Watermelon may not be the first fruit that comes to mind when you think about nutrition and health benefits. But this vibrant summer fruit is more than just a juicy and refreshing way to satisfy your sweet tooth. It’s also incredibly nutritious.
Here are five health benefits of watermelon.
It’s a Heart Helper
Watermelon is packed with many nutrients that support a healthy heart – magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and lycopene. It’s even American Heart Association® Heart Check Certified. These nutrients help keep your heartbeat steadier and your blood pressure healthier. Watermelon is also cholesterol, fat, and sodium free!
It Nourishes Your Skin and Hair
Watermelon is an excellent source of vitamin C. This nutrient helps your body make the protein collagen, which heals wounds, keeps skin supple, and strengthens hair. It also helps block some of the damage that environmental pollutants and ultraviolet light cause. The build-up of these free radicals over time adds to the aging process.
It Supports Eye Health
Watermelon contains vitamin A. In the retina of the eye, vitamin A produces the pigment needed to see the full spectrum of light. It also nourishes the cornea and keeps it well lubricated. Vision loss, night blindness, and dry eye may occur without enough vitamin A.
It’s a Thirst Quencher
Watermelon is made up of 92% water and is a natural and delicious way to stay hydrated. The potassium it contains also helps maintain fluid balance in your body. To hydrate with watermelon, eat it whole or blend it into juice or a smoothie and sip away.
It Satisfies a Sweet Tooth Naturally
Although watermelon tastes very sweet, you won’t consume any added sugars – just sweetness as nature intended. A two-cup serving of watermelon contains 21 grams of carbohydrates. This makes it a sensible option for individuals who need to monitor their blood sugar.
Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
Routine checkups and screenings can help you stay heart healthy.
How to Choose a Watermelon
Look for a watermelon that feels heavy for its size and is firm and symmetrical. It should be free of bruises, cuts, or dents and have a creamy yellow spot where it sat in the field when ripening. A watermelon will last about three to four weeks after harvest.
Tasty Ways to Eat Watermelon
There are many delicious ways to enjoy watermelon. Here are some to try:
- Bite juicy chunks right from the rind or cut into cubes or balls
- Puree into juice or add to a smoothie
- Freeze pureed watermelon in ice pop molds or freeze and then scrape into a granita
- Combine cubed watermelon on skewers with other summer fruit for a refreshing sweet treat
- Pair watermelon with savory ingredients like feta cheese, arugula, balsamic vinaigrette, cucumber, or red onion in salads or salsa
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