A big piece of watermelon is a delicious and refreshing treat on a hot day and you will get all the watermelon’s 10 health benefits as well. I love watermelon and can easily eat a quarter of one in one sitting!
Yes, it is 92% water but that the other 8% is filled with good nutrition and amazing health benefits; so many benefits that we consider it a very healthy superfood. The health benefits range from reducing cancer to having a Viagra effect.
Watermelon Health Benefits
1. Helps Reduce Cancer Risk
Watermelon is the lycopene leader of fresh fruits and vegetables. The lycopene king, the tomato has been replaced with deep red varieties of this melon. The red pigment is also found in tomatoes, watermelon, apricots, pink grapefruit, and papaya and is an important antioxidant. It has been found to be helpful in reducing the risk of prostate, breast, and endometrial cancers, as well as lung and colon cancer according to research. Lycopene’s ability to neutralize singlet oxygen radicals was better than the antioxidant abilities of beta-carotene and vitamin E.
“There have been a few experimental studies on the role of lycopene in preventing or treating cancer. Some evidence suggests that cancers of the pancreas, colon and rectum, esophagus, oral cavity, breast, and cervix could be reduced with increased lycopene intake.” ~ Natural Medicine Journal
2. Helpful for Eye Diseases
There have been studies that found lycopene can protect the human eyes.
“The potential role of lycopene in the prevention of cataracts is also established. It prevents sugar-induced morphological changes and modulates antioxidant status of human lens.~ Natural Medicine Journal
It contains citrulline which can trigger the production of a compound in the body that helps relax the body’s blood vessels, in a way similar to what happens when a man takes Viagra according to scientists in Texas.
4. It is an Alkaline-forming Food in the Body
Find out the health benefits to an Alkaline body here: Balance Your Body
5. A Natural Diuretic
It was a homeopathic treatment for kidney patients before dialysis became widespread. Now wouldn’t that be better?
6. Helps Remove Toxins From the Body
It is high citrulline which creates a diuretic effect (lots of peeing) as the toxins leave your body. Citrulline makes arginine which removes ammonia and other toxins from the body. Also, arginine boosts nitric oxide, which improves blood flow. This is why a watermelon detox works so well.
7. Heart-healthy Food
Studies show that eating watermelon may help lower blood pressure.
Also, being high in arginine it is good for the heart.
“Arginine is used for the treatment of heart and blood vessel conditions including congestive heart failure (CHF), chest pain, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease.” ~ RxList
8. Prevents Wrinkles
Watermelon is high in lycopene. Lycopene helps slow down the effect of aging caused by the oxidation in your body that causes wrinkles and blemishes.
9. A Good Source of Potassium
This balances the high amounts of sodium our diets contain and thus supports the kidneys.
10. Diabetes and Watermelon
This is what the Mayo Clinic says:
Question: Can diabetics eat watermelon? Can eating it increase blood sugar?
Answer: Diabetics SHOULD eat fresh fruit. And “You’d have to eat a lot of watermelons to significantly raise your blood glucose level.” Learn more at the Mayo Clinic.
- Some people may experience allergy symptoms from mild to severe hives, facial swelling, diarrhea, or anaphylaxis.
- Diabetics: The American Diabetes Association says you may eat watermelon as a fruit selection provided you are following the guidance of your health care provider.
- Consuming large amounts of lycopene-rich foods (tomatoes and watermelon) may cause gastrointestinal disturbances such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, indigestion, and bloating.
- Large quantities of foods containing potassium, such as watermelon, may adversely affect people diagnosed with hyperkalemia, or too much potassium in their blood.
- Eating lots of watermelons will most likely make you have a frequent need to urinate.
- Excellent source of Vitamin C.
- Very good source of Vitamin A.
- Good source of potassium and magnesium.
- Small amounts of most of the B Vitamins.
- Trace amounts of Vitamin K and pantothenic acid.
- Lots of trace amount minerals (copper, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc)
- Lycopene with over 6888 mcg read about all the benefits of this above.
