Health Benefits Of Eating Watermelon


Watermelon, a big and sweet  fruit that is cool and refreshing to eat, especially in the summer. It is a very hydrating fruit with a 91% water content and is 7% carbohydrates, packed with many nutrients yet contains very few calories. Each bite of watermelon contains high levels of vitamins A, B5, B6, and C, as well as minerals ( potassium and copper), antioxidant components, and amino acids (citrulline). It also contains significant levels of lycopene,a phytonutrient, which  are natural components in vegetables and fruits. Some studies suggest phytonutrients are likely to have health-enhancing potential.3 

When eating watermelon, the majority of us cast off the rind  and spit out the seeds. But do you know that both the rind and the seeds  have several nutritional benefits including high content of vitamins and minerals. Plus, the rind of watermelon contains more of the amino acid citrulline, than the flesh.3 

You can learn more about the health benefits of eating watermelon by reading this article.

Nutrients we can get from eating watermelon

Nutritional value of watermelon (per 100g of flesh)

ComponentsNutrient ValueRecommended Daily Allowance (%)
Energy30 Kcal1.5%
Carbohydrates7.6 g6%
Protein0.6 g1%
Total Fat0.15 g0.5%
Dietary Fiber0.4 g1%
Niacin0.178 mg1%
Pantothenic Acid0.221 mg4.5%
Vitamin A569 mg19%
Vitamin C8.1 mg13.5%
Potassium112 mg2.5%
Iron0.24 mg3%
Manganese0.038 mg1.5%
Zinc0.10 mg1%
Carotene-alpha303 μg-
Lycopene4532 μg-

Table 1: This table shows the nutritional value of watermelon per 100g of flesh. Source: USDA National Nutrient Database

Health benefits of eating watermelon

As seen in Table 1 and as previously mentioned,  watermelon contains high levels of micronutrients and vitamins that are essential and beneficial for health. Here is a list of other benefits.


Since watermelons are  91% water, it can keep you hydrated, making it  a good way  to increase your daily fluid intake.3

Prevents heat stroke 

Long exposure to the sun or heat can cause fluid and electrolyte loss, but eating watermelon can replenish both fluid and electrolytes, and help prevent heat strokes.

Maintains blood sugar levels 

The amino acid citrulline found in watermelon can be converted into another amino acid called L-arginine. L-arginine can induce insulin release and improve glucose metabolism.

Prevents high blood pressure 

As mentioned above, the amino acid citrulline can be converted into the amino acid L-arginine and both of these can  stimulate the production of nitric oxide, which can reduce blood pressure.10, Studies also show that consuming watermelon and L-citrulline supplements decreased blood pressure.1 Watermelon also contains potassium which is useful in lowering blood pressure. 

Weight management 

Watermelon  contains very few calories, and its high water content can keep you full for longer, helping with weight management.

Improves digestion 

The flesh and the rind of watermelon contains small amounts of fiber which promote a healthy digestive tract.3 Including fiber as part of your  diet can encourage a healthy digestive system and prevent constipation.

Improves skin health 

Watermelon contains Vitamin C which is good for the skin. Studies show that Vitamin C is highly beneficial for human skin by helping to promote collagen formation and that a  high intake of Vitamin C may prevent dry skin and decrease the chances of premature skin aging and wrinkle formation.5,6,7

Vitamin A is another vitamin you can find in watermelon. Studies show that Vitamin A has the ability to regenerate skin in wounded tissue by creating and repairing skin cells.8,9 

Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties 

High amounts of lycopene, which can be found in watermelon, have the ability to inhibit inflammation. Lycopene also serves as an antioxidant to neutralize free radicals.Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause damage to other molecules, cells, and cause diseases.11 

Lycopene may reduce the risk of prostate cancer 

Several vegetables and fruits, including watermelon contain antioxidant properties which can help reduce the risk of cancer. According to a study, lycopene effectively inhibited the progression and induced apoptosis (cell death) of prostate cancer cells.12 

Improves cardiovascular health 

Watermelon contains a high amount of L-citrulline, which can be converted to L-arginine. Both amino acids are precursors of nitric oxide, and several studies have shown  that consuming watermelon can increase production of nitric oxide – a gas molecule that plays a vital role in maintaining cardiovascular health.1, 4

Postmenopausal women are likely to have increased arterial stiffness. A study showed that watermelon extract  reduced arterial stiffness and  decreased  blood pressure.13

Benefits of consuming watermelon seeds 

While eating watermelon, people normally spit the seeds out.  However, they are safe to consume and they even have a high nutritional value and are low in calories Below are some nutrients and minerals found in watermelon seeds.

  • 21 mg of magnesium can be found per 4g serving of watermelon seeds, which  is important for a healthy immune system, as well as for cardiovascular and bone health
  • Contains monounsaturated  and polyunsaturated fats.  Both of which are good for cardiovascular health,reducing the risk of stroke and cholesterol levels
  • Zinc which  is beneficial for gut health and for the nervous system

How much is enough?

