Fact verified by Nick Blackmer
Watermelon is a summer staple for a reason: The fruit is delicious, juicy, and packed with amazing health benefits. Watermelon can not only satisfy a sweet taste without added sugar, but also is a highly nutritious food rich in vitamins and minerals.
Here are five fun facts about the health benefits of watermelon that might even surprise fruit superfans.
Related: The health benefits of eating watermelon
You can eat the rinds and seeds
When you’re done enjoying the juicy flesh of a watermelon, you could just throw the rest away assuming it’s inedible. In fact, you can eat watermelon seeds and rinds.
The rind of a watermelon is rich in fiber and micronutrients such as vitamin C and zinc. You can also pickle the crust or toss it in soups, stews, and stir-fries for added nutrition.
While you might be saving your seeds for a spitting contest, you can also eat them! The seeds are high in phosphorus, potassium, protein, manganese, folate, healthy fats, iron and zinc and are an easy way to add more fiber to a dish. They’re great on salads, roasted for a quick snack, or sprinkled on a smoothie.
Related: Is watermelon good for weight loss?
It’s super hydrating
Staying hydrated is important all year round, but especially during the summer months when it’s hot and you may be sweating more. While drinking water is an obvious choice for meeting your daily fluid needs, it’s not the only hydrating option available.
Even though it’s a food, watermelon is actually 92% water! Making it part of your summer meal and snack rotation will help keep you hydrated (which is critical for optimal brain health, digestive function, and temperature regulation).
Read more: Does fruit matter for your daily hydration needs?
Yellow is extra special
When buying a watermelon at the local farmers market or grocery store, don’t feel like you have to stick to the classic red watermelon variety. There are over 1,000 varieties of watermelon to choose from, including types with different colored flesh.
For example, watermelon with yellow flesh is missing lycopene, the substance responsible for the usual gorgeous pink-red hue of fruits. Instead, yellow-fleshed watermelon has a staggering amount of a different carotenoid called beta-carotene.
Beta-carotene is thought to have several health benefits, such as possibly helping reduce the risk of eye diseases such as macular degeneration. Yellow-fleshed watermelon is also an excellent source of vitamin C.
Related: What is lycopene?
It can relieve muscle pain
Whether you’re a gym rat or a weekend warrior, if you like to exercise, you’ve probably felt the burn of muscle pain at some point. There is some research that suggests a specific amino acid called L-citrulline might help with post-workout muscle soreness. Watermelon, especially currants, is an excellent source of L-citrulline.
While more research is needed to show that it has muscle-sore fighting powers, refueling with a slice of watermelon can still be a refreshing post-workout snack.
Learn more: Watermelon and other citrulline-rich foods
One of the most surprising potential areas of watermelons health benefits is fertility. A 2023 study found that watermelon consumption was linked to certain reproductive health factors such as better sperm quality, better erectile dysfunction, and may even have affected the secretion of certain hormones among people with a penis.
Watermelon’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties support whole-body health and may explain melon’s unique reproductive health benefits.
Related: Why Does Eating Watermelon Make My Mouth Itch?
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