Watermelon is a low-calorie summer snack that is sweet and refreshing. It contains important nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, as well as hydration.
Watermelons belong to the Cucurbitaceae family, which also includes cantaloupe, honeydew, and cucumber.
Watermelon comes in five varieties: seeded, seedless, mini, pink, and orange.
Learn more about the potential health benefits and nutritional content of watermelon in this post, as well as some serving suggestions and who should avoid it.
In a cup of melon balls weighing about 154 g, the sum of each nutrient is shown in the table below.
According to the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, it also indicates how much each nutrient an adult needs. Person requirements differ based on gender and age.
|Nutrient||Amount in 1 cup watermelon||Daily adult requirement|
|Energy (calories)||46.2||1,800 – 3,000|
|Carbohydrate (g)||11.6, including 9.6 g of sugar||130|
|Fiber (g)||0.6||22.4 – 33.6|
|Calcium (millgrams [mg])||10.8||1,000 – 1,200|
|Magnesium (mg)||15.4||320 – 420|
|Vitamin C (mg)||12.5||75 – 90|
|Folate (mcg, DFE)||4.6||400|
|Choline (mg)||6.3||425 – 550|
|Vitamin A, RAE (mcg)||43.1||700 – 900|
|Beta carotene (mcg)||467||No data|
|Lutein & zeaxanthin (mcg)||12.3 mcg||No data|
|Lycopene (mcg)||6,980||No data|
|Phytosterols (mg)||3.08||No data|
Watermelon also provides the following nutrients:
– B vitamins, such as thiamin, niacin, and riboflavin
– zinc, manganese, selenium, fluoride, and other minerals that are important
– antioxidants such as tryptophan, leucine, lysine, and arginine
Watermelon contains around 90% water, making it ideal for staying hydrated in the summer. Its natural sugars can also satisfy a sweet tooth.
Antioxidants can be found in watermelon. These compounds can aid in the removal of free radicals, also known as reactive species, from the body. During natural processes such as digestion, the body creates free radicals. Smoking, air pollution, stress, and other environmental factors may all contribute to their growth.
While the body can spontaneously remove certain free radicals, dietary antioxidants aid in this phase.
The antioxidants and other nutrients in watermelon can help protect a person’s health in the following ways.
What are some other foods that are high in antioxidants? Learn more here
While studies have not shown that taking vitamin C supplements may help prevent asthma, a vitamin C-rich diet can provide some safety.
Watermelon extract was found to lower blood pressure in and around the ankles of middle-aged people with obesity and early hypertension in a 2012 study. L-citrulline and L-arginine, two antioxidants found in watermelon, can improve artery function, according to the researchers.
Another antioxidant found in watermelon, lycopene, can help prevent heart disease. According to a 2017 review, it may do so by lowering inflammation linked to high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol.
Phytosterols are plant compounds that may aid in the management of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol. Phytosterols should be consumed in amounts of 2 grammes (g) per day, according to some recommendations. At 3.08 mg, 154 g of watermelon balls offers a small volume.
While lowering LDL cholesterol can help to prevent high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease (CVD), the exact effect of phytosterols on CVD is unknown.
Which foods will aid in the reduction of blood pressure? check here.
Free radicals can play a role in the development of some cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). They can cause DNA cell damage due to the oxidative stress they cause.
Watermelon antioxidants, such as vitamin C, can help prevent cancer by combating free radicals in the body.
Regularity and digestion
Watermelon is high in water and also contains some fibre. These nutrients aid in the maintenance of a balanced gut by avoiding constipation and encouraging bowel regularity.
Watermelon is mostly water, but it also contains electrolytes including potassium. During the hot summer months, this makes it a healthy snack choice.
Watermelon can be eaten fresh, as juice, or frozen in slices for a refreshing cold Popsicle snack.
Water is essential for good health. Learn more about why we need it here.
The nervous system and the brain
Another antioxidant contained in watermelon is choline.
The following roles and tasks are assisted by it:
- muscle movement
- learning and memory
- preserving the integrity of cell membranes
- Nerve impulse transmission
- early stages of brain development
Soreness of muscles
Watermelon and watermelon juice can help athletes recover faster after exercise by reducing muscle soreness.
Athletes drank half a litre of either a placebo or watermelon juice with added L-citrulline 2 hours before a half marathon race in a 2017 trial. After the run, those who drank the watermelon drink showed less muscle soreness 24–72 hours later.
It’s unclear if drinking watermelon juice without the added L-citrulline has the same impact.
Vitamin C has been shown in studies to promote healthy skin, including lowering the risk of age-related damage.
