We're giving you even more reasons to enjoy this iconic summer fruit all season long.

Ally Sorrells

Nothing says summer like sinking your teeth into a refreshing slice of watermelon. Whether we're enjoying it in a refreshing gazpacho or delicious watermelon juice cocktail, we can't get enough of watermelon this summer season and for good reason-it's incredibly healthy!

Watermelon is low in calories and packs a punch of health benefits. If you are looking for more reasons to validate your love for the summer staple, here is everything you need to know about the health benefits of watermelon.

Watermelon Nutrition

Here is the nutrition breakdown for a one-cup serving of diced watermelon:

  • Calories: 46
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 2 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 11g
  • Fiber: 0.6g
  • Sugar: 9.5g
  • Added Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Calcium: 1% DV

Source: USDA Food Composition Database

Due to its high water content, watermelon is low in both calories and carbohydrates. Although the low carbohydrate count means watermelon provides less fiber per serving than most other fruits, it still has a wealth of health benefits.

Watermelon provides a variety of vitamins and minerals that are vital for your body-think vitamin A for vision health and vitamin C for healthy skin. Aside from these great health benefits, consider these other reasons why watermelon is so great for your health!

Watermelon Is Seriously Hydrating

According to the American Heart Association, even just sitting in the sun requires an increase in water consumption to prevent dehydration. Being 92% water, watermelon is a delicious and easy way to give yourself a boost of hydration while relishing the summer sun!

Related: The Most Epic Watermelon Recipes You Need to Be Making All Summer Long

Watermelon Does Wonders for Your Workout

As a decent source of potassium-10 percent in a two-cup serving, watermelon is a great pre-workout snack. According to an article published by Harvard Health, potassium is essential for regulating muscle function. Potassium also helps regulate blood vessel relaxation, which prevents muscle cramps and lowers blood pressure. Don't forget watermelon's high water content can help keep you hydrated during a workout!

The benefits of watermelon don't stop at your pre-workout snack. Aside from providing carbohydrates, which aid in building stronger muscles, consuming watermelon after a workout provides your body with a boost of citrulline. According to a study published by the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, citrulline helps reduce heart rate recovery time and muscle soreness after exercise.

Related: What to Eat Before, During and After Exercise

Watermelon Has Anti-Cancer Properties

Ever wonder what gives watermelon its beautiful pink-reddish hue? It's the same stuff you've probably seen touted on ketchup bottles: Lycopene!

Lycopene is a powerhouse phytochemical that acts as an antioxidant and helps cells fight off free radicals to reduce inflammation. Since lycopene is more readily absorbed when cooked, it never hurts to cook your watermelon. That's right! You can cook watermelon. We recommend this hot-sweet grilled watermelon recipe. It's sure to be a showstopper at your next summer BBQ.

For those who can't get behind cooked watermelon, the America Institute for Cancer Research suggests setting your watermelon out for a few days before cutting into it. This will allow your watermelon to fully ripen, which boosts lycopene content to ensure you are getting the most cancer-fighting bang for your buck.

Related: 6 Cancer-Fighting Foods to Add to Your Diet

Watermelon Is Good for Your Heart

Once again, we have lycopene to thank for another health benefit of watermelon-protecting our hearts! Lycopene has a wide range of vascular benefits and anti-inflammatory properties, so consuming foods high in it may decrease cardiovascular risk. Other foods with lycopene include guava, red grapefruit, and tomatoes.

As if we needed more reasons to love watermelon, the health benefits of watermelon certainly have us head over heels with the summer fruit. If you need more watermelon inspiration, check out these healthy watermelon recipes that will take your summer snacking to a whole new level!

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