Just as its name suggests, orange watermelon is orange inside. An apparently novelty color, orange watermelon is thought to precede the more common pink and red varieties. Its cantaloupe-like flesh color indicates an excellent content of beta-carotene antioxidants with vitamin A activity and benefits for skin and eyesight. A good source of vitamin C, orange watermelon provides anti-inflammatory benefits and is good for healthy gums and teeth and the immune system. Low in calories and with a sweet and flavorful taste, the variety rivals both red and yellow watermelon in popularity, nutrition and health benefits.
What is orange watermelon?
Orange watermelon is just one of many varieties of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus), but with orange flesh instead of pink, red, white or yellow. The biggest, most striking difference between orange watermelon and the more common pink, red and yellow watermelon varieties is flesh color. Other than this, it’s the exact same fruit with more or less the same nutritional value and health benefits.
Where does orange watermelon come from?
All types of watermelon come from a single ancestor fruit with hard, greenish-white, supposedly bitter-tasting flesh. Over time, watermelon has been bred to increase its sugar content and improve its taste and appearance, resulting in current varieties of watermelon with sweet, pink, red, yellow and orange flesh. Present-day watermelon has a deliciously sweet taste with fruity flavors, and a colorful flesh that is juicy and crisp as well as a source of good nutrition and health benefits.
Is orange watermelon a hybrid?
Yes, orange watermelon is a hybrid fruit. Different watermelon varieties have been crossed over the course of generations to achieve hybrid fruits with particular characteristics – in the case of orange watermelon, a juicy, flavorful, sweet-tasting watermelon fruit that is orange inside. Orange-fleshed watermelon is actually thought to precede pink and red watermelon, the latter being a much more recent hybrid.
Is orange watermelon GMO?
No, orange watermelon is not GMO. Its genetic material has not been altered using genetic engineering techniques that would not normally occur naturally, hence the reason it’s non-GMO. Instead, orange watermelon has been obtained through selective plant breeding, meaning humans crossed naturally-occurring varieties of watermelon to perpetuate desirable characteristics such as a soft, juicy, orange flesh and a sweet taste. The present-day orange-fleshed watermelon is the result of cultivation and cross-breeding efforts spanning over generations.
Is orange watermelon safe to eat?
Orange watermelon is perfectly safe to eat, as well as good for you. Orange watermelon is not just edible, but can be used in the same way as all other watermelon colors, from fruit salads to mixed salads to watermelon juice, smoothies, ice cream or eaten as it is. The different color does not indicate anything bad about it. Only if it’s spoilt can it cause digestive upset or, in rare cases, foodborne illness, but this is what happens if you eat spoilt watermelon of any color.
What does orange watermelon taste like?
There are different varieties of orange watermelon so taste and flavor profile may vary between them and according to growing conditions, season, fruit maturity and ripeness and other factors. This being said, orange watermelon has a characteristic watermelon taste: sweet and fresh with pleasant fruity flavors. Ideally, the flesh is soft, extremely juicy and crisp. Both seedless varieties and varieties with seeds exist.
Can you eat orange watermelon seeds?
Orange watermelon seeds are edible and good to eat, albeit somewhat flavorless, and supply vitamin E and a number of other vitamins, antioxidants and minerals that contribute to daily nutritional requirements. But while you can eat watermelon seeds and get nutritional benefits, it’s best to limit intake to a small number of seeds just because they have a hard outer coating that may get stuck in teeth or injure gums and cause stomach upset in some people due to it not being digested.
Why is orange watermelon orange inside?
What does it mean when a watermelon is orange inside? The reason why watermelons have orange flesh is because they contain high amounts of orange carotenoid pigments such as beta-carotene. Studies show beta-carotene is the predominant pigment in orange watermelon. Other pigments in orange watermelons that contribute to flesh color include alpha-carotene and gamma-carotene and, to a lesser extent, red lycopene and yellow xanthophylls.
So what makes watermelon orange inside instead of pink, red, dark red or yellow is a particular pigment profile. Orange watermelon is highest in orange pigments called carotenoids and low in red pigments such as lycopene and yellow pigments such as xanthophylls, hence its particular flesh color. The exact ratio of each pigment is what ultimately determines flesh color in the fruit. Also find out why is yellow watermelon yellow and why is red watermelon red.
Orange watermelon nutritional value
Watermelon that is orange inside is a great source of beta-carotene with vitamin A activity. Orange-fleshed watermelon varieties are highest in vitamin A, higher than both pink and red and yellow varieties. Orange watermelon is also a good source of vitamins C as well as vitamin E from the seed kernels. The variety is low in calories, fat and a moderate source of fiber, carbs and sugar. Orange watermelon contains small amounts of several B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, choline), calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc, and is sodium-free. The fruit has no vitamin D, no vitamin B12 and almost no vitamin K.
Orange watermelon benefits
- Hydrating, combats dehydration-related tiredness, fatigue and malaise.
- Diuretic properties, supports normal kidney function.
- Minor benefits for high blood pressure thanks to a good potassium and magnesium content and being sodium-free.
- Good for water retention and associated swelling (swollen legs, ankles, feet, arms, hands) and face puffiness due to being over 90% water, a good source of electrolytes and sodium-free.
- Good food to eat for weight loss thanks to a low energetic value (under 50 kcal/calories per 100 g).
- Minor benefits for cholesterol levels thanks to fiber content and an extremely low fat content.
- Benefits for gums and teeth health due to good vitamin C content.
- Anti-inflammatory food with excellent anti-inflammatory properties from vitamin C and pigmented and colorless antioxidants.
- Varied antioxidants profile: beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, gamma-carotene, phytofluene, lycopene, xanthophylls (lutein, zeaxanthin), vitamin C, vitamin A from carotenoid sources, vitamin E from the seeds and other antioxidant chemicals.
- Protects against free radical damage and helps repair cell damage in the body thanks to a good antioxidants content.
- Raises low blood sugar levels and combats hypoglycemia.
- Benefits for eyesight thanks to good amounts of beta-carotene which is a pro-vitamin A antioxidant and small amounts of xanthophylls which get deposited in the retina of the eye for better vision.
- Benefits for skin thanks to pigmented and colorless antioxidants which protect skin from free radical damage.
- Boosts the immune system thanks to a good vitamin A and C content.
This post was updated on Tuesday / August 25th, 2020 at 11:50 PM