Questions like, “can you be allergic to watermelon,” are uncommon. The most popular questions about watermelon are centered on its nutritional value, weight loss benefits, and more.
Watermelon is one of the nutrient-dense foods consumed by all age groups. It boasts a rich source of vitamins (A and C), potassium, magnesium and other nutrients that can benefit one’s health.
Watermelon’s high fiber and low-calorie content makes it a great fruit to snack on, especially if you want to lose weight. But ensure you don’t consume too much, as the fruit boasts a high glycemic index value.
An allergic reaction can range from mild to severe. But then, since watermelon is a fruit, can someone be allergic to it? Here is what we know.
It is possible to be allergic to watermelon, though it’s uncommon. Watermelon allergy is most common in children, though possible in adults. And the symptoms of the allergy can range from mild to severe too.
In severe watermelon allergy, one can experience anaphylaxis and symptoms of this condition can be life-threatening. It includes conditions like swelling around the tongue, and throat, dizziness, shortness of breath, wheezing, difficulty breathing and swallowing.
A Handy Tip: You can be allergic to watermelon if you’re allergic to cucumber, latex or carrot.
Do you think you’re allergic to watermelon? How can you even figure out you’re allergic to it? You can discover your allergy to melons via a test or by noting the symptoms. Some of the symptoms of watermelon allergy include a tingly, swollen or itchy mouth.
Watermelon contains the allergy-provoking protein present in grass and ragweed pollen. Therefore, if you react to birch, grass or ragweed, you may likely be allergic to watermelon. Your immune system may treat the melon as pollen from these grasses.
You can diagnose your allergy to watermelon via a skin prick test. A well-trained doctor can conduct this test on you.
What does the skin prick test involve? A doctor pricks your skin and places a small amount of watermelon on the pricked area. A raised bump will appear in a few minutes if you’re allergic to the fruit. If you’re not, you won’t experience any changes on your skin.
Can you diagnose watermelon allergy via blood test? Yes, you can. A doctor may order a blood test if you’re uncomfortable with the skin prick test.
However, note that while results from the skin prick test can appear in a few minutes, blood test results can take several days.
Another way to determine if you’re allergic to watermelon is via the challenge test. In this case, you must consume a small portion of watermelon (or any food) in a clinical setting. The doctors handling the test will note your reaction to the fruit and tell you whether you’re allergic to it.
If your doctor has confirmed that you have an allergy, the best thing to do is to get rid of every trace of the allergen from your food. If you are allergic to watermelon, stop consuming the fruit right away. Stop consuming other melons in the cucurbit family.
Are you allergic to watermelon? Here are other foods you might be allergic to.
Avoid these foods if you’re allergic to watermelon, as they trigger similar reactions. Also, remember that ragweed can cause an allergic reaction similar to watermelons during the summer months.
Though watermelon can satisfy your sweet tooth, it remains a nutrient-dense food. The FDA describes nutrient-dense foods as foods containing a rich source of minerals, vitamins, dietary fibers, and other beneficial substances.
Watermelon, like other nutrient-dense foods, can have a positive impact on one’s health. However, it has several components that can cause side effects.
Here are the various components and side effects they can cause.
Have you ever experienced passing out loose stools after consuming plenty of watermelons? If yes, then the sorbitol in the fruit is the likely culprit.
Watermelon boasts a unique type of sugar known as sorbitol, which can cause loose stools. Individuals who are intolerant to this substance will pass out loose stools.
In addition to passing loose stools, sorbitol in watermelon can cause you to gas.
Have you ever experienced heartburn after consuming watermelon? The reason for this is the substance called lycopene. In addition to heartburn, the lycopene in watermelon can cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, bloating and gas.
A Handy Tip: You may not experience any of the above side effects when you consume a smaller amount of watermelon. The chances of experiencing bloating, diarrhea and other side effects increase when you consume a large amount of watermelon.
Age is another factor to consider when consuming watermelon. The side effects listed above will be worst in older individuals. Why? The reason is because of a weak digestive system.
The digestive system weakens, as one grows older. So, if you’re older, consume a smaller amount of watermelon and do so occasionally. With this, you’ll benefit from the fruit and avoid the numerous side effects lycopene can cause.
Another thing to consider is your frequency of consumption. Do not consume watermelon frequently, as it might cause the above side effects or even worse. This advice is important for older people.
Do you know watermelon can lower your blood pressure? Yes, it can. It contains citrulline, an amino acid that converts to arginine in the body. Arginine helps the body to naturally produce nitric oxide, a gas credited with relaxing the blood vessels and ensuring flexibility in the arteries.
The action of this amino acid aids blood flow, a move that lowers blood pressure.
A Handy Tip: The advice remains the same: consume watermelon in moderation whether you have high blood pressure. It is best to consume the fruit occasionally and in smaller amounts.
Watermelon contains a lot of water. Its water content is 92%. This means watermelon can help you stay hydrated. But the problem is consuming excess amounts of watermelon can be problematic.
You must discard the water by urinating when you consume an excessive amount. Failure to urinate will cause an increase in the volume of blood, leading to overhydration, swelling of the legs and fatigue.
Are you diabetic or trying to cut down on sugar? Either way, you can achieve your goal by limiting the amount of watermelon you consume.
Watermelon has high sugar content. It has a high glycemic index (GI), meaning it can spike your blood sugar quickly.
But there’s a catch. Watermelon won’t raise your blood sugar when you consume a smaller amount (a small cup or serving). Watermelon’s GL (glycemic load) increases when you consume an excess amount of the fruit.
What does this mean? It means a serving of watermelon contains low GL. Thus, you won’t experience a blood sugar spike when you consume a small amount of watermelon.
A Handy Tip: Avoid watermelon if you’re prone to gestational diabetes and are pregnant. Why? Watermelon’s high sugar content can spike blood sugar and cause gestational diabetes.
This type of diabetes in pregnant women can be a serious health concern. So, reduce sugar intake while pregnant to avoid diabetes.
As long as you consume a moderate amount, you can eat watermelon on an empty stomach. Watermelon boasts high water content, meaning you feel fuller quicker, which can lead to satiety. You should consume watermelon in small amounts.
Watermelon doesn’t cause weight gain. On the contrary, the fruit’s high water content makes it a wise choice for people that want to lose weight.
The high water content in this fruit leads to satiety, helping you to reduce the number of times you eat daily. In addition, watermelon boasts low calories. A 100-gram serving of watermelon contains around 30 calories.
Watermelon also contains arginine, an amino acid that increases the body’s fat-burning capacity.
So, can you be allergic to watermelon? Yes, you can, though it is uncommon. Watermelon allergy is mostly in children. However, some adults may have an allergic reaction to watermelon.
Allergic reactions to watermelon can cause symptoms ranging from mild to severe. In severe cases, the allergy may cause anaphylaxis, a condition that can be life-threatening. It can cause shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, swelling in the throat, and tongue, bloating, gas, etc.
You can find out if you’re allergic to watermelon via various tests. This includes the skin pricking test, challenge test and a blood test.
Furthermore, remember that watermelon contains several components that can cause side effects. Some examples include citrulline and lycopene.