Here are all the ways this water-packed summer staple can revolutionize your dietary health.
Nothing tastes like summer more than a crisp, juicy, refreshing slice of watermelon. It’s a staple of backyard barbecues and well-stocked at your local farmers’ markets this time of year. Watermelon — which can actually be considered a fruit or a vegetable, according to theNational Watermelon Promotion Board— is incredibly nutritious, too.
Nutritionists say watermelon is low in calories and sugar and chock-full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making it a great addition to a healthy diet. Plus, it’s fun to eat! “Eating watermelon makes me feelcarefree, like a kid again at a summer picnic enjoying the outdoors with the people I care most about,” saysKris Sollid, MS, RD, senior director of nutrition communications at theInternational Food Information Council.
Here’s an overview of some of the best health benefits of watermelon, according to nutritionists.
Watermelon Nutrition Facts
According to theU.S. Department of Agriculture, 1 cup of watermelon (152 g) contains:
- Calories: 45.6
- Fat: 0.2g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
- Sodium: 1.52mg
- Carbohydrate: 11.5g
- Fiber: 0.6g
- Vitamin C: 12.3mg
- Potassium: 170mg
- Calcium: 10mg
- Vitamin A: 865 IU
- Lycopene: 6,890 micrograms
Is it okay to eat watermelon every day?
Only about 10% of Americans eat the recommended two cups of fruit each day, according to theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since it’s low in calories and sugar,you can safely eat multiple servings of watermelon every daywithout second guessing any long-term dietary impact — but Sollid says it’s best for your dietary health to try tovary the types of fruit you eat. Different fruits contain different nutrients, so eating a variety will ensure your body gets everything it needs.
It’s indeed possible to eat too much ofanything, including watermelon, addsGrace Derocha, RDN, CDCES, national spokesperson for theAcademy of Nutrition and Dietetics. While it may be tempting to work through half or more of an entire watermelon in one sitting on a hot summer afternoon, experts like Derocha say it’s best to eat one cup at a time as a general recommendation, rather than an entire fruit outright.
Watermelon is considered ahigh FODMAP(fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) fruit, which means it contains short-chain sugars thatsome people have trouble digesting, Derocha says, so it “may cause bloating or discomfort when consumed in large amounts.”
People with diabetes or who may need tocount their carbohydrate servingsshould also pay attention to their watermelon intake, she adds. Eating too much fruit could introducetoo much sugarto your diet, leadingto blood sugar fluctuations, which can be risky for people with diabetes.
“Watermelon is a naturally low-calorie package,” saysChristina Meyer-Jax, RDN, LDN, Standard Process nutrition chair and assistant professor atNorthwestern Health Sciences University. “It contributes key antioxidant nutrients that support disease prevention and overall wellness.”
Here are 11 health benefits of watermelon:
1) It’s frontloaded with essential nutrients
At just46 calories per cup, watermelon packs a punch when it comes to nutrients. It contains about 15% ofyour daily vitamin C needs, along with a wealth of other vitamins and minerals including potassium and vitamin A and B6, Sollid says.
Vitamin C strengthens your immune system and helps the body absorb iron, Derocha says, while vitamin A is crucial for skin and eye health. Watermelon is also rich in potassium, which works to lower blood pressure and supports nerve functioning, and vitamin B6, which helps the body break down the proteins that you eat and also boosts the immune system and nerve function.
2) It offers a big dose of lycopene
Lycopene is a natural compound found in watermelon and other fruits and vegetables that has antioxidant properties. The substance is also what gives watermelon its red color; but beyond its hue, lycopene is also good for you, too. Meyer-Jax says it has been shown todecrease the risk of cancer, heart disease, and age-related eye disorders. Lycopene works to protect your cells from damage, Sollid says, and research suggests that it may haveblood pressure-lowering effectswhen consumed regularly through dietary means.
3) Watermelon helps keeps you hydrated
Watermelon is composed of more than 90% water. “As the name implies, watermelon can keep you hydrated,” Derocha explains. “We get 80% of hydration from what we drink and 20% from what we eat; watermelon can definitelyhelp with this balanced intake.”
Mostadults don’t drink enough water, andhydration is particularly important in the summertime, when temperatures rise and you may lose fluids from sweating.
Meyer-Jax recommends eating watermelon sprinkled with a little salt after a workout or when you’ve been sweating for a long period of time. “The combination of carbohydrates and salt is ideal for replenishing lost electrolytes and carbohydrate stores,” she says.
