Watermelon comes in many varieties, including the more common pink, red and orange fleshed watermelon, the less common green and white fleshed watermelon and the recently popular yellow fleshed watermelon. Sweet like honey and intensely flavorful, yellow watermelon is an important source of both pigmented and unpigmented antioxidants and vitamin C for healthy gums and anti-inflammatory benefits. Yellow watermelon is low in calories and provides a range of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamins B1, B2 and B5, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and calcium.
What does yellow watermelon look like?
From the outside, yellow watermelon is essentially indistinguishable from the more common pink-red varieties: varying in size from less than one kilogram to several, it has an oblong or rounded shape and light green rind with medium to dark green stripes varying in thickness running along the length of the fruit. Yellow watermelon has pale yellow to golden yellow flesh, depending on variety, and is soft, juicy and fresh. Near the rind, there is a band of thicker, harder whitish-green, but edible pulp. Yellow watermelon comes in both seedless and seeded varieties, the mature seeds being brown and black and edible.
Why are yellow watermelons yellow inside?
Pink and red-fleshed watermelons are the norm, so why are some watermelons yellow inside? What causes the yellow flesh color in yellow watermelons is a significantly lower content of lycopene, the pink-red pigmented antioxidant responsible for the flesh color in pink and red watermelons, but also guava, grapefruit and red carrots. Instead, the yellow flesh color of yellow watermelon is owed to carotenoid antioxidants such as xanthophylls, notably neoxanthin, but also violaxanthin and neochrome (source).
What does yellow watermelon taste like?
There are several cultivated varieties of yellow watermelon and flavor profile may differ slightly between them. Overall, yellow watermelon is sweeter than red watermelon, almost as sweet as honey. It has delicious honey and fruity flavors and a soft, but crisp and juicy flesh, slightly denser compared to that of red watermelon. Versus red watermelon flesh which is somewhat stringy, yellow watermelon is not which adds to its appeal. July-August is peak season for yellow watermelon, although it is available almost year-round nowadays. It’s a good idea to wash your yellow watermelon with dish soap and water in the sink before cutting it to reduce risks of foodborne illness by spreading bacteria from the rind to the flesh.
Yellow watermelon nutritional value
Research on the nutritional value of yellow watermelon is scarce. However, despite exact nutrition facts not being available, here is what is known about the yellow-fleshed watermelon nutrition:
- Source of dietary fiber (around 0.5 g of fiber/100 g)
- Low-calorie (around 50-60 kilo-calories/100 g)
- Moderate carbohydrate content (around 8-10 g of carbs/100 g)
- Moderate sugar content (around 70-75% of total carbohydrate content is represented by natural sugars)
- Good vitamin C content (averaging 10% of daily recommended values/100 g serving of the fruit)
- Modest vitamin A content from pro-vitamin A antioxidants (less than 5% of daily intake/100 g)
- Other vitamins in yellow watermelon: vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, choline (less than 5% of daily intake/100 g)
- Vitamin E in the seed kernels
- No vitamin D
- Almost no vitamin K
- Minerals in yellow watermelon: calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc (between 1-4% of daily recommended intake/100 g serving)
What are the benefits of yellow watermelon?
- Hydrating properties. With a water content of over 90% and a source of electrolytes such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, yellow watermelon actively combats dehydration and associated fatigue and malaise.
- Combats oxidative stress. Source of both pigmented and unpigmented antioxidants, yellow watermelon helps prevent and repair cell damage caused by free radicals and reduce side effects such as inflammation that is