In 2021, the average American enjoyed almost 14 and a half pounds of watermelon — in slices, gazpacho, added to salads, even grilled. This summer, you've got another chance to get the great nutritional benefits and improve your cardio-metabolic health.
A study in the journal Nutrients found that kids and adults who regularly eat raw watermelon have overall higher intakes of dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A and C, as well as lycopene and other carotenoids (anti-inflammatory polyphenols), and they're consuming less added sugar and saturated fat.
Another small randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in Nutrients that gave watermelon juice to people with elevated glucose levels daily for two weeks found that it helped keep blood vessels dilated and flexible.
Maybe that’s because watermelon delivers the amino acid citrulline, which increases nitric oxide levels, helping blood vessels expand and lowering blood pressure.
So what's the nutritional profile of watermelon?
One cup raw and diced contains 5% of the daily value of vitamin A, 14% of the daily value for vitamin C, and 4% of the daily value for both potassium and magnesium. In addition, it's 92% water, making it a great choice for staying hydrated.
If watermelon isn't your favorite, cantaloupe packs a super-dose of nutrition too. One cup has 106% of the daily value for vitamin A and 95% of vitamin C, as well as some potassium and folate.
A cup of honeydew has 51% of the daily value for vitamin C, 11% of potassium, and a bit of folate and vitamin B6.