Brianna Elliott, MS, RD, LD – OAM Nutrition Services Coordinator
Hannah Johnson – 2018 Dietetic Intern (Iowa State)
On a hot and humid Minnesota summer day, watermelon is the perfect refreshing fruit to cool off with at barbeques. Peak watermelon season is in August and because it is the most consumed melon in the US, we celebrate National Watermelon Day on August 3! Along with being an incredibly tasty and refreshing fruit, watermelon has several health benefits, giving you even more reasons to love its juiciness.
Health Benefits of Watermelon
What makes watermelon unique is its high water content: it is actually about 92% water. The water that you get from eating watermelon will contribute to your daily hydration needs.
In addition, watermelon is packed with nutrients. It is rich in immune-boosting vitamins A and C, in addition to heart-healthy minerals such as potassium and magnesium. Watermelon also contains an antioxidant called lycopene that has been shown to help reduce cancer risk and is also known to be helpful for preventing heart disease.
Another healthy component of watermelon is its citrulline content, which is an amino acid that has been shown to help lower blood pressure levels and relieve muscle soreness.
How to Eat Watermelon
You can eat watermelon raw, try it blended into smoothies or even mix it into a summer salad. To help cut back on waste, did you know you can also eat the watermelon rind? Try dicing into a stir fry dish, and if you’d like to get decorative, impress your friends at the next barbeque by using it as a centerpiece for salads, salsas or smoothie bowls!
Need a watermelon recipe for inspiration? Look no further than this watermelon bulgur salad!