There are not many things in life better than a freshly sliced, ripe, and juicy piece of watermelon in the middle of a hot and sticky summer day. It’s refreshing and often comes with a heavy side of nostalgia, taking you back to the summers of your youth.
Did you know that watermelon isn’t only delicious, but it’s extremely nutritious for your body?
It’s true! It’s full of antioxidants and vitamins that help your body thrive.
Keep reading to learn more about seven amazing health benefits of watermelon!
Nutritional Facts about Watermelon
Before we dive into all of the wonderful health benefits of watermelon, let’s talk about what they’re actually made of!
According to the USDA, one cup of watermelon has the following nutritional value:
- Calories: 46
- Total Fat: 0.2 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 2mg
- Potassium: 170 mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 11 g
- Dietary Fiber: 0.6 g
- Sugar: 9 g
- Protein 0.9 g
- When it comes to the vitamins and minerals it offers, they are as follows:
- Vitamin C: 20% Daily Value
- Iron: 2% Daily Value
- Vitamin B6: 5% Daily Value
- Magnesium 3% Daily Value
- Calcium: 1% Daily Value
Health Benefits of Watermelon
There are many health benefits of watermelon, but here are some of the best benefits this delicious fruit has to offer!
Believe it or not, 92% of watermelon is actually made up of water! Studies done by the University of Naples have actually discovered that watermelon is among the fruits that hydrate people up to two times as well as plain water.
Hydration is incredibly important to your body’s health because your body itself is 60% water! It’s important to make sure it’s properly hydrated so that all of your body’s systems can function at their highest capacity.
On hot summer days, it’s very easy to become dehydrated. Dehydration is when your body doesn’t have enough water in it to fully function. Every single cell in your body needs water to work correctly.
Dehydration can make you feel exhausted and grumpy and can also give you bad headaches.
Enjoying a big serving of sweet and juicy watermelon on an especially hot day can take you from exhausted to rejuvenated because it will replenish the water in your body. Talk about an amazing health benefit of watermelon!
A one-cup serving of watermelon actually has an entire half cup of water in it!
Relieves Sore Muscles
Some elite athletes have come to rely on watermelon juice before intense physical activity to lessen the soreness of their muscles afterward.
There’s actually some science to back this up!
Watermelon is full of antioxidants, and one of those just happens to be L-citrulline. It’s an amino acid found in surprisingly few foods, many of which are in the melon family.
Citrulline acts as a blood vessel widener, meaning that oxygen-saturated blood can move more quickly to all parts of the body, meaning muscles can work harder for longer without tiring out.
This health benefit of watermelon also helps muscles repair themselves faster, which is why people swear they don’t feel as sore after a hard workout.
Don’t worry about finding watermelon juice in the store. It’s usually full of fillers or other things that will lessen the nutritional value. Instead, buy your own watermelon, cube it up, and blend it at home until it’s liquid! You can add coconut water for an extra shot of potassium. Besides saving you money, blending your own watermelon juice at home means you get to keep the fiber it has to offer, too.
Every single piece of the watermelon has serious health benefits when it comes to your skin!
Once you’ve cut up your watermelon, the rind itself can be chilled in the fridge, thinly (and carefully!) sliced with a sharp knife or a mandolin, and then put directly on red, inflamed, or irritated skin, to help calm it down.
The actual flesh is where the health benefits of watermelon for your skin really come in. It is full of vitamins your skin needs to glow!
Watermelon flesh is full of vitamins A and C. Vitamin A helps in the production of collagen, keeping your skin nice and plump. Vitamin C helps with the radiance of your face. Combine the two, and the health benefits of watermelon can leave you with supple, glowing skin!
The actual flesh of watermelon can also be used as a gentle exfoliant for your skin, too. If you don’t want to use a watermelon from your kitchen, there are plenty of products available for purchase online, like masks, serums, and toners, that utilize the health benefits of watermelon.
If you have a watermelon with seeds, you can even roast the seeds and eat them to get an extra boost of protein and magnesium.