4) It adds to healthy digestion
Watermelon contains a high water content and a small amount of fiber. “Both are key tokeeping digestion moving smoothly,” Meyer-Jax says. Fiber adds bulk to your stool and keeps you regular, while water helps move waste through your digestive system.
5) It could help with weight management
Choosing watermelon over another sweet snack can help you feel full longer, Meyer-Jax explains. Limited research published in the journalNutrientsin 2019 found that subjects who were considered overweight or clinically obese and ate watermelon instead of low-fat cookies experienced greater satiety, as an example. Eating watermelon daily was associatedwith a decrease in subjects’ body weight, body mass index, blood pressure, and waist circumference.
6) It may improve heart health
Researchshows that consuming foods with lycopene mayreduce your risk for heart diseaseand stroke. A 2012 study published in theAmerican Journal of Hypertensionsuggested a link between the fruit and heart disease, as research suggested watermelon extract may reduce blood pressure over a sustained period of time. “The authors suggested that L-citrulline and L-arginine — two of the antioxidants in watermelon — may improve the function of the arteries,” Derocha suggests.
7) It could work to reduce cancer risk
Lycopene found in watermelonmay reduce inflammationand oxidative stress, an imbalance between free radicals (the unstable molecules that the body produces naturally, which can cause illness) and the body’s ability to fight their effects. Chronic inflammation can raise your risk for certain diseases, including cancer, andresearchshows that lycopene has the potential to reduce inflammation and keep cancer cells from growing, which reduces your risk for the diseases. Studies have highlighted that increasing your lycopene intake can reduce your risk forcancers of the digestive tractandprostate cancer.
8) Watermelon may help reduce inflammation
A specific combination of antioxidants, lycopene and vitamin C, found in watermelon can lower inflammation and oxidative damage over time, Derocha explains.Inflammationcan cause swelling, pain, or flushed skinfor those experiencing it.And chronic inflammation can lead to serious conditions, including cancer, asthma, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
9) It’s great for your skin
“The water and vitamins A, B6, and C in watermelon help your skin stay soft, smooth, and supple,” Derocha says.Vitamin C boosts collagenproduction, which improves skin elasticity and blood flow to the skin. Andvitamin A helps repair skin cells, preventing dry, flaky skin, while vitamin B6 helps with skin breakouts.
Lycopene can play a role in protecting your skin from the sun, Derocha adds, making it less likely you’ll get a sunburn. But it definitely doesn’t mean you should skip the sunscreen, she emphasizes; it’s crucial to applyyour choice of SPF regularly.
10) It may relieve achy muscles
A small study published in theJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistryfound that athletes who drank watermelon juicesaw reduced muscle soreness for up to 24 hours. The juice also helped lower their recovery heart rate. Researchers linked watermelon juice’s ability to relieve achy muscles to itsL-citrullinecontent, which is an amino acid that helps to reduce muscle damage. Although scientists need more concrete evidence to confirm the extent of this benefit, this link might push you to consider adding watermelon juice to your post-workout routine.
11) Watermelon seeds and rind are nutritious, too
When eating fresh watermelon, most people stick to the red or pink flesh. But you can eat the rind and seeds, too, as they offer their own holistic health benefits.
Rinds are lower in sugarand higher in fiberthan the flesh of a watermelon, Meyer-Jax says, “When eaten with the rest of the melon, it helps slow down sugar absorption in the gut and mellows the rise in blood sugar.” Watermelon rinds also containL-citrulline, which may reduce blood pressure and boost athletic performance.
Watermelon seeds, which can be eaten raw or dried,are rich in magnesium— which Derocha explains plays a key role in energy production, nerve function, DNA and protein synthesis, as well as blood pressure regulation. They also contain folate, which can help your risk for cancer and depression. The seeds are good sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which guard against heart attack and stroke and lower levels of bad cholesterol in the blood.
Watermelon is rich in an amino acid called citrulline that may help move blood through your body and can lower your blood pressure. Your heart also enjoys the perks of all the lycopene watermelon contains. Studies show that it may lower your risk of heart attacks.Does watermelon hold any nutritional value? ›
Packed with nutrients and beneficial plant compounds
Watermelon contains a variety of nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A and C. It's also relatively low in calories, containing just 46 per cup (152 grams) ( 5 ).
