With its sweet, juicy red flesh and hydrating properties, watermelon isn’t just tasty on a hot summer day – it also offers a wide array of health benefits supported by science. Dive into the juicy goodness and benefits of watermelon and unlock a world of health benefits, from hydration to antioxidant power.

Indeed, Watermelon contains key vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants linked to improvements in heart health, immunity, digestion, nervous system function, and more. And it’s low in calories too!

Furthermore, Read on to learn all about the healthy components, proven perks, buying tips, recipe ideas and answers to frequently asked questions about why you should enjoy watermelon as part of a balanced diet.

Nutrition Facts: Vitamins, Minerals, and Antioxidants Galore

health benefits of water melon

Watermelon is high volume, low-calorie food – one cup of diced pieces contains only 46 calories. A 2-cup serving has twice the daily vitamin C you need, plus a healthy dose of vitamin A and potassium.

Here is the overall nutrition data for 154 grams or one cup of raw watermelon cubes:

  • Calories: 46
  • Carbs: 11.5g
  • Fiber: 0.6g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Vitamin C: 21% DV
  • Vitamin A: 18% DV
  • Potassium: 5% DV

Watermelon also supplies beneficial antioxidants like lycopene, citrulline, and cucurbitacin E. Below we’ll explore the key vitamins, minerals, and protective compounds that make watermelon a healthy choice.

Lycopene

This phytonutrient gives watermelon its red-pink hue. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant, reducing inflammation, oxidative damage, and also risk for chronic illness. Studies link lycopene to heart health, bone strength, male fertility, and also cancer prevention.

Vitamin C

A 2-cup serving of watermelon cubes covers your full daily vitamin C requirements. This famous antioxidant supports immune function and iron absorption, making collagen for healthy skin and tissues.

Vitamin A

The red pigment lycopene converts to vitamin A, which maintains eye, neurological, and thus reproductive health. Vitamin A from colourful produce like watermelon is safer than supplements.

Potassium

With 270mg of potassium per cup, watermelon hydrates muscles and allows electrical signals to pass throughout the body. Potassium counterbalances sodium to control blood pressure as well.

Citrulline

This amino acid relaxes blood vessels, enabling better circulation, nutrient delivery, and also waste removal. It also may aid patients with high blood pressure, vascular disease, and erectile dysfunction.

Cucurbitacin E

Only present in small amounts, this compound has antioxidant and thus anti-inflammatory actions that protect brain health and also stimulate the immune system.

Now that we’ve covered the essential vitamins, minerals, and also health-promoting compounds in watermelon, let’s explore the scientifically backed benefits of eating it.

Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Watermelon

Hundreds of medical studies confirm that eating fresh watermelon or drinking its juice regularly promotes the following:

1. Cardiovascular Health

Watermelon nutritional components improve key biomarkers for heart health:

  • Lipoproteins: The lycopene reduces oxidized LDL linked to plaque buildup.
  • Blood Pressure: The citrulline improves vasodilation while potassium regulates fluid balance to reduce strain on blood vessels.
  • In one study, watermelon extract effectively lowered blood pressure among middle-aged high-weight adults – particularly those with early hypertension. [1]
  • Arterial Function: Watermelon’s L-citrulline content enhances nitric oxide production, resulting in better blood flow, and oxygenation, and also lower blood pressure. It protects the endothelial lining to inhibit atherosclerotic changes.

In a 2015 clinical trial, athletes given watermelon juice pre-workout improved arterial blood flow, pressure, and overall cardiovascular performance versus plain water. [2]

2. Immunity & Anti-Inflammation

The vitamin C and antioxidant cucurbitacin E in watermelon strengthen your immune system to resist infection and thus speed healing:

  • Vitamin C enables phagocytes and T-cells to respond to pathogens. It also allows fibroblasts to heal damaged tissue through collagen synthesis after sickness or injury.
  • Cucurbitacin E inhibits the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines (cell messengers) that prolong chronic inflammation linked to disease progression.