Watermelon can improve features of metabolic syndrome, such as obesity and cardiovascular measures, according to research published in 2019Trusted Source. For four weeks, 33 people who were overweight or obese consumed either 2 cups of watermelon or low-fat cookies.
People who ate watermelon felt less hungry and happy for longer periods of time than those who ate cookies.
In addition, those who ate watermelon for four weeks had:
- Antioxidant levels in their blood are linked to a reduction in body weight and BMI (BMI)
- lower systolic blood pressure
- improved waist-to-hip ratio
Those who ate the cookies had higher oxidative stress levels than those who ate the watermelon. Their blood pressure and body fat also increased.
Watermelon can be a healthy snack for people with obesity and metabolic syndrome, according to the findings.
The ability to diuretic
Diuretic medications are used by certain people to help them extract extra water and salt from their bodies. People with kidney problems, high blood pressure, and other conditions can benefit from this.
Watermelon’s diuretic activity could be as effective as the well-known diuretic furosemide, according to a 2014 mouse study. This could make it a natural choice for people who have a lot of fluid in their bodies. Never stop taking a prescription diuretic without first consulting your doctor.
People should look for a watermelon that is firm, heavy, and symmetrical, with no soft spots or bruises, when purchasing one.
The texture of the fruit inside can be determined by tapping the outside. Listen for a light and almost hollow sounding thud. This means that the water and fruit inside are both intact and stable.
Serving suggestions for watermelon include:
Juice: Mix diced watermelon with a few ice cubes to make a cold, refreshing electrolyte drink that’s ideal for rehydrating after a day in the heat.
Salad: To make a delicious and healthy salad, combine watermelon, mint, and fresh mozzarella on a bed of spinach leaves. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette.
Smoothies: Make a watermelon smoothie or add orange juice for a tangier flavour. Juicing breaks down the fibre, making it easier to consume the sugar. Instead of drinking soda, people with diabetes should eat fresh, whole watermelon.
Roasted seeds: To make a delicious snack, roast the watermelon seeds in the oven for 15–20 minutes. One ounce (28.5 g) of seeds contains approximately 8 g of protein, or 14–17 percent of a person’s daily protein requirements.
People should check the packaging of premade juices and candies, as these may have added sugar and may not be as healthful. The healthiest option is to eat watermelon whole.
Cantaloupe is another common type of melon. learn more.
Most people are unaffected by moderate quantities of watermelon, although some will need to be cautious.
Diabetes: Watermelon is a fruit that contains natural sugars. These carbs must be accounted for in a diabetic’s daily meal schedule. Watermelon should be eaten whole rather than juiced because juicing eliminates the fibre, making it easier for the body to absorb the sugar. This may increase the risk of a glucose spike. As for all fruits and juices, keep portion sizes in mind.
Allergy: After consuming watermelon, some people can experience allergic reactions such as hives, swelling, and trouble breathing. If this occurs, the individual should seek medical help immediately because anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction, can occur.
- Antioxidants and cancer prevention. (2017).
- Appendix 7. Nutritional goals for age-sex groups based on dietary reference intakes and Dietary Guidelines recommendations. (2015).
- What are the health benefits of watermelon? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266886
- Cabral, C. E., et al. (2017). Phytosterols in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia and prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
- Chen, P., et al. (2015). Lycopene and risk of prostate cancer.
- Choline: Fact sheet for health professionals. (2019).
- Figueroa, A., et al. (2012). Watermelon extract supplementation redices ankle blood pressure and carotid augmentation index in obese adults with prehypertension or hypertension.
- Gul, S., et al. (2014). Citrullus lanatus (watermelon) as diuretic agent: An in vivo investigation on mice.
- Lum, T. et al. (2019). Effects of fresh watermelon consumption on the acute satiety response and cardiometabolic risk factors in overweight and obese adults.
- Martinez-Sanchez, A., et al. (2017). Biochemical, physiological, and performance response of a functional watermelon juice enriched in L-citrulline during a half-marathon race.
- Milan, S. J., et al. (2013). Vitamin C for asthma and exercise-induced bronchoconstriction.
- Phaniendra, A., et al. (2015). Free radicals: Properties, sources, targets, and their implication in various diseases.
- Potasssium. Fact sheet for professionals. (2019).
- Pullar, J. M., et al. (2017). The roles of vitamin C in skin health.
- Seeds, watermelon seed kernels, dried. (2019).
- Thies, F., et al. (2017). Cardiovascular benefits of lycopene: Fantasy or reality? [Abstract].
- Vitamin C: Fact sheet for health professionals. (2019).