You love how refreshing it is. But watermelon does more than just satisfy a sweet tooth.
Watermelon may not be the first fruit that comes to mind when you think about nutrition. But this vibrant summer fruit is not only a juicy and refreshing way to satisfy your sweet tooth, it’s also incredibly nutritious.
Here are 5 interesting health benefits of watermelon:
- It’s a heart helper. Watermelon has nutrients that support a healthy heart – magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and lycopene. It’s even American Heart Association® Heart Check Certified. These nutrients help keep your heart beat steadier and your blood pressure healthier. Watermelon is also cholesterol, fat and sodium free!
- It nourishes your skin and hair. Watermelon is an excellent source of vitamin C. This nutrient helps your body make the protein collagen that heals wounds, keeps skin supple and strengthens hair. It also helps block some of the damage caused by free radicals from environmental pollutants and ultraviolet light. The build-up of free radicals over time adds to the aging process.
- It supports eye health. Watermelon contains vitamin A. In the retina of the eye, vitamin A produces the pigment needed to see the full spectrum of light. It also nourishes the cornea and keeps it well lubricated. Vision loss, night blindness and dry eye may occur without enough vitamin A.
- It’s a thirst quencher. Watermelon is made up of 92% water and is a natural and delicious way to stay hydrated. The potassium it contains also helps maintain fluid balance in your body. To hydrate with watermelon, eat it whole or blend it into juice or a smoothie and sip away.
- It satisfies a sweet tooth naturally. Although watermelon tastes very sweet, you won’t be consuming any added sugars – just sweetness as nature intended. A two-cup serving of watermelon contains 22 grams of carbohydrates. This makes it a sensible option for individuals who need to monitor their blood sugar.
“Watermelon, like all fruit, is a great and healthy way to satisfy your sweet cravings for fewer calories and added sugars. A two-cup serving of watermelon is just 92 calories whereas a full sized candy bar can be 200-300 or more calories per bar. However with fruit, as with any food, always remember to be mindful of healthy portion sizes. Be especially cautious if you have a health condition such as diabetes or kidney disease that would require limited intake of certain foods and their inherent nutrients.”
How to Choose a Watermelon
Look for a watermelon that feels heavy for its size. Also one that is firm and symmetrical. It should be free of bruises, cuts or dents and have a creamy yellow spot where it sat in the field when ripening. A watermelon will last about three to four weeks after harvest.
Tasty Ways to Eat Watermelon
There are many delicious ways to enjoy watermelon. Here are some to try:
- Bite juicy chunks right from the rind or cut into cubes or balls
- Puree into juice or add to a smoothie
- Freeze pureed watermelon in ice pop molds or freeze and then scrape into a granita
- Combine cubed watermelon on skewers with other summer fruit for a refreshing sweet treat
- Pair watermelon with savory ingredients like feta cheese, arugula, balsamic vinaigrette, cucumber or red onion in salads or salsa
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Date Last Reviewed: June 14, 2021
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Beth Stark, RDN, LDN