Because of its high level of water content, another health benefit of watermelons is that it acts as a natural diuretic, assisting in the healthy production of urine and lessening your body’s water retention.
Citrulline, the same amino acid that helps relieve sore muscles, also helps to prevent fluid from leaking into parts of the body where it’s not supposed to be. It should help reduce bloat and inflammation.
Watermelon is also helpful to your kidneys because it helps the liver process ammonia, keeping it from doing any damage to your kidneys.
Since the water content and other aspects of watermelon increase urination, it also means that your kidneys are able to flush out any toxins present at a quicker rate, meaning they stay healthier!
Satisfies Your Sweet Tooth
A really great health benefit of watermelon is that it satisfies a serious sweet tooth in a really healthy way!
Two cups of watermelon have less than 100 calories, which means you can enjoy basically as much of it as you would like for a fraction of the calories other sweet treats would be.
Here are a few recipes to try out in case you’re bored with regular watermelon.
Remember, everything is good for you in moderation! There’s no reason to deprive yourself of treats. A health benefit of watermelon is simply that it’s a good choice if you really want to indulge yourself!
Won’t Spike Your Blood Sugar
If you’re heavily conscious of your blood sugar, whether it’s for diabetes or other health reasons, a great health benefit of watermelon for you to know is that this fruit won’t spike your blood sugar!
While the actual sugar content is a little high, the level of carbs included in the fruit is so low, that enjoying a cup or two of this tasty treat won’t leave you with a blood sugar spike and crash.
If your blood sugar levels are something you struggle with, watermelon isn’t the only fruit you can enjoy! There are plenty of other fruits that won’t spike blood sugar, too, like strawberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches, apricots, apples, and kiwi.
Easy to Digest
No matter what your gut health is like, a wonderful health benefit of watermelon is that it’s very easy on your digestive tract.
Because it’s mostly water with a little sugar, antioxidants, and vitamins in the mix, watermelon flesh is really easy to digest.
Don’t read this wrong. It’s not a great source of fiber. It won’t help move other things along. But it will easily move through you.
Watermelons aren’t alone in their digestibility. If you’re looking for other fruits to enjoy that are easy to digest, you should try bananas, papayas, cantaloupe, and honeydew.
Other Fun Watermelon Facts
While there are numerous health benefits of watermelons, there are also some incredibly interesting facts about them that we wanted to share before wrapping up!
Watermelons had a mixed-up history.
For years, it was believed that watermelons were native to western Africa. However, after a closer look at their DNA in 2021, scientists now believe they actually originated in northeastern Africa!
That new idea was actually supported by ancient Egyptian art inside a tomb. In the painting that’s over 4,000 years old, there’s a distinctly watermelon-shaped and striped fruit on a table alongside other common foods of those days.
Watermelons have been used as canteens.
Archeologists and historians believe that ancient explorers would hollow out watermelon rinds and use them as canteens. Talk about smart thinking!
The word “watermelon” originated in the 17th century.
According to historians, the word “watermelon” first appeared in the English dictionary in 1615. It’s believed that the fruit made its way across the Atlantic Ocean on the boats of slave traders.
America is the 4th largest producer of watermelons in the world.
Surprisingly, a whopping 80% of America’s entire production comes from just four states: Texas, Florida, California, and Georgia.
You don’t have to toss the rind.
Did you know that you can actually eat the entire watermelon?! Well, turns out that you can!
Watermelon rinds can be juiced since they’re full of water and nutrients. They can also be thinly sliced and tossed into a stir-fry with other veggies.
Another way to use watermelon rinds is to actually pickle them and eat them pickled! Alton Brown has a delicious recipe you should try!
Enjoy the (Delicious) Health Benefits of Watermelon!
Watermelons are not just red, juicy, and delicious, but they’re also full of nutritious advantages for your body. The health benefits of watermelon make it a no-brainer to add to your cart on your next grocery shopping trip!
Want to learn more about this iconic summer fruit? Then visit our watermelon plants page to learn more about watermelon planting, growing, cooking, and more!