Watermelon Benefits for a Healthy Lifestyle
Few fruits are so inseparably associated with summertime as watermelon. Not only is watermelon delicious and refreshing on a hot day — and a source of terrific ammo for seed-spitting contests — it is also extremely good for you. Once you know more about the fruit’s benefits, you might want to enjoy it all year, rather than just in summer.
Calories, Fat, Cholesterol and SodiumA serving of raw, fresh watermelon is one wedge-shaped slice, roughly 1/16 of an entire watermelon or about 10 oz. or 286 g. That slice has about 86 calories, with only about 0.4 g of total fat. The watermelon contains virtually no saturated fat or cholesterol. Sodium content is about 2.9 mg, which is only about 0.1 percent of your recommended daily sodium intake. Since many highly processed foods contain high levels of sodium, eating watermelon can help keep your sodium intake at a healthier level.
Carbohydrates, Fiber and Protein
One slice of watermelon contains about 21.6 g carbohydrates, with about 1.1 g of dietary fiber — which is important for healthy digestive function.There are about 18 g of total sugars in the watermelon; however, it only contains about 3.5 g of sucrose, or table sugar. The most prevalent sugars in the watermelon are fructose, with 9.6 g, and glucose, with 4.5 g. There is also about 1.7 g of protein in the watermelon, which is about 3.5 percent of your daily requirement; healthy, active individuals need plenty of protein to heal and rebuild their muscles.
Vitamins and Minerals
The watermelon slice contains about 33 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin A, which your body uses to build skin, bones and teeth, and to keep your eyes healthy. It also contains about 38.6 percent of your vitamin C requirement. Potassium is the most prevalent mineral in watermelon, with about 9.2 percent of your daily requirement in each slice.
Staying well hydrated is important for proper function of virtually every part of your body. MayoClinic.com says a good rule of thumb is to make sure you consume about eight 8-oz. glasses of water per day, for a total of 64 oz. of water. However, some of this water can come from the food you eat, as well as from the beverages you drink. Watermelon is roughly 92 percent water content, which means that eating watermelon can help make sure your daily water consumption is sufficient.