If you eat an abundance of the fruit daily, however, you may experience problems from having too much lycopene or potassium. The consumption of more than 30 mg of lycopene daily could potentially cause nausea, diarrhea, indigestion and bloating, according to the American Cancer Society (opens in new tab).What is the most beneficial part of watermelon? ›
eat the watermelon rind, too. Just like watermelon seeds, the rind has a surprising amount of health benefits. While it doesn't have a tremendous amount of nutrients according to Live Strong, it's high in vitamins B and C. Plus, eating something you typically would have discarded cuts down on waste.What happen if we drink water after eating watermelon? ›
Microbes or bacteria need water and sugar to develop and expand, so when you have water after the watermelon, it increases the chances of microbes spreading across your GI tract. In fact, watermelon, when eaten along with other foods, slows down the absorption and digestion process leading to the production of gas.Is watermelon good for arthritis? ›
Studies show that eating watermelon reduces the inflammatory marker CRP. It's also high in the carotenoid beta-cryptoxanthin, which can reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It's also packed with lycopene, an antioxidant that may help protect against certain cancers and lower heart attack risk, says Dulan.Is watermelon good for your kidneys? ›
Watermelon is healthy because it's full of lycopene – an antioxidant that helps break down harmful free-oxygen radicals. It prevents kidney injury and therefore, is a kidney-friendly food.Is watermelon good for blood pressure? ›
Watermelon contains an amino acid called citrulline. The body converts citrulline to arginine, and this helps the body produce nitric oxide, a gas that relaxes blood vessels and encourages flexibility in arteries. These effects aid the flow of blood, which can lower high blood pressure.Can you eat too much watermelon? ›
Watermelon is a splendid source of dietary fiber and water. But, if you eat too much watermelon, it can cause bloating, gas, flatulence, diarrhea, and other such stomach troubles. This is majorly due to the presence of sorbitol, which is a sugar compound, and lycopene, which gives the fruit its bright red color.Is watermelon good for your liver? ›
Watermelon helps the liver process ammonia (waste from protein digestion) which eases strain on the kidneys while getting rid of excess fluids.
Watermelons are not digestion friendly when it comes to consuming it at night and may cause irritable bowel syndrome and other problems, making your stomach upset the next day. The digestive process is slower than usual at night, hence, it is recommended to keep off sugary and acidic foods.How long should I wait to drink water after eating watermelon? ›
People with stomach problems or sensitive stomachs should definitely avoid having water for at least 40-45 minutes after consuming watermelon. To be on the safer side, have water at least 20-30 minutes after having watermelon.What health benefits are eating watermelon rinds? ›
They're a good source of fiber.
The white part of the rind is a good source of fiber, Davar says, which helps aid in digestion. Along with promoting regularity, diets high in fiber can enhance gut health and help manage cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Watermelon, celery, and parsley may also provide UTI relief because they act as a diuretic, which helps to flush out the bladder.Is watermelon a Superfood? ›
Superfood: Watermelon. Sweet and juicy, watermelon can do more than just refresh you on a hot summer day. This versatile fruit will help you get a dose of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber.Can I eat watermelon and banana together? ›
Are banana and watermelon a good combination? You bet! Frozen bananas are naturally creamy and relatively subtle in banana flavor which allows the watermelon to really shine in this smoothie. The banana's sweet flavor is not too intense either which is great to balance out the natural sweetness in watermelon.What is the fastest way to get rid of inflammation in the body? ›
- Eat more plants. Whole plant foods have the anti-inflammatory nutrients that your body needs. ...
- Focus on antioxidants. They help prevent, delay or repair some types of cell and tissue damage. ...
- Get your Omega-3s. ...
- Eat less red meat. ...
- Cut the processed stuff.
If you think your joint inflammation is due to a sudden injury, the RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) method is the first line of treatment to reduce pain and swelling. See an orthopedist if the pain and swelling don't diminish after RICE treatment.Which drink is good for arthritis? ›
Tea is one of the best beverages for arthritis patients due to its many health benefits. Green, black and white teas are all rich in anti-inflammatory compounds like polyphenols. Green tea is generally viewed as the most beneficial because of its active ingredient “epigallocatechin-3-gallate” or EGCG.What color is urine when your kidneys are failing? ›
Light-brown or tea-colored urine can be a sign of kidney disease/failure or muscle breakdown.
- Citrus fruits and juices, such as oranges and grapefruit.
- Prunes and prune juice.
- Dried fruits, such as dates and raisins.
- Melons, such as honeydew and cantaloupe.
To get the best health benefits, be sure to choose 100% organic water-based cranberry juice. So how does cranberry juice help? It can prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of your kidneys, which helps prevent an infection from forming in the first place.What is the best drink for high blood pressure? ›
The top drinks for lowering blood pressure include water, fruit juices (pomegranate, prune, cranberry, cherry), vegetable juice (tomato, raw beet), tea (black, green), and skim milk.What food lowers blood pressure quickly? ›
- vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, and carrots.
