Watermelon: Health Benefits and Nutrition Facts

Happy National Watermelon Day! This large fruit packs a big nutritional punch when it comes to nutrients, antioxidants and health. In honor of this special day, here are 6 health benefits of this wonder fruit.

Can Reduce Bloat

Eating to reduce bloat means making sure you’re well hydrated. Watermelon has one of the highest water contents of any fruit or vegetable at 92 percent water, making it a great food to reduce water retention.

Jam Packed with Important Nutrients

A cup of watermelon contains a whole host of numerous important vitamin and minerals including:

Vitamin A: 18 percent of the RDI

Potassium: 5 percent of the RDI

Magnesium: 4 percent of the RDI

Vitamins B1, B5 and B6: 3 percent of the RDI

Vitamin C: 21 percent of the RDI

Additionally, watermelon is good source of Carotenoids, Lycopene, and Cucurbitacin E. Carotenoids are a class of plant compounds that includes alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A. Lycopene is a type of carotenoid that doesn’t change into vitamin A. This potent antioxidant gives a red color to plant foods such as tomatoes and watermelon, and is linked to many health benefits. And Cucurbitacin E is a plant compound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Can Help with Weight Reduction

As far as fruits go, watermelon is one of the lowest in calories — only 46 calories per cup. That’s lower than even “low-sugar” fruits such as berries. This low sugar, low calorie, high water content fruit makes it a perfect addition to a calorie controlled diet.

Great for Skin

Two vitamins in watermelon, Vitamins A and C, are important for skin and hair health. Vitamin C helps your body make collagen, a protein that keeps your skin supple and your hair strong and Vitamin A is also important for healthy skin since it helps create and repair skin cells. Without enough vitamin A, your skin can look dry and flaky.

Good for the GI Tract

Watermelon contains lots of water and a small amount of fiber, both of which are important for healthy digestion. Fiber can provide bulk for your stool, while water helps keep your digestive tract moving efficiently. Eating water-rich and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, including watermelon, can be very helpful for promoting normal bowel movements.

Can Lower Cancer Risk

Certain nutrients are strong fighters of free radicals. Lycopene is one of those, as a high lycopene intake is linked to a lower risk of some types of cancer. It appears to reduce cancer risk by lowering insulin-like growth factor (IGF), a protein involved in cell division. High IGF levels are linked to cancer.

Stock up this summer on the wonderful watermelon. Luckily, this fruit stays good for quite some time after it’s picked, about three to four weeks. To preserve texture and quality, store at room temperature or just below room temperature and refrigerate immediately after cutting.

Looking for other interesting food-related facts or recommendations of foods that you should be including in your diet? Then check out the Seattle Sutton's blog! We would also love to hear how you will be celebrating the holiday in the comments below. Happy National Watermelon Day!