- Supplies 5% of the daily fiber.
- Only 45 calories per cup so it is an ideal diet food that is high in energy.
- Fat-free, well almost: 1 cup of diced watermelon has .23 grams of fat.
- Only .02 grams of saturated fat in 1 cup of diced watermelon.
- No cholesterol, caffeine, or alcohol the list says which I find funny.
- Low sodium 3 mg in 1 cup of diced watermelon.
- There is even 1 gram of protein in 1 cup of diced watermelon.
Check Out How to do a Watermelon Cleanse
One of the foods we recommend for a summer detox is watermelon.
Learn why at our Summer Detox Free Webinar.
“When one has tasted watermelon, he knows what angels eat.” ~ Mark Twain
I am thrilled to know all the health benefits and its high nutrition of this favourite summer fruit of mine. Sometimes it is often all I have for breakfast and it always amazes me that I feel full for hours afterward.
It is also true that it is high in sugar with 10 grams per 1 cup of watermelon but think about it. What is a better choice, a candy bar, or a piece of watermelon with all its nutrition and health benefits?
Is it a fruit or a vegetable?
Did you know that some consider Watermelon a vegetable? It is related to the squash and pumpkin family and is grown as a vegetable crop, using vegetable production systems.
In China, watermelon is stir-fried, stewed, and often pickled and used as a vegetable.
“Watermelon is the fruit of a plant originally from a vine of southern Africa. Like the pepper, tomato and pumpkin, it is the ripened ovary of a seed plant and its contents, which, botanically speaking, make it fruit.” ~ Calgary Herald
It is a fruit as far as I am concerned.
So let’s have a little watermelon fun.
Poetic Fun by Roylin Picou – Learn about the many watermelon benefits in a fun way here by Real Food For Life’s designated comic and poet, Roylin Picou. Promise, you will enjoy his sense of humor.
Facts and Trivia
- The first recorded watermelon harvest was 5,000 years ago and occurred in Egypt and they shared them with the rest of civilization in the 10th century.
- Watermelon is a popular gift to bring a host in China and Japan.
- Over 1,200 varieties of watermelon are grown worldwide. About 200-300 varieties are grown in the U.S. and Mexico.
- This fruit was held in such high regard that it was placed in the tombs of many Egyptian kings.
- The word watermelon first appeared in the English dictionary in 1615.
They come in many shapes and sizes; the newest shape is a square watermelon. The Japanese created them to save space; the melon fits easily in the fridge as they are of exact dimensions of the Japanese refrigerators allowing a full-grown melon to fit precisely in the fridge shelve.
- Early explorers used them as canteens.
- After a watermelon was thrown at Roman Governor Demosthenes he placed it on his head and thanked the thrower for giving him a helmet to wear as he fought Philip of Macedonia.
- U.S. ranks fourth in the world, growing watermelons with 44 states growing it, mostly in Florida, Texas, California, Georgia, and Arizona. In 1999 over 4 billion pounds of were produced in the US.
- It is grown in over 96 countries worldwide.
A giant watermelon weighing a watery 268.8 pounds was grown on September 03, 2005, by Lloyd Bright.
“Canadians love watermelon. This is where we export most of our watermelon.” Says US National Watermelon Queen Katelyn Kelly of 2012.
How to Pick a Good Watermelon for All the Health Benefits
- They are not one of the dirty dozen (the most heavily sprayed produce). They are one of the fifteen most clean non-organic fruits and vegetables.
- Decide what size you want as there are many different sizes. They can weigh anywhere from a few pounds to ninety pounds.
- Do you want a seedless watermelon? Most seedless ones are often not organic so that maybe something for you to consider.
- Choose a melon that is medium to light green but not yellowing, with several spots of light green on it.
- Make sure it feels heavy for its size.
- It is should not be bruised, shriveled, cracked, or moldy. The purpose of the thick rind is to protect the contents inside. Ripe melons should also be dark green in color (minor scratches are okay),
- Check out the bottom of the watermelon; this should have a creamy yellow spot which is where it sat on the ground while ripening. If this spot is white or green, it may not be ripe as it was picked too soon.
