With only 46 calories in 1 cup of diced watermelon, this fruit serves as a healthy substitute for a sugar-laden dessert. A refreshing treat with a dramatic light and dark green rind and juicy pinkish-red interior, watermelon contains more than 92 percent water and few calories.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, you'll find only 1,360 calories in a whole watermelon.
Calories in a Whole Watermelon
You won't even reach your daily caloric intake with an entire watermelon. Per FoodData Central of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a whole watermelon measuring 15 inches in length by 7.5 inches in diameter contains 1,360 calories.
Most of the fruit's calories come from carbohydrates, which are primarily made of natural sugars such as sucrose, fructose and glucose. These sugars give watermelon its candy-like flavor. Because of a watermelon's low carbohydrate count, your blood sugar level shouldn't spike.
Calories in a Watermelon Slice
Calories per watermelon slice won't break your daily caloric limit. You will find only 86 calories in watermelon slice (approximately 1/16 of a whole 15-inch by 7.5-inch watermelon), per the USDA. To help you stay on track with your diet, the USDA also provides calorie counts in other portions of watermelon:
- 46 calories in 1 cup of balled or diced watermelon
- 30 calories per 100 grams
- 71 calories in watermelon juice per 1 cup
Adding watermelon to your diet offers beneficial health effects. According to the Food and Drug Administration, eating the 86 calories in a watermelon slice can provide up to the following percentages of vitamins and minerals:
- 25 percent of vitamin C for combating germs, protecting you from premature aging and alleviating poor skin
- 30 percent of vitamin A for optimal eye health and boosting your immunity system
- 4 percent of iron to help eliminate fatigue and treat anemia
- 2 percent of calcium to build and support strong bones
- 8 percent of potassium for regulating blood pressure and keeping hydration levels balanced
- 4 percent of fiber to keep you feeling fuller, longer
Read more: 10 Irresistible Smoothies to Make Right Now
Additional Health Benefits of Watermelon
More than a ubiquitous summertime picnic treat, watermelon provides evidence-based health benefits, including:
Reduces cardiovascular disorders. In a review published in June 2014
in the EXCLI Journal of Experimental Clinical Sciences, researchers found that the lycopene found in watermelon (which produces the fruit's red coloring) is effective in curbing coronary artery diseases, heart attacks and strokes. As an added bonus, watermelon offers more lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable.
- Delays osteoporosis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, osteoporosis affects 24.5 percent of women 65 years of age and older. Eating watermelon can help combat experiencing this condition at an early age. A January 2016 review published in Nutrition Reviews suggests that the carotenoid beta-cryptoxanthin, found in abundance in watermelon, might have an anabolic effect on your bones, helping you postpone osteoporosis.
Lessens inflammation and cholesterol. Watermelon might help improve inflammation and antioxidant capacity. According to a study published in the March 2015
issue of Nutrition Reviews, 40 lab rats were divided into a watermelon-fed group or control group. Researchers found the watermelon group exhibited significantly lower total cholesterol, serum triglycerides, inflammation and oxidative stress levels than the non-watermelon eating group.
- United States Department of Agriculture: “Watermelon, Raw”
- Federal Drug Administration: “Nutrition Information on Raw Fruits for Restaurants & Retail Establishments”
- EXCLI Journal of Experimental Clinical Sciences: “Watermelon Lycopene and Allied Health Claims”
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Osteoporosis”
- Nutrition Reviews: “Absorption, Metabolism, and Functions of β-cryptoxanthin”
- Frontiers in Endocrinology: “The Role of the Insulin/IGF System in Cancer: Lessons Learned from Clinical Trials and the Energy Balance-Cancer Link”
- Nutrition Reviews: “Watermelon Consumption Improves Inflammation and Antioxidant Capacity in Rats Fed an Atherogenic Diet”