- fruits, such as apples, oranges, and bananas.
- fish, particularly those rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
- lean cuts of beef or pork.
- skinless chicken or turkey.
- fat-free or low-fat dairy products, such as cheese and yogurt.
The experimental group also had about a 50 percent reduction in plaque in their arteries, as well as elevated levels of citrulline. "We know that watermelon is good for health because it contains citrulline," said Sibu Saha, a professor of surgery at the University of Kentucky.Who should not eat watermelon? ›
May Up Glucose Levels
If you are a diabetic, chances are loading up on, too, much watermelon may increase blood sugar levels. It may be a healthy fruit, but it has high glycaemic index (72). Always ensure consulting a doctor before you consume it on a daily basis.
Keep whole melons like watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew on the counter for best flavor. USDA research found that storage at room temp may even help keep the antioxidants better intact. Once cut, store in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.How many slices of watermelon should you eat a day? ›
The USDA food database recognizes one serving of watermelon to be approximately 280g (about 1/16th of a watermelon). A healthy adult can safely eat 1-2 servings of watermelon per day.What is the fastest way to cure a fatty liver? ›
Research suggests that losing weight is the single best thing you can do to control or reverse NAFLD. A good goal is to lose 10% of your total body weight, but even a loss of 3% to 5% can improve your liver health.What is the best drink to flush your liver? ›
- Coffee. Coffee is good for the liver, especially because it protects against issues such as fatty liver disease. ...
- Ginger and lemon drink. ...
- Oatmeal drink. ...
- Tumeric drink. ...
- Green tea. ...
- Grapefruit drink.
Berries. Many dark berries — including blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries — contain antioxidants called polyphenols, which may help protect the liver from damage. A 2013 study in rats suggests that blueberry juice supplements could increase antioxidant capability in the liver.Can you eat eggs with watermelon? ›
Some of the other foods to avoid with eggs are – fruits (specially melons), cheese, milk and its products, and beans.Which fruit should not be eaten together? ›
Avoid mixing your watermelons, muskmelons, cantaloupe and honeydews with other fruits. Try not to mix acidic fruits, such as grapefruits and strawberries, or sub-acidic foods such as apples, pomegranates and peaches, with sweet fruits, such as bananas and raisins for a better digestion.What is the best fruit to eat at night? ›
Bananas are one of the few fruits known to be relatively rich in the nerve messenger serotonin, some of which your body converts to melatonin. Almonds and almond butter supply some melatonin as well.Does watermelon cleanse your colon? ›
Watermelon is wonderful diuretic and eating watermelons exclusively during this cleanse helps to rid the colon of a lot of debris. In addition, the extra water picks up toxic materials and carries them off via the kidneys, effectively flushing the kidneys as well.Does watermelon fight inflammation? ›
Inflammation is a key driver of many chronic diseases. The combination of antioxidants, lycopene, and vitamin C in watermelon may help lower inflammation and oxidative damage ( 3 ).Why should we not drink water after eating cucumber? ›
It is also widely believed that drinking water with or after cucumber could disturb the optimum pH level that the body requires to digest the food. Too much of water could dilute the pH levels, and the acids required to digest foods may not operate effectively, which would eventually lead to poor digestion.Does watermelon have collagen? ›
The key skin care benefit of watermelon is its ability to promote collagen production thanks to vitamin C. "It stimulates collagen production so it thickens the skin and improves fine lines," board-certified NYC dermatologist Debra Jaliman, M.D., explains.What should be eaten first thing in the morning? ›
- Eggs. Eggs make a simple, nutritious breakfast choice. ...
- Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is a great option if you're looking for a quick breakfast. ...
- Coffee. Aside from water, coffee is the world's most popular beverage. ...
- Oatmeal. ...
- Chia seeds. ...
- Berries. ...
- Cottage cheese. ...
- Whole wheat toast.
The best time to have watermelon is early morning. Watermelon is low in calories and full of electrolytes. It is nourishing, light and hydrating and makes for a great start to a summer morning.
Chow down on watermelon, guys — it can help with prostate health and erectile dysfunction, thanks to phytonutrients like lycopene and citrulline. Lycopene — also found in other red fruits and vegetables — plays a role in protecting against prostate cancer.Does watermelon help hydrate you? ›
Watermelon is a staple food at many summer barbecues, as its hydrating benefits are a great fit for hot weather. This sweet fruit contains mostly water , as well as vitamin C, vitamin A, several B vitamins, potassium, zinc, copper, and many other minerals.