- The melon should have a faint aroma and the end should be soft.
- Tap the melon with the palm of your hand lightly several times. What you hear should be a somewhat hollow echo. This indicates the fruit is likely fresh and its flesh is very hard, which is when they taste best. If the sound is a thunk as though it solid, that’s no good, and too hollow a sound is also not good. You just have to do the trial and error thing till you learn which watermelons are the best.
- Good luck finding the sweetest juiciest watermelon.
- The best will, of course, be the ones you grow yourself. Learn how at How to Grow Watermelons.
In this video below, Diana gives a quick demonstration of how to pick and cut a watermelon.
Tips for Preparing and Storing Watermelon
- Always wash the exterior of the melon before slicing to remove any bacteria on the surface.
- After they have been cut store in the fridge. Watermelons retain more nutritional value after cut and stored in the fridge as most other produce.
- Before eating a piece that has been in the fridge, pull it out long enough for it to go to room temperature. This maximizes its phytonutrient capacity.
- Store uncut whole ones at 70 degrees Fahrenheit: Watermelon stored at 70 F gained up to 40 percent more lycopene and 50% to 139% extra beta-carotene, when compared to freshly picked watermelon, were the findings in a study by USDA’s South Central Agricultural Research Laboratory in Lane, Oklahoma. Watermelons continue to produce nutrients after they are picked; the chilling slows this process. Refrigerated watermelon starts to decay after a week.
- Watermelons last from 14 to 21 days at 13 degrees Celsius (55 F) after harvest.
- Eat it on its own. Melons only take 15 – 30 minutes to digest; they do not combine with any other food, always eat alone and wait 30 minutes before eating something else.
- Eat it at room temperature as it is much easier on the stomach.
- Every part of a watermelon is edible, even the seeds and rinds where you will get even more health benefits.
- My favourite way to eat it is to slice it and cut it into cubes and eat it from a big bowl.
- Watermelon juice is so easy and a wonderful cooling alkalizing beverage and of course as we know filled with all the health benefits. Find just how easy it is to make here; watermelon juice.
- Yes, you can eat Watermelon Rinds: We usually throw out the hard green rind, but did you know that the rind has nutritional and remedy benefits? This wasted food can do good things for your body. Also, using it will cut down on your garbage helping the environment. Read more about the Watermelon Rind.
- Popsicles are great for children and us adults too.
Learn how to make watermelon popsicles.
My Own Watermelon Story
When I was disabled for ten years with a digestive system that was only partly functioning and could eat only 12 foods, watermelon was a lifesaver for me. I would eat half of a very big one every day. I am very thankful for watermelons for helping me on my journey back to health.
2 Day Summer Detox
This two-day summer detox also known as a ‘Watermelon Cleanse’ is an Online Course. All food and recipes in the class are gluten-free and vegan.
Check it out!
Watermelon Recipes Full of Health Benefits
How to Make Watermelon Popsicles Recipe – These wonderful treats are very simple to make and there is no sugar added. These popsicles are actually good for all. Get your children or grandchildren to help you.
Watermelon Juice – This is a very simple juice to make and excellent on a hot day. It is much healthier for you than a soft drink. If you need to alkalize quickly then here is a recipe using the second most alkaline-forming food. This is one very easy and refreshing juice.
Watermelon Soup – A bowl of cold soup is refreshing and is a very simple soup for one of those ‘hot’ days. And you are adding a nutritious superfood.
I think watermelon is so useful at cleansing and alkalizing the body that I have created on an online one month course:
2-5-30 Summer Detox Special With Watermelon
Check it out!
Learn more about some of the healthiest vegetarian foods you will always want to have in your pantry or growing on your deck.
READ: Superfoods – Over 100 of the Healthiest Foods You Should Have in Your Diet and learn more about the variety of Superfoods we think you should have in your diet.