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5 Health Benefits of Watermelon [Plus 7 Easy Watermelon Recipes to Make This Summer!]

August 3rd is National Watermelon Day and it’s time to join Harry Styles in celebrating all the delicious things you can do with this totally yummy, hydrating summer fruit. 

As you satisfy your sugar cravings by indulging in a few watermelon slices you’ll also be enjoying its sweet benefits thanks to nutrients and antioxidants like vitamins A and C and lycopene and beta-carotene. Even those on a low-carb or strict keto diet can enjoy a small amount of this juicy summer fruit that only contains 11g of carbs in a 1 cup serving. 

Read on as we reveal more reasons why watermelon is one of the best summer fruits — especially for your skin and a strong immune system. We’ll highlight some important watermelon health benefits, great ways to enjoy it, and even give you a scrumptious watermelon fruit salad recipe… so stay tuned until the end!

 © Video by GIPHY

 

5 Refreshing Benefits of Juicy Watermelon

1) It's Ultra-Hydrating

Watermelon is 92% water content… 92%! That means when you’re slurping up those juicy, refreshing watermelon slices, you’re also providing your body with extra hydration. Watermelon also contains key electrolyte minerals like potassium which gives you extra hydration, especially in those hot summer months. 

When you sweat, your body loses electrolytes. But eating foods or drinking beverages — like this NEW 310 Watermelon Hydrate — that contain them, can help you replenish. Electrolytes can also help you make the most of your water, by keeping the balance of fluids inside and outside of your cells so your body continues to function properly.

 

2) It’s Packed With Nutrients

Watermelon is also a nutrient powerhouse, filled with vitamins A and C, amino acids, and other important antioxidants, namely lycopene and beta-carotene. 

Watermelon Nutrition Facts

Here are the nutrition facts for 1 cup diced watermelon (152g) according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:

Calories: 46
Total fat: 0.2g
Total carbs: 11g
Dietary fiber: 0.6g
Sugar: 9g
Protein: 0.9g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 2mg
Potassium: 170mg
Vitamin A: 15% (%DV)
Vitamin C: 20%
Calcium: 1% 
Iron: 2%
Vitamin B-6: 5%
Magnesium: 3%

 

Vitamins A and C

One cup of diced watermelon has 15% of your daily value of Vitamin A and 20% daily value of Vitamin C. These particular vitamins support your immune function by building up your body’s defenses. They help protect your cells from potential damage from free radicals – which in excess may cause an imbalance in the body and lead to sickness and low immunity. Your body also needs Vitamin A and C for cell growth, vision, wound healing, iron absorption, and many other vital health benefits.

Lycopene

Lycopene is another powerful antioxidant found in watermelon that gives the fruit — and other fruits and veggies like tomatoes and red grapefruit — its bright ruby red color. An essential micronutrient, lycopene can help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and some forms of cancer thanks to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and blood lipid-lowering properties. 

The human body cannot produce lycopene, meaning you have to get it through your food. Luckily, watermelon has one of the highest levels of lycopene of any fresh produce — about 15 to 20 milligrams per 2-cup serving. Wait to enjoy until that watermelon is ripe though because the redder your watermelon the more concentrated the lycopene!

Beta-carotene

Beta-carotene or β-carotene is another high-concentration antioxidant found in watermelon. This antioxidant is especially great for your eyes since it’s converted to vitamin A in your body – another reason why watermelon is an excellent source of vitamin A! The nutrient can also help protect your healthy vision, and may even help prevent vision loss as you age.

Citrulline

Did you know that you can enjoy all parts of a watermelon? The rind or white flesh of the watermelon contains the valuable amino acid citrulline. Citrulline supports your blood flow, which can help improve your cardiovascular health and blood circulation. There’s even research that citrulline could help with erectile dysfunction, although you’d have to eat a lot of watermelons to get that Viagra-like effect! 

 

3) It’s Great for Skin Health

Watermelon is also beneficial for skin health. And now that it’s summer and the sun is in full effect even more reason to snack on that watermelon to help against skin drying, potential sunburn, and other skin damage. All the nutrient antioxidants we mentioned above can help protect your skin and allow it to keep its radiant glow all year round. Plus, the water content helps restore moisture and hydration!

