Watermelon is a refreshing and healthy summer fruit. It’s low in calories and high in water content, making it a great choice for people who are trying to lose weight. Watermelon is also a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as lycopene, an antioxidant that has been linked to several health benefits. But like all foods, watermelon has some potential side effects. In this article, we’ll explore 10 surprising side effects of eating watermelon.
1. Gastrointestinal side effects
Gastrointestinal side effects are some of the most common side effects of watermelon. These effects can include gas, diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps. Gassy foods are more likely to cause gastrointestinal side effects, as they promote the production of gas in the gut. Eating a high-fiber diet is also associated with higher rates of gas, as fiber can’t be fully broken down by the digestive system.
Most fruits contain a fair amount of fiber, so watermelon and other fruits may cause extra gas. The water content in watermelon may also be to blame for gastrointestinal side effects. People who are sensitive to the water content of watermelon may experience diarrhea and other gastrointestinal side effects.
2. Allergic reactions
Allergic reactions can occur from eating almost any food, though they’re usually only caused by proteins. Watermelon is one of the fruits most commonly associated with allergic reactions. People with allergies to watermelon often experience symptoms like skin rash and swelling, itching, nausea, vomiting, and anaphylaxis.
Some people with allergies to watermelon also react to citrulline, a compound found in the watermelon and other fruits. Most people with watermelon allergies can safely eat cooked watermelon, as cooking reduces the amount of protein in the fruit. People with watermelon allergies should also avoid watermelon rind, as it contains more allergenic proteins.
Diarrhea is a common side effect that can be caused by many different factors. Eating too much fiber is a common cause of diarrhea, especially in people who aren’t used to a high-fiber diet. Other common causes include infections, food poisoning, bacterial overgrowth, and eating too much fruit. Watermelon is one of the most water-rich fruits, making it a potential cause of diarrhea.
Diarrhea from watermelon is usually mild and resolves quickly. People with sensitive digestive systems may want to avoid watermelon, as it’s high in fiber and water.
4. Kidney stones
Kidney stones are formed when minerals, waste products, and/or chemicals in the blood crystallize and form a rock-like substance in the kidneys. Different people are at higher risk of developing kidney stones, including those with low urine volume, high calcium intake, and reduced urinary pH. People who eat a lot of watermelons may be at an increased risk of developing kidney stones. Watermelons have a low pH, which is ideal for growing crystals. For this reason, people who have a history of kidney stones may want to avoid watermelon.
5. Muscle soreness
Muscle soreness is a common side effect that can occur after exercise or other activities. It’s caused by muscle damage and inflammation, which can lead to reduced function and pain. Watermelon contains citrulline, a compound that can be converted into arginine, an amino acid used by the body to make nitric oxide. In other words, watermelon converts to L-citrulline, which converts to L-arginine. Excess L-arginine is broken down and converted into nitric oxide in the blood, which relaxes blood vessels, improving blood flow and reducing muscle soreness.
Headaches are a common symptom that has many potential causes. Food cravings, dehydration, and too much stress are some of the more common causes of headaches. Eating too much watermelon can cause headaches in some people. Watermelons have a high water content, which can lead to dehydration and headaches in people who are sensitive to their water content.
7. Blood sugar spikes
For many people, watermelon is a healthy snack choice. It’s low in calories and high in water content, making it a good choice for people who are trying to lose weight. People who have diabetes may want to avoid watermelon, as research suggests it can cause blood sugar spikes in some people.
Diabetic people should be cautious about eating large amounts of watermelon, especially if they experience a rise in blood sugar after eating it.
Watermelon is mostly water, which makes it a healthy snack choice. But eating too much watermelon could lead to dehydration, especially in people who have sensitive water content. People who have a sensitive water content may experience cramps and other gastrointestinal side effects, as well as a feeling of dehydration. People who are at risk of dehydration should avoid eating too much watermelon, as well as other water-rich fruits.
9. Nutrient deficiencies
Most people who eat a balanced diet should be able to get the nutrients they need. But eating too much of a certain food could lead to nutrient deficiencies. People who eat a lot of watermelons may be at risk of developing a deficiency in iron and other minerals. Even though watermelon has some nutrients, it’s mostly water, so it shouldn’t be the main part of anyone’s diet.
Watermelon is a good source of vitamin A and carotenoids, as well as vitamin C. But it also contains a lot of water, so it’s not a good choice for getting other nutrients, like vitamin B and iron.
10. Interactions with medications
Some medications can interact with other foods and beverages. Watermelon is a known inhibitor of cytochrome P450, an enzyme that breaks down many medications. People who take medications should be aware of potential interactions with watermelon and other foods. They should speak to their doctor or pharmacist to learn more about potential interactions.
Watermelon is a healthy food, but it’s not the best choice for everyone. People who experience side effects like gas, cramps, or headaches after eating watermelon should try to identify the cause and avoid eating watermelon in the future.
Watermelon is a popular summer fruit that’s low in calories and high in water. It’s a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as lycopene, an antioxidant that has been linked to several health benefits. But like all foods, watermelon has some potential side effects. Some side effects may be more common in certain people, such as people who have high water content diets. People who experience side effects from eating watermelon should try to identify the cause and take steps to avoid these side effects in the future.