruit on an empty stomach might have varying effects on individuals, depending on their body type and hormonal balance.
If someone exhibits signs of leptin resistance or insulin resistance, opting for fruit during breakfast may not be the most suitable choice. This is because it could exacerbate symptoms and may not offer optimal benefits.
However, consuming fruit in smaller quantities as a snack at other times can be more advantageous. This is due to the potential reduction in sensitivity over time, caused by prolonged excessive leptin secretion from adipose tissue.
According to nutritionist Anupama Menon, “this reduced sensitivity may result in fructose intolerance, leading to increased fat production and storage in the body”.
While watermelon is rich in vitamins, minerals, and potassium, making it a valuable source of hydration in hot and humid weather, it may not be suitable for everyone on an empty stomach.
Menon warns that having watermelon as the first meal of the day could be detrimental for individuals with fructose intolerance, potentially raising cortisol levels and contributing to insulin resistance.
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Side Effects of Eating too Much Watermelon
Despite its multiple health benefits, there are some downsides to overeating watermelon.
1. It May Cause Digestive Issues
Consuming an excess of watermelon can lead to discomfort in the abdomen, bloating, gas, and diarrhea, primarily due to its elevated FODMAP content.
FODMAP, an abbreviation for fermentable short-chain carbohydrates that are either indigestible or slowly absorbed in the small intestine, encompasses oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols.
Nutritionists commonly recommend low FODMAP diets for individuals dealing with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a digestive condition characterized by symptoms such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
However, a high intake of FODMAPs may induce IBS-like symptoms and worsen gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) even in otherwise healthy individuals without IBS.
Watermelon is classified as a high FODMAP food due to its fructose content. Fructose, a monosaccharide or simple sugar, has the potential to cause bloating or discomfort when consumed in substantial quantities.
Although the high FODMAP status of watermelon suggests it may trigger digestive issues in individuals sensitive to fructose, it’s essential to note that not everyone will experience stomach discomfort with every large serving.
Nonetheless, those dealing with IBS may find it advisable to consume watermelon more judiciously.
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2. It May Raise Your Blood Sugar Levels
Apart from its high FODMAP content, watermelon also boasts a high glycemic index (GI). Therefore, it’s crucial to be mindful of overindulging in watermelon, as it may cause an elevation in blood sugar levels, a matter of particular concern for individuals managing diabetes.
The GI of a food gauges its impact on blood sugar over two hours. Foods with a high GI typically result in a rapid increase in blood sugar levels, whereas those with a low GI lead to a more gradual rise.
Foods with a GI under 55 are considered low, those ranging from 56–69 are medium, and anything over 70 is classified as high. Watermelons fall within the high GI category, with a GI ranging from 72–80.
Nevertheless, while GI provides insights into how blood sugar responds to a carbohydrate-containing food, the glycemic load (GL) takes into account the serving size, offering a more accurate measure of a food’s impact on blood sugar levels.
The GL also categorizes foods into low, medium, or high. A count below 10 is considered low, 11–19 is medium, and anything over 20 is high. Despite watermelon’s high GI, its GL is relatively low, with a range of 5–6 per cup (152 grams). This means that a small, 1-cup serving won’t likely pose any harm.
However, it’s essential to be cautious about overindulging, as excessive consumption of watermelon can elevate its GL, potentially leading to a spike in blood sugar levels.
This cautionary approach is particularly crucial for individuals managing diabetes who need to closely monitor their blood sugar levels.
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Who Should Eat Watermelon on Empty Stomach?
Someone whose body readily accepts fruits can consume them in the morning for enhanced nutrient absorption.
The inclusion of fiber in the fruit, when eaten whole, aids in the gradual release of glucose, resulting in a lower glycemic index.
Menon concludes, “The timing of fruit consumption is just as crucial as selecting the fruit itself”.
Does Watermelon Reduce Blood Pressure?
Watermelon comprises an amino acid known as citrulline. The body transforms citrulline into arginine, promoting the production of nitric oxide a gas that eases blood vessels’ tension and fosters flexibility in arteries.
These outcomes contribute to improved blood circulation, potentially reducing elevated blood pressure.
In conclusion, now you have known why watermelon Should Not Be Eaten on an empty stomach while watermelon offers numerous health benefits, moderation and consideration of individual health conditions are key to enjoying it as a part of a balanced diet.
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