There should be no side effects when watermelon is consumed in a moderate amount. But discomfort could occur if a lot  of watermelon is  consumed. If lycopene levels exceed 30mg per day, it can cause nausea, indigestion, diarrhea, and bloating. So make sure not to eat too much and  keep your sugar levels in check. 1 cup (diced) or 100g of watermelon should be sufficient to consume in a day. 


Can I eat watermelon on an empty stomach?

Yes, it is safe to eat watermelon on an empty stomach since the nutrients can be absorbed more effectively that way. In addition, eating watermelon on a regular basis can help reduce acid levels in the stomach.

Why is lycopene beneficial? 

Lycopene is protective against:3

  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Macular degeneration (age related eye condition that affects the vision)
  • Diabetes
  • Natural radioprotectors (x-ray radiation)
  • Alzheimer's Disease

Why is citrulline beneficial?

Citrulline can:2,14

  • Improve circulation
  • Provide antioxidant properties
  • Relieve sore muscles after exercise
  • Improve exercise performance


Watermelons are tasty and contain many nutrients and minerals. The fruit is also packed with citrulline and lycopene which are both beneficial for health and can even reduce the risks of some diseases. The fruit’s high water content makes it a good choice to eat  for a good daily fluid intake especially in the summer. It is also low in calories, and there are several ways to enjoy the fruit and its seeds , which makes it a great addition to a healthy diet.  


  1. Burton-Freeman B, Freeman M, Zhang X, Sandhu A, Edirisinghe I. Watermelon and l-citrulline in cardio-metabolic health: review of the evidence 2000–2020. Curr Atheroscler Rep [Internet]. 2021 Dec 11 [cited 2023 Aug 9];23(12):81. Available from:
  2. Naz A, Butt MS, Sultan MT, Qayyum MMN, Niaz RS. Watermelon lycopene and allied health claims. EXCLI J [Internet]. 2014 Jun 3 [cited 2023 Aug 9];13:650–60. Available from:
  3. Reetu, Tomar M. Watermelon: A Valuable Horticultural Crop with Nutritional Benefits [Internet]. ResearchGate; 2018. Available from:
  4. Volino-Souza M, Oliveira GVD, Conte-Junior CA, Figueroa A, Alvares TS. Current evidence of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) ingestion on vascular health: a food science and technology perspective. Nutrients [Internet]. 2022 Jul 15 [cited 2023 Aug 2];14(14):2913. Available from:
  5. Gref R, Deloménie C, Maksimenko A, Gouadon E, Percoco G, Lati E, et al. Vitamin C–squalene bioconjugate promotes epidermal thickening and collagen production in human skin. Sci Rep [Internet]. 2020 Oct 9 [cited 2023 Aug 2];10(1):16883. Available from:
  6. Pezdirc K, Hutchesson M, Whitehead R, Ozakinci G, Perrett D, Collins CE. Can dietary intake influence perception of and measured appearance? A Systematic Review. Nutrition Research [Internet]. 2015 Mar [cited 2023 Aug 9];35(3):175–97. Available from:
  7. Pullar J, Carr A, Vissers M. The roles of vitamin c in skin health. Nutrients [Internet]. 2017 Aug 12 [cited 2023 Aug 9];9(8):866. Available from:
  8. Polcz ME, Barbul A. The role of vitamin a in wound healing. Nutrition in Clinical Practice [Internet]. 2019 Oct [cited 2023 Aug 9];34(5):695–700. Available from:
  9. Zinder R, Cooley R, Vlad LG, Molnar JA. Vitamin A and wound healing. Nutrition in Clinical Practice [Internet]. 2019 Dec [cited 2023 Aug 9];34(6):839–49. Available from:
  10. Rajapakse NW, Mattson DL. Role of l-arginine in nitric oxide production in health and hypertension. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology [Internet]. 2009 Mar [cited 2023 Aug 9];36(3):249–55. Available from:
  11. Edwards AJ, Wiley ER, Brown ED, Clevidence BA, Vinyard BT, Collins JK, et al. Consumption of watermelon juice increases plasma concentrations of lycopene and β-carotene in humans. The Journal of Nutrition [Internet]. 2003 Apr [cited 2023 Aug 9];133(4):1043–50. Available from:
  12. Mirahmadi M, Azimi-Hashemi S, Saburi E, Kamali H, Pishbin M, Hadizadeh F. Potential inhibitory effect of lycopene on prostate cancer. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy [Internet]. 2020 Sep [cited 2023 Aug 9];129:110459. Available from:
  13. Figueroa A, Wong A, Hooshmand S, Sanchez-Gonzalez MA. Effects of watermelon supplementation on arterial stiffness and wave reflection amplitude in postmenopausal women. Menopause [Internet]. 2013 May [cited 2023 Aug 9];20(5):573–7. Available from:
  14. Cutrufello PT, Gadomski SJ, Zavorsky GS. The effect of l -citrulline and watermelon juice supplementation on anaerobic and aerobic exercise performance. Journal of Sports Sciences [Internet]. 2015 Aug 27 [cited 2023 Aug 9];33(14):1459–66. Available from:
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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