According to the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, watermelon decreased inflammatory marker interleukin-6 (IL-6), demonstrating an anti-inflammatory effect that may prevent cell mutation and cancer cell metastasis. [3]

3. Hydration & Digestive Regularization

With 92% water content, watermelon is ideal for preventing dehydration. The water and fibre improve regularity as well:

  • Dehydration causes headaches, sleepiness, poor concentration, weakness, dizziness, and also dark urine. Proper hydration from fruits and vegetables like watermelon alleviates these issues.
  • Added fibre moves waste smoothly through your GI tract, relieving constipation. Diets rich in watermelon lower pH levels and harmful gut bacteria tied to diarrhoea too.

4. Brain/Nervous System Support

The amino acid citrulline again plays a special role, raising arginine levels that help form nitric oxide essential for memory, mood, and nerve signalling:

– Citrulline ➝ Arginine ➝ Nitric Oxide

  • Nitric oxide acts as a neurotransmitter improving memory consolidation and storage in the hippocampus. Older adults with mild cognitive impairment saw measurable memory improvement after supplementing citrulline daily for 3 months. [4]
  • The potassium and choline in watermelon also calm nerve impulses and lift mood. Tyrosine synthesizes feel-good brain chemicals serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.

5. Muscle Fatigue Reduction

Via better circulation, watermelon provides struggling muscles with more oxygen while clearing out metabolic waste products. This allows muscles to work longer before fatiguing or cramping up.

Multiple studies confirm watermelon lightens muscle soreness post-exercise and shortens recovery time compared to no or regular water intake.

6. Skin & Hair Rejuvenation

Vitamins A and C drive collagen production for youthful, wrinkle-free skin and shiny hair. Lycopene protects skin from UV damage and free radicals to prevent hyperpigmentation.

Watermelon’s moisture and nutrients mean it works beautifully blended into a revitalizing face mask or hydrating hair treatment!

In summary, watermelon provides measurable benefits for heart health, immunity, digestion, brain function, workout recovery, and skin quality.

Next, we’ll cover how to pick delicious watermelons, ideas for using watermelon rinds, special benefits for pregnant mothers and also dieters plus answers to common questions.

Tips for Selecting Sweet, Nutrient-Dense Watermelons

health benefits of water melon

Choosing flavorful, ripe watermelons with plenty of pink flesh ensures you maximize both sweet taste and nutritional content. Following these suggestions for picking watermelons:

√ Choose symmetrical melons without bruises, dents or discoloured rinds Lift melons to check for adequate heft and denseness √ Turn over to check the underside – it should be cream/yellow-coloured from sitting on the ground ripening √ Press thumb into rind – it should dent slightly then bounce back √ Select based on the intended use – smaller for fruit salads, larger for juicing/blending

The seedless and seeded varieties differ mainly in convenience and price rather than nutrition. Go with personal preference.

Watermelon Recipe Ideas

Besides eating watermelon in wedges or cubes, try blending or grilling it for variety! Mix into fruit salads, desserts, salsas, and also cold soups like gazpacho.

  • Watermelon smoothies/juice – Watermelons feta salad – Grilled watermelons & halloumi skewers – Roasted spicy watermelon seeds – Watermelon salsa – Chilled watermelons & cucumber soup

Smart Uses/Benefits for Watermelon Rinds

While the juicy red interior is the best part of eating, don’t dismiss the green rind! The outer watermelon peel contains citrulline and can be used creatively for the following:

1. Pickling

Brine-curing watermelon rind makes a tasty pickled snack full of probiotics. Popular in the Southern US.

2. Stir Fries & Soups

After peeling and cubing the outer rind, you can add it to Thai curries, stir-fry dishes, and brothy soups. It acts like a vegetable.

3. Vegan Meat Replacement

Blended then baked or sautéed, spiced watermelon rinds take on a meat-like texture (and colour if beet juice is added). Great for veggie burgers.

4. Skin & Hair Treatment

The melon rind offers a soothing, hydrating treat for dry skin and ends via direct application or from blending into masks.

So don’t waste the outer watermelon – utilize them in brines, broths, veggie dishes, and DIY skin products!

