Watermelon Health Benefits Make it An Amazing Superfood

It is a delicious and refreshing treat on a hot day.

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.

Watermelons Health Benefits

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.

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“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

3. May have a Viagra-like effect

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.

Please Note:

  • 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.

Watermelon Nutrition

  • 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? 

Watermelon 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.

Watermelon health benefits
Watermelon Benefits: Poetic Fun by Roylin Picou

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.
  • watermelon health benefits
    Square Watermelon

    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.

Eating Watermelons

  • 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.

Summer Detox

Watermelon Cleanse
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

watermelon health benefits
Watermelon Juice

 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.summer detox

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!

100+ Superfoods

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.

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Diana Herrington

Diana has been writing about natural health and wellness for over 20 years. Having used foods to heal her own body, she now shares her wisdom with others.

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16 Comments

  1. Thank you Diana for all the useful information!!!

    Like you, I love watermelons to and after reading this I got worried a bit because I’m trying to put on weight (my BMI is below 15). You said that it will burn fat in the body and therefore you lose weight. Will that affect me too? I don’t have much fat in my body and the one I do have I don’t want to get rid off. :D

    Thanks again for this great article!!!!!

    1. You are welcome Silvia! As long as you eat a full range of foods and do not need to lose weight eating watermelon will simply help with cleansing which everyone needs to do regardless of weight. In fact cleansing can help to gain weight if that is what the body requires. Our body has an intelligence and will do what is needed.

  2. Thanks for lecture,i like watermelon very well but i want to ask,can watermelon help to reduce the action of chronic disease in the body?

  3. Thanks, great info. about the wonderful food.
    p.s. I never met a watermelon I didn’t like. even the very “seedy” ones. pun intended :)

    Was curious about history of WM:

    Watermelon is thought to have originated in the Kalahari Desert of Africa. The first recorded watermelon harvest occurred nearly 5,000 years ago in Egypt and is depicted in Egyptian hieroglyphics on walls of their ancient buildings. Watermelons were often placed in the burial tombs of kings to nourish them in the afterlife.

    From there, watermelons spread throughout countries along the Mediterranean Sea by way of merchant ships. By the 10th century, watermelon found its way to China, which is now the world’s number one producer of watermelons.

    The 13th century found watermelon spread through the rest of Europe via the Moors.

    Southern food historian, John Egerton, believes watermelon made its way to the United States with African slaves as he states in his book, “Southern Food.”

    Great. So what’s the definition of a “vegetable?”
    Our vague friend, the dictionary, defines vegetable as “anything made or obtained from plants.” Basically, that means all fruits are also vegetables. So in the grand scheme of things, vegetables and fruits continue to be amongst the healthiest of foods.

  4. Hi , i love watermelon so much, i eat one of those big trays of watermelon that they sell at HEB a day, but then i feel guilty. Im 39 i was diagnosed with diabetes when i was 30. I also have diabetes insipidus and was just diagnosed with neuropathy. I need to know if it is ok to eat all that watermelon. Iv heard yes and no.

  5. Than’ you for all the information you provided about WM. Can WM causes stomach pain’ disco fort, and diarhea If taken after food ?
    Than’ you for your feedback

  6. Very informative article. Watermelon has been my favorite fruit forever. I had no idea that it had so many health benefits! I love the watermelon designs as well, those are very creative.

  7. I love watermelon, however …when I eat about a cup and a half daily for breakfast, I get mild to severe burning stomach ache for 15-20 minutes. I am on a detox diet and wonder if this is part of the process?

  8. It might just be just anecdotal evidence of a benefit of Watermelon but it might help someone. Everyone but me in the family caught the flu. It was lasting 1 and a half to 2 weeks. My dad finally got it bad and first day I was having trouble getting him drink enough liquids. I knew he liked watermelon so I went to the store and got a large one. I cut some up, took out the seeds and put it in the blender. When I took it to him he still didn’t want anything to drink. He sat up and I got him to take a sip. He drank it right down and to my surprise wanted another glass of watermelon juice. That night he finished the whole watermelon himself. I went out a got another watermelon so I would have it for him to drink when he got up. By the end of the 2nd day he was feeling really good and completely over it on day three. Could he have caught something else, sure, but he had the exact same symptoms as the rest of the family. Since he was the last one to get sick there wasn’t anyone left to test this on. However, we both give credit to the watermelon.

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