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Surprising Health Benefits of Watermelon

child sitting with watermelon sliced in a circle on a wooden tray with berries and bananas on top of sliced watermelon
Whether you eat watermelon plain or prefer to get creative by mixing it into smoothies, salads, sorbets, or other concoctions, watermelon is fun and refreshing.


There are some foods that are fun to eat – and watermelon is definitely one of them. While you already know that this fruit refreshes you on hot summer days, did you also know that watermelon contains some of the most powerful antioxidants in nature.

Watermelon is an excellent source of vitamin C and a very good source of vitamin A, particularly through its concentration of beta-carotene. Vitamins A and C are antioxidants that may reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Vitamin A helps maintain eye health. Vitamin C helps protect skin from bruising; helps heal cuts and keeps gums healthy. Eating foods with vitamin C helps the body absorb iron. Watermelon also provides potassium and magnesium. Potassium helps maintain healthy blood pressure, and magnesium help build and maintain strong bones.

Watermelon is the only fruit that contains higher concentrations of lycopene than any other fresh fruit or vegetable. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight heart disease and several types of cancer, particularly prostate cancer.

Watermelon is rich in the B vitamins necessary for energy production. Watermelon is a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of vitamin B1 and magnesium. Because of its high water content and calorie value, it is ranked more valuable than other fruits.

The antioxidants help in reducing the severity of asthma. It also reduces the risk of colon cancer, asthma, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and prostate cancer. Watermelon is a good source of thiamin, potassium, and magnesium, which protect our body from so many diseases. Watermelon is fat free but helps with energy production.

Watermelons are made up of 92 percent water, making them a great way to stay hydrated on hot summer days.

Choose watermelons with a smooth surface and a yellow underside. Store whole watermelon at room temperature until fully ripened and then refrigerate for up to 1 week. Cut watermelon can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Watermelons should still be wearing its stem.

Wash the outside of the watermelon, cut into wedges or cut the flesh from the rind with a clean knife and cut into 1-inch cubes. Place cubes in a covered container and store in the refrigerator. To keep your melon for a few days, leave it uncut at room temperature.

Watermelon can be eaten raw as a cooling snack or added to chicken, tuna and rice salads, or mixed into salsa to take the heat off the salsa. Puree watermelon and freeze to use as ice cubes in your favorite drink or mix watermelon with other fruit and yogurt for a smoothie.

Whether you prefer to eat watermelon by the slice or prefer to get creative by mixing them into smoothies, sorbets, fruit drinks or other concoctions, watermelon is a great treat.

Watermelon for Breakfast                 

3/4 cup seeded watermelon chunks, cut into small pieces

1/3 cup low-fat granola

5 ounces low-fat yogurt

Layer watermelon and yogurt. Top with granola.

For your free copy of “Watermelons: Selection, Storage and Handling,” a handout filled with tips on choosing and storing your melon as well as recipes, contact our office at 870-779-3609, email or visit Room 215 in the Miller County Courthouse, 400 Laurel, Texarkana, AR.


By Carla Due
County Extension Agent - FCS
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Carla Due
County Extension Agent - FCS
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854
(870) 779-3609

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