Special Benefits of Watermelon for Pregnant Women

Expecting mothers can especially benefit from watermelon’s hydration and nutrients. Its array of vitamins and minerals supports pregnancy in these key ways:

Folate prevents spinal defects √ Potassium reduces leg cramps √ Water prevents swelling & dehydration √ Vitamins A, B6, and C aid tissue growth √ Lycopene protects cells from free radical damage

However, consume larger amounts only after 12 weeks and be wary of listeria contamination just as with other fresh produce.

Benefits of Watermelon for Weight Loss

Dieters can also harness watermelon’s low-calorie, high-satiety powers to drop excess pounds. Here’s why this sweet treat lends itself to shedding water weight and body fat:

√ High water & fibre fill you up quickly, preventing overeating later √ Low energy density means few calories for larger servings √ Cucurbitacin may curb appetite signals relayed between fat cells & brain [6]

Aim to swap out higher calorie snacks and desserts for watermelon servings to reduce daily total energy intake. Frozen into popsicles makes another healthy, mouthwatering treat!

watermelon for weight loss

Benefits of Watermelon on Empty Stomach

Eating watermelons first thing upon waking may offer advantages like better hydration, electrolyte replenishment, and energy levels throughout your morning:

  • √ Improves hydration after fluid loss during sleep
  • √ Restocks glucose via natural sugars to boost mental & physical energy and mood
  • √ Potassium, calcium, and magnesium replace overnight electrolyte losses

However, pairing it with a protein source allows for more stable energy and attention levels. Consider enjoying watermelons alongside Greek yoghurt!

Benefits of Watermelon Juice for Skin

Drinking watermelon juice makes glowing summer skin inside and out! Here’s why you should add it to your smoothies, mocktails, or enjoy straight:

  • √ Vitamin A repairs and replenishes skin
  • √ Vitamin C builds collagen
  • √ Lycopene protects against UV damage
  • √ Hydration minimizes wrinkles by filling out the skin

For best results, also apply its juice or mixtures directly via face masks and hair conditioners!

Proper Storage for Maximum Freshness

Follow these watermelon storage tips:

Whole melons – lasts 1 week at room temp, 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Cut melons – seal well & refrigerate for up to 5 days

Freezing – lasts 6 months frozen in cubes, puree, or juice

Rinse melons just before cutting to limit mould growth. If cut melon begins smelling unpleasant or liquifying, compost it.

What is the difference between seedless and seeded watermelons?

On average, seedless varieties are sweeter, have fewer calories, have higher water content, and thinner rinds. They grew from hybridization and lack mature black seeds.
Seeded melons are often larger, cheaper, and have a longer shelf life. However, nutrition and health benefits differ little – choose based on personal eating preference.

Can babies/toddlers eat watermelon? Is there a certain age?

The AAP approves watermelon and other soft fruits/veg starting at 6 months old as the first complementary foods. Offer plain smashed/mashed pieces initially then small dice monitored carefully for choking hazard.

What is the shelf life of fresh, cut watermelon?

The shelf life depends on the storage method. Whole uncut watermelon keeps 1-2 weeks at room temp. Once sliced into, seal tightly in containers and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
You can also freeze watermelon in cubes, purees, or juice for 6+ months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before using.

Can dogs eat watermelon?

Yes! Most dogs can enjoy seedless watermelon as a healthy, hydrating snack in moderation. Avoid rinds/seeds which could cause intestinal blockage if ingested. Introduce new foods slowly and cease feeding if any diarrhoea or vomiting occurs. Cats may eat it too but generally show less interest.

Conclusion

Watermelon is far more than just a sweet summer treat — it delivers a bonanza of health advantages at a low-calorie cost.

Ounce for ounce, watermelon supplies more lycopene than raw tomatoes! Its hefty amounts of vitamins A and C, potassium, and antioxidants offer benefits for your heart, immunity, waistline, skin, and more.

Easy to incorporate into fruit salads, smoothies, salsas, or by itself, watermelon should become a staple fruit you turn to year-round.