Vitamins and Minerals
Found Inside Watermelons
Watermelon rind, both the green
and the white parts, are loaded with nutrients including
provitamin A, potassium and zinc... BUT... you
cannot (and should not) eat either the rind or the
With 95% of the food value in these two parts of the
watermelon, you can probably see juicing this wonderful
melon brings us a definite
advantage. Watermelons are be both super
nutritious and wonderfully delicious when juiced
Here are a few of the questions we attempt to answer
- What vitamins in watermelons make them so
good for us?
- What is the best method for juicing watermelons?
- What are some great buying tips for watermelons?
Plus, we'll do our best to provide some general information
about watermelons that you might not find so easily
elsewhere on the Internet.
Let's learn more
Vitamins and Minerals
Watermelons are probably best known for being a good
source of folate, but they also can be a great source of
Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
Vitamins in Watermelons
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Trace amounts of Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin,
Pantothenic acid, Vitamin B-6, and Vitamin E
Minerals in Watermelons
- Trace amounts of Copper, Manganese, Selenium, Iron, and
Did you know that watermelon with red flesh is also a
significant source of lycopene? In fact, it is considered by
experts to be the lycopene leader in fresh produce having
higher concentrations of lycopene than any other fresh fruit or
vegetable, even higher than tomatoes.
In addition to containing plentiful amounts of the
health-promoting antioxidant lycopene, watermelon is an
excellent source of the amino acid citrulline.
With the tremendous juicing advantage to get the
maximum nutrients (found in the rind and white part),
the next time you think about watermelons, think about how they
might add a powerful boost to your daily nutrition through
Juicing Tips for
Juicing watermelons can add both flavor and valuable
nutrients to most any home-juiced fruity cocktail. Generally,
it is best juiced (and drunk) alone as most melons should
Here are a few tips for juicing
watermelons that may help turn your juicing experience
into something you look forward to and thoroughly enjoy.
After carefully washing it, you can cut your watermelon into
chunks, juicing the rind, white part and deliciously sweet red
part with seeds altogether.
Some prefer to juice the red parts (with seeds) first on a
slow speed, then juice the rind and white parts after on a
higher speed (if you have more than a 2-speed juicer).
Keeping in mind that watermelon is approximately 92% water,
you can expect a lot of juice from a small part of a standard
Did you know that watermelon juice is one of the greatest
thirst quenchers around? In addition, watermelon is said to
have a strong yin (cooling) property. Watermelons make
excellent smoothies, too!
for Buying Watermelons
If you are unable to grow your own watermelon,
then here are a few tips for
buying watermelons that may help you get the
We'll also include a few storing tips for
watermelons which you might find helpful.
As both the rind and the white parts contain so many
valuable nutrients, I generally recommend organically grown
watermelons. If not available, be sure to wash your watermelons
with a good biodegradable fruit and vegetable wash before
cutting and/or juicing.
Thump watermelons with your fingers to determine if
they sound hollow and are therefore ripe. The skins, either
green or green-and-white striped, should be dull rather than
shiny and when you scratch them gently with your fingernails
the green should come off easily.
One farmer once told me to look for bee bites (stings) on
the skin, irregular markings which indicate the bees have found
the melon extra sweet. Some people also suggest checking the
underbelly where the melon rested on the ground, as a pale
color means the melon is "sweet and ready to eat." (Or ready to
Store watermelons in a cool room until used. Store open
(cut) watermelons in the refrigerator.
This article wouldn't be complete if we didn't
include a little general information about
watermelons, as well as a few helpful links if you
want to explore watermelons further.
Watermelon's official name is Citrullus Lanatus
of the botanical family Curcurbitaceae. It is cousins to
cucumbers, pumpkins and squash.
Watermelons fall under the "calming food"
category for kids.
Watermelon is thought to have originated in the Kalahari
Desert of Africa, but the first recorded watermelon harvest
occurred nearly 5000 years ago in Egypt.
Watermelons were often placed in the burial
tombs of kings to nourish them in the afterlife.
Early explorers used watermelons as
There are more than twelve hundred varieties of
watermelon growing worldwide ranging in size from less
than a pound, to more than two hundred pounds with flesh
that is red, orange, yellow, or white.
In Lane, Oklahoma, ARS scientists are grafting watermelon
stems onto squash or gourd rootstock to produce firmer melons.
This trait could help watermelon take the lead in the fresh-cut
produce industry, possibly surpassing the huge fresh-cut salad
and vegetable market.
The world record for the heaviest watermelon (a
whopping 262 pounds grown in 1990 by Bill Carson of Arrington,
TN) is held by a variety known as the Carolina Cross which
commonly produces fruit between 65 and 150 pounds.
Today, farmers in approximately 44 states in
the U.S. grow watermelon commercially, and almost all these
varieties have some Charleston Gray in their lineage, a variety
developed (by the USDA Vegetable Breeding laboratory in
Charleston, South Carolina) to produce high yields and be
resistant to the most serious watermelon diseases: anthracnose
and fusarium wilt.
The Citrulline which exists in watermelon
(especially in the rind) is a known stimulator of nitric oxide,
NO is thought to relax and expand blood vessels and may even
increase libido, however no one knows how much watermelon you
would have to eat to see similar results to erectile
dysfunction drug products (like Viagra).
The human body uses citrulline to make another
important amino acid -- arginine -- which plays a key role in
cell division, wound healing and the removal of ammonia from
the body. In one study, concentrated watermelon juice
consumption was shown to increase plasma arginine levels in
A recent study by the United States Department
of Agriculture (USDA) about watermelon consumption and
heart healthy benefits was completed and published
March 2007. Four new structure-function claims were
derived from this study:
Watermelon consumption increases free arginine and
citrulline, which can help maintain
Eating watermelon can help maintain
Watermelon has amino acids such as citrulline and
arginine that help maintain the
Watermelon amino acids citrulline and arginine can
help maintain blood flow and heart
Medical researchers are currently evaluating arginine as a
possible treatment for high blood pressure, elevated glucose
levels and the vascular complications associated with
Watermelons are also considered to be a mild diuretic.
In some Mediterranean countries, the taste of
watermelon is paired with the salty taste of feta cheese.
Today, watermelons are used in recipes for
everything from fruit smoothies to salsas to salads,
sandwiches, pancakes and much more.
Watermelon carving has also become something of
an art for creating fruit and/or salad centerpieces at parties
and special events.
Sources/Resources for Watermelons
USDA - Watermelon Serves Up Medically
Important Amino Acid
NutritionData.com - Watermelon, raw
National Watermelon Promotion Board
Wikipedia - Watermelons
Be sure to check out both our
"Juicing" and our "Smoothies"
sections for delicious recipes and more using