You'd be so surprised at the number of nutrients found in watermelon. Here are some easy watermelon recipes to enjoy this summer!

  • 1 Minute Read
Katherine Isacks
Katherine Isacks, MPS, RDN, CDCES - Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES)

Your summer will get sweeter when you discover all the nutrients found in watermelon! Read on to learn what makes this cool, summer staple nutritious, and find out our favorite easy watermelon recipes that are sure to please your family and friends.

Nutrients found in watermelon

Top nutrients found in watermelon

Water content

Watermelon is incredibly refreshing, likely due to its high water content. By weight, watermelon is 92% water; an apple with skin is 85% water, whereas a banana is only 75% water.


Watermelon is surprisingly high in vitamin C (21%DV) and vitamin A (18%DV). Among the other nutrients found in watermelon is lycopene, the antioxidant with cancer and heart health benefits. However, watermelon does not win first place when it comes to fiber content.

Calories and carbs

Compared to other fruits by weight (especially tropical fruits or bananas), melons are far lower in both carbs and calories. For example, one cup of watermelon balls weighs 154 grams and provides only 46 calories and 12 grams of total carbs. The same weight in bananas provides nearly triple the calories (137 calories) and just over double the total carbs (35 grams).

What about the glycemic index?

The glycemic index (GI) for watermelon is high (72-80), as estimated by the University of Sydney. However, its glycemic load (GL) is relatively low-only 4-5. GL accounts for both the GI and the number of carbs (via portion size) consumed. For more information on GI and GL, click here.

If you have diabetes, consider the GL values of foods to help further control the rise of blood glucose after meals or snacks, in addition to counting total carbs. Also, make sure to pay close attention to your portions.

A few favorite, easy watermelon recipes

Watermelon with mint and feta

This colorful salad from our MyNetDiary Premium recipe collection calls for only three ingredients, making it a quick-and-easy side for everyday meals or special occasions. The fresh mint cools the palate, and the feta adds a savory component to the party.


If a sweetened cocktail entices you for the summer holidays, punch up your nutrition with fresh-whipped watermelon pulp as your fruit base. Doing so helps limit calories and carbs while still getting a lot of flavor. You can prepare it with or without alcohol for a refreshing summer beverage.

Watermelon smoothie

Looking for something different for breakfast? Try this smoothie recipe which includes fiber-rich chia seeds and your favorite plant milk.

Enjoy watermelon by controlling portions

Consuming fresh watermelon in portion-controlled servings is the easiest way to minimize calories and carbs and get all the benefits of this juicy treat. Consider cutting the watermelon into pieces or balls and use a measuring cup, or weigh your portions without the rind. If you want to dress it up, consider adding fresh berries and mint leaves.

Reviewed and updated by Joanna Kriehn MS, RDN, CDCES, on June 21, 2021.

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Foods & Recipes->Fruit & Vegetables Holidays / Parties->July 4th / Independence Day
Jun 28, 2021

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