Although watermelon is a seasonal fruit, it is by far my favourite fruit. It’s also good for us. It contains lycopene, a carotenoid phytonutrient that is particularly important for cardiovascular health.
They are also packed full of goodness. With every bite, we’re also taking in significant levels of B6, Vitamin A and C, together with antioxidants, lycopene and amino acids. Watermelons also contain modest amounts of potassium. It is low in sodium, is only 40 calories per cup and is fat-free.
In a recent study carried out by Food Scientists, they compared the nutrient content of flesh from different parts of a watermelon including flesh from the middle, the stem end, the blossom end (opposite from the stem), and the edge nearest to the rind). They discovered high concentrations of phenolic antioxidants, flavonoids, lycopene, and Vitamin C in these different areas.
The distribution of nutrients will vary depending on the variety of watermelon; but there was no area in any of the watermelon varieties that came out badly in terms of nutrients. In many of the watermelon varieties, the flesh’s outer periphery contained impressive concentrations of most nutrients.
Watermelon have very high levels level of lycopene, about 15-29mg per cup sized serving which is the highest level of any fresh fruit or vegetable. Lycopene is a phytonutrient that reacts in the human body to trigger healthy reactions.
Lycopene is the red pigment that gives watermelons, tomatoes and red grapefruits their colour and has been linked with heart health, bone health and cancer prevention as well as being a powerful antioxidant.