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Diet and Nutrition

Watermelon: Not Watered Down When it Comes to Nutrition

triangular slice of red watermeolon with black seedsWatermelon may be “watery”, but it is not watered down when it comes to nutrition.  Even though it is more than 90 percent water, two cups of diced watermelon – that is about 10 ounces – offers:

And all for a mere 85 calories!


Even More Nutrients

Watermelon is also a good source of lycopene.  Lycopene gives fruits like watermelon, tomatoes, and pink grapefruit their red color. Lycopene protects against prostate cancer and possibly other cancers.  It also protects cells from damage associated with heart disease.

In addition, your body changes the citrulline in watermelon into arginine.  Arginine is an amino acid that plays a key role in:

Watermelon also offers some potassium, which is helpful because most Americans do not get enough of it. Potassium helps control blood pressure and possibly prevent strokes.


How to Choose a Watermelon

Part of the challenge with watermelon is choosing one that is ripe. That is not always easy to figure out.  The fact sheet “Selecting, Storing, and Serving Ohio Melons” from Ohio State University Extension offers some suggestions to help you out:




Clean Before You Cut

Before cutting into watermelon - or any melon - be sure to thoroughly rinse it under clean running water. You may even want to scrub it with a soft-bristled brush while rinsing. This will help remove any contaminants on the rind that could spread to the fruit inside when you slice through it.


Storing Watermelon Safely

If you think your watermelon is not quite ripe yet, keep it at room temperature for a few days. It will continue to ripen if it is not too mature. But only whole, uncut watermelon should be left unrefrigerated. Once it is cut, watermelon needs to be kept at 40 degrees F or below.


Anytime of the year, watermelon makes a nutritiously delicious addition to your menu!


This article originally appeared in Chow Line (6/28/13), a service of Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and was adapted for use on NetWellness with permission.


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Last Reviewed: Jul 02, 2013

Assistant Professor
Field Specialist, Food, Nutrition, & Wellness
OSU Extension
College of Food, Agricultural, & Environmental Science
The Ohio State University