"Because watermelon rind has a diuretic effect, it may be helpful in lowering blood pressure and maintaining proper kidney function," she says. Watermelon rind is rich in the amino acid L-citrulline, which can also help dilate your blood vessels and improve blood circulation.Is watermelon skin good for your face? ›
Watermelon is also a go-to ingredient for acne-prone skin, as it helps calm down the redness and irritation. You can also use the rind (green outer shell) of the watermelon on irritated skin. Refrigerate the rind for 10 to 15 minutes. Cut it into thin slices and place it on the face or on the irritated skin.Is watermelon good for skin? ›
Watermelon is loaded with nutrients that are all great for your skin. It holds vitamins such as A, B, and C, that work together to nourish and protect your skin. These vitamins also help boost collagen production, leaving skin brighter, fade spots, and basically refresh and revitalise your skin.When should you not eat watermelon? ›
Watermelons are not digestion friendly when it comes to consuming it at night and may cause irritable bowel syndrome and other problems, making your stomach upset the next day. The digestive process is slower than usual at night, hence, it is recommended to keep off sugary and acidic foods.Is watermelon full of sugar? ›
Watermelons are the iconic summer fruit. They may seem like a treat, but they're low in sugar. A whole cup of diced up watermelon has under 10 grams of sugar. A bonus of eating watermelon is it's also a great source of iron.Is watermelon a Superfood? ›
Superfood: Watermelon. Sweet and juicy, watermelon can do more than just refresh you on a hot summer day. This versatile fruit will help you get a dose of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber.Is watermelon good for your kidneys? ›
Watermelon is healthy because it's full of lycopene – an antioxidant that helps break down harmful free-oxygen radicals. It prevents kidney injury and therefore, is a kidney-friendly food.What should not be taken with watermelon? ›
Avoid mixing your watermelons, muskmelons, cantaloupe and honeydews with other fruits. Try not to mix acidic fruits, such as grapefruits and strawberries, or sub-acidic foods such as apples, pomegranates and peaches, with sweet fruits, such as bananas and raisins for a better digestion.
Bananas are one of the few fruits known to be relatively rich in the nerve messenger serotonin, some of which your body converts to melatonin. Almonds and almond butter supply some melatonin as well.Does watermelon affect blood pressure? ›
Watermelon contains an amino acid called citrulline. The body converts citrulline to arginine, and this helps the body produce nitric oxide, a gas that relaxes blood vessels and encourages flexibility in arteries. These effects aid the flow of blood, which can lower high blood pressure.
Although watermelon is high on the GI scale, it has a low glycemic load, which means it will have only a slight effect on a person's blood sugar levels after consumption.Does watermelon lower blood sugar? ›
Basically, watermelon contains natural sugars that can raise blood sugar. But if you consume a small portion, like a cup of diced watermelon, then the effect on blood sugar is small. In fact, people with diabetes may benefit from consuming small amounts of watermelon in moderation.Is watermelon high in iron? ›
Watermelon is known to be one of the best fruits for increasing haemoglobin level. It is rich in vitamin C and iron content, which help in better absorption of iron. As per USDA, 100 grams of watermelon contains 0.2 milligrams of iron.Why do body builders eat watermelon? ›
This juicy fruit specializes in the production of nitric oxide (NO). Bodybuilders rave about NO since it improves blood flow to muscles, allowing for greater delivery of recovery nutrients and anabolic compounds. Watermelon is good for bodybuilding and is also a good hydrating fruit.
Low potassium levels are also associated with developing the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Watermelon also contains a carotenoid called lycopene which has anti-inflammatory properties and plays a significant role in protecting the liver.How much watermelon should you eat a day? ›
So how much watermelon can you eat in a day? According to health experts and nutritionists, you can eat anywhere between 100 to 150 grams of this fruit in a day.What color is urine when your kidneys are failing? ›
Light-brown or tea-colored urine can be a sign of kidney disease/failure or muscle breakdown.What foods can restore kidney function? ›
- Citrus fruits and juices, such as oranges and grapefruit.
- Prunes and prune juice.
- Dried fruits, such as dates and raisins.
- Melons, such as honeydew and cantaloupe.
To get the best health benefits, be sure to choose 100% organic water-based cranberry juice. So how does cranberry juice help? It can prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of your kidneys, which helps prevent an infection from forming in the first place.