Watermelon doesn’t just give you that good, good watermelon sugar high. The fave summer fruit is good for everything from salads to meat substitutes (yes, seared watermelon “steak” is a thing).

Plus watermelon offers a bunch of health benefits.

watermelon benefitsShare on Pinterest
Tatjana Zlatkovic/Stocksy United

Watermelon contains antioxidants like lycopene and Vitamin C, which may help help combat inflammation and oxidative stress that leads to pain, swelling, and chronic conditions.

In a 2015 study, lab rats who were fed watermelon powder (while on an unhealthy diet) experienced lower levels of inflammation compared to the control group. Even though rats definitely don’t = humans, there just might be something there.

Research also suggests taking vitamin C helps reduce inflammation in people. A 2019 study found people who ate 2 cups of watermelon daily for a month had less oxidative stress than folks who ate low fat cookies.

H2O really puts the water in watermelon.

If you struggle to drink enough of the clear stuff each day (pro tip: that eight 8-ounce figure comes with a lot of caveats), eating watermelon might help.

Watermelon’s a whopping 92 percent water, so noshing on it can def aid your daily hydration goals. High water content is also the reason your bod feels full after eating fruits and veggies like watermelon, cucumber, or pineapple.

Watermelon’s not just sweetness — it’s also substance. The fruit contains high quantities of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and B vitamins.

One serving of watermelon (1 cup) will get you 21 percent of your daily recommended Vitamin C intake and 18 percent of your Vitamin A. Add some peppers, broccoli, or brussels sprouts to your day, and you might be able to finally kiss your vitamin gummies goodbye.

If you’re on the prowl for Pantene commercial locks or influencer caliber skin, you might want to skip the product search and instead assess your diet. Watermelon‘s high levels of vitamins A and C are BFFs with healthy hair and skin, too.

Vitamin C helps your bod make collagen. This skin care buzzword is actually a protein that strengthens your hair and the dermis layer of the skin. Vitamin A helps create and repair skin cells. So if your skin’s feeling a little dry or flaky, you may be low in this essential vitamin.

Meanwhile, the lycopene and beta-carotene in watermelon may help protect your precious skin from the sun’s harsh rays.

Lots of water + some fiber = healthy digestion. If your digestive system is running a little sluggishly, some water and fiber-rich melon may be just what you need. Fiber gives your stool bulk, while water gets things moving.

TBH, in general, a diet rich in any fibrous fruits and veggies (from carrots to apples) can lead to good digestive health. But hey, now you have another excuse to eat watermelon.

Watermelon’s high in lycopene — aka the antioxidant that gives fruits and veggies like tomatoes its red hue. Lots of researchers also think it may help prevent cancer.

Research suggests that lycopene may help protect cells from damage. It reduces insulin-like growth factor (IGF), which is involved in cell division. In high levels, IGF is linked to cancer.

Though more research needs to be done, lycopene intake seems to be associated with reduced risk of cancers of the digestive system and prostate, specifically.

Watermelon also contains moderate quantities of cucurbitacin E, a compound which may inhibit tumor growth.

Lots of lifestyle factors like diet and exercise can reduce your risk of cardiovascular probs down the road — noshing on plenty of heart-healthy fruits and veggies included.

As well as preventing oxidative stress, the lycopene in watermelon may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. According to two studies from 2013 (one on women with obesity and another on Finnish men), lycopene may also reduce artery wall stiffness and thickness, which is associated with high blood pressure.

Watermelon also has citrulline, an amino acid that boosts nitric oxide levels in your bod. Nitric oxide helps your blood vessels expand, thereby regulating blood pressure.

The magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A, B6, and C in watermelon may also do your heart’s health a favor.

OK, now you’re getting it — the lycopene in fruits like watermelon is legit when it comes to a lot of aspects of your health. That includes your peepers since lycopene prevents against oxidative damage and inflammation in several parts of your eyes.

As a result, research suggests the lycopene in watermelon may prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a common eye problem that can happen with age. If untreated, AMD can cause blindness.

Though more research is needed to know for sure, lycopene-rich watermelon’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may prevent AMD from getting worse or developing in the first place.

Research has shown vitamin C supplements might help fight inflammation and improve lung function in folks with asthma.

While we need more research and the study wasn’t watermelon specific, it definitely can’t hurt to eat a cup of watermelon to boost your vitamin C and support easy breathing.

You might want to ditch the sports drink and reach for some watermelon juice instead after a workout. Watermelon contains citrulline, an amino acid that may reduce muscle soreness and is often found in the supplement aisle.

In a small 2013 study, researchers found that athletes who drank watermelon juice or watermelon juice mixed with supplemented citrulline experienced less muscle soreness and faster heart rate recovery than those who just consumed citrulline on its own.

Because of this, researchers think that watermelon may enhance citrulline’s absorption in the body. However, more research is needed before Olympians start downing the stuff en masse.

Watermelon may be sweet, but it’s also one of the lowest cal fruits out there. At just 46 calories and less than 10 grams of sugar per cup, it’s a sweet tooth’s dream without all the added sugar.

Noshing on watermelon might also help with weight loss goals. In a 2019 study, researchers found that eating 2 cups of fresh watermelon daily (compared to low fat cookies of the same calorie count) led to improved weight management in people who were overweight or obese.