vitamins and minerals of watermelon
watermelon is one of the lowest in calories — only 46 calories per cup. That’s lower than even “low-sugar” fruits such as berries.
A cup (154 grams) of watermelon has many other nutrients as well, including these vitamins and minerals:
Vitamin C: 21% of the RDI.
Vitamin A: 18% of the RDI.
Potassium: 5% of the RDI.
Magnesium: 4% of the RDI.
Vitamins B1, B5 and B6: 3% of the RDI.
Watermelon is also high in carotenoids, including beta-carotene and lycopene. Plus, it has citrulline, an important amino acid.
Here’s an overview of watermelon’s most important antioxidants:
Contains Compounds That May Help Prevent Cancer
Researchers have studied lycopene and other individual plant compounds in watermelon for their anti-cancer effects.
May Improve Heart Health
Several nutrients in watermelon have specific benefits for heart health.
Studies suggest that lycopene may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It can also help prevent oxidative damage to cholesterol .
Watermelon has several heart-healthy components, including lycopene, citrulline and other vitamins and minerals.
May Lower Inflammation and Oxidative Stress
Inflammation is a key driver of many chronic diseases.
Watermelon may help lower inflammation and oxidative damage, since it’s rich in the anti-inflammatory antioxidants lycopene and vitamin C .
In a 2015 study, lab rats were fed watermelon powder to supplement an unhealthy diet. Compared with the control group, they developed lower levels of C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation) and less oxidative stress .
May Help Prevent Macular Degeneration
Found in several parts of the eye, lycopene helps protect against oxidative damage and inflammation.
It may also help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This is a common eye problem that can cause blindness in older adults .
Is Good for Skin and Hair
Two vitamins in watermelon — A and C — are important for skin and hair health.
Vitamin C helps your body make collagen, a protein that keeps your skin supple and your hair strong.
Vitamin A is also important for healthy skin since it helps create and repair skin cells. Without enough vitamin A, your skin can look dry and flaky.
Both lycopene and beta-carotene may also help protect your skin from sunburn
Can Help Improve Digestion
Watermelon contains lots of water and a small amount of fiber — both of which are important for healthy digestion.
Fiber can provide bulk for your stool, while water helps keep your digestive tract moving efficiently.