When it comes to vitamins A and C — since both of these super-nutrients help protect the cells in the body and thus help reduce inflammation — they are also great for your skin and keeping up with a healthy appearance throughout the summer. Vitamin C is also needed to make collagen, the most essential protein in your skin. Collagen helps maintain your skin’s smoothness and firmness and helps fight signs of aging.

Lycopene is also great for skin health, potentially offering some protection against the damaging effects of the sun. Studies show that lycopene may help increase your skin’s defense against sunburns and damage caused by UV rays — especially when combined with other carotenoids found in watermelon like beta carotene!

 

4) It Aids in Healthy Digestion

Another amazing reason to savor some watermelon? It’s great for healthy digestion! The fruit is a good source of fiber, and the high water content makes it ideal for a healthy gut by keeping things moving smoothly in your digestive tract. This can also help to reduce bloating since it promotes good waste removal in the body. 

 

5) It Supports Your Weight Loss Goals

Another great benefit to watermelon’s fiber and high water content is that this delicious fruit helps you feel full for longer. With only 46 calories and 11g carbs per cup, you can snack on this refreshing fruit while keeping those calories in check. 

In one study, researchers found that watermelon can reduce appetite and help you feel full. This resulted in the reduction of body weight, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, and waist to hip ratio of obese participants. Plus, watermelon is fat-free and contains zero cholesterol, making this the ultimate snack for your weight loss goals.

 

Are Watermelon Seeds Good for You?

When we said you could eat all parts of a watermelon, we meant it! Watermelon seeds are incredibly nutritious, packed with protein, magnesium, iron, zinc, vitamin B, and healthy fats. 

Roast watermelon seeds in an oven for 15-20 minutes to make a tasty and nutritious snack. Or enjoy them as part of your juicy watermelon bites to get the full benefits of the watermelon fruit!

 

All the Different Ways You Can Enjoy Watermelon

Looking for some delicious and creative ways to enjoy watermelon? We have a few ideas for you, and then stay tuned for a scrumptious watermelon fruit salad recipe, below!

Try this juicy, bright summer fruit…

In a smoothie

Give our naturally sweet and hydrating Watermelon Berry Protein Smoothie a try! 

watermelon protein smoothie

On a salad

Cut up and add to a salad with feta, olives, and your favorite leafy greens! Add watermelon to your next meal with this yummy recipe for Watermelon Greek Salad. Want to get extra fancy? Cut your watermelon into stars or other shapes for an extra pop on top of salads (or even desserts)! 

Watermelon Greek Salad

 © Photo by Watermelon.org

 

Infused in your water

Add to water or another healthy beverage like 310 Lemonade for extra nutrients, electrolytes, and flavor!

watermelon fruit infusion water bottle

As a frozen treat

Try slicing your watermelon into triangles and then freeze for a popsicle-like treat! Or blend it up with ice to make a delicious watermelon slushie. You’re going to want to whip up this Watermelon Slushy recipe on the next hot day!

watermelon frozen treat

Tossed on the grill

Toss some watermelon on the grill to satisfy your sweet tooth after dinner! Check out this fondue-inspired Grilled Watermelon and Pineapple Skewers recipe.

Grilled Watermelon and Pineapple Skewers

 © Photo by Watermelon.org

 

In your cocktail

Lounge by the pool or soak in the sun with this watermelon-powered margarita in hand! Start blending with this Watermelon Mango Margarita recipe!

 Watermelon Mango Margarita

 © Photo by Watermelon.org

Watermelon Fruit Salad Recipe

Ready to start making a watermelon recipe right now?! Check out the one we have for you, below, and enjoy this naturally sweet treat!

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 10 minutes

Serves 8-12

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 watermelon, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • Optional: raw honey for drizzling 

Directions: 

  1. Combine the fruit in a large bowl. 
  2. Top with lime juice and a drizzle of honey, if desired.
  3. Serve on its own or over plain yogurt. Enjoy!

Want more healthy recipes and guidance in maintaining a clean and healthy diet this summer? Check out more nutritionist-approved articles and recipes on our 310 Nutrition Blog!

 

Sources:

Written by:

Megan Elizabeth Clark

310 Nutrition Content Writer 

Megan Elizabeth Clark is a freelance copywriter and content marketing specialist in the health, wellness, and fitness industry. As a NASM certified personal trainer and RYT-200 certified yoga instructor Megan is passionate about using her fitness background and writing skills to provide authentic, actionable, and accurate information to the world [...]

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