Watermelon is a perfect treat during the summer season, when it is in its sweetest form! Apart from quenching your thirst, it also takes care of some of the nutritional needs of your body. Even though 90% of the fruit contains water, it also consists of a significant amount of vitamins and traces of minerals. Let's take a look at the nutritional facts of watermelon.

Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) belongs to cucurbitaceae family, which includes pumpkin, cucumber, etc. It has its origin in Africa and it is said that the Egyptians had cultivated this fruit, about 5,000 years ago. China, which is the single largest producer of watermelon in the world today, had started cultivating this fruit during the 10th century. By the 13th century, watermelon had made its way to southern Europe and it eventually spread to other parts of the world. Today, there are around 1,200 varieties of watermelon, differing in their color, shape and size.

Every part of a watermelon is consumable. Apart from the edible inner flesh, you can have the roasted seeds as snacks and the rind can be pickled or stir fried. Even the thick green outer skin can be used along with the flesh, while making watermelon juice.


Nutritional Value of Watermelon

Watermelon contains a considerable amount of vitamin A and C. Thiamine, riboflavine, vitamin B6, folate and niacine are also present in small amounts. Watermelon is a good source of potassium and also contains magnesium, calcium, phosphorous and iron in trace amounts. As a major part of the watermelon is water, it is very low in calories. This fruit is rich in carotenoids and is free of fats and cholesterol. It is believed that a watermelon kept at room temperature has more nutrients than the one, which is kept in the refrigerator. The following table gives an approximate amount of vitamins and minerals per 100 grams of watermelon.



Vitamin C - 8.1mg

Calcium - 7 mg

Vitamin A - 569 IU

Potassium - 112 mg

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) - 0.045 mg

Magnesium - 10 mg

Vitamin B1 (thiamine) - 0.033 mg

Phosphorous -11 mg

Vitamin B2 (riboflavine) - 0.021mg

Iron - 0.24mg

Vitamin B9(1) (folate) - 3 mcg

Sodium – 1 mg

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) – 0.221 mg

Fluoride - 1.5 mcg

Apart from those listed above, 100 grams of this fruit, which amounts to 30 calories, has 0.15 gram fat, 7.55 grams carbohydrates, 0.4 gram dietary fiber and 0.61 gram protein. Seeds of watermelon also contain certain nutrients in trace amounts. 50% of a seed consists of oil, the other half includes 35% protein and 5% dietary fiber.

Other than the vitamins and minerals, the most important health benefit of watermelon is that it contains carotenoids, which have antioxidant properties. Lycopene, which gives red color to the flesh, forms a major chunk of the carotenoids in watermelon. 100 grams of the fruit contain 4 mg of lycopene. Lycopene, is helpful in reducing the risk of many types of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Watermelon contains an amino acid called citrulline, which is used by the human body to produce another amino acid known as arginine. Arginine helps remove ammonia from the body and also to produce nitric oxide, which is helpful in lowering high blood pressure and also in preventing erectile dysfunction.

Health Aspects of Watermelon
The nutrients in watermelon help in fighting and preventing many diseases. Watermelons are associated with various health benefits, some of which are given below:

  • Watermelon contains vitamin B, which is helpful in instant energy production in the body.
  • Beta carotene contained in watermelons, helps to boost the immune system.
  • It also helps in fighting age-related blindness.
  • Watermelons are a rich source of water and helpful in preventing dehydration.
  • Potassium helps in lowering high blood pressure and fights kidney stone formation.
  • The low calorie content of this fruit, makes it a best choice for the diet-conscious people.
  • It helps in reducing symptoms of asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • In general, fruits are beneficial to the human body; particularly, watermelon, as it is fat-free, low in calories and a rich source of nutrients. Unlike other fruits, the ratio of nutrients per calorie is higher in watermelon.

While buying watermelons, select the ones with a smooth skin, which is dark green in color. Go for the ones, which are heavy and with a white or yellow patch as a sign of ripening. The seeds should be dark black and the flesh should be dark pink or red in color. You can hear a hollow sound, while thumping a ripe watermelon. Now that you are equipped with some useful tips to buy watermelons, I am sure, you will be able to pick some of the good, ripe ones and enjoy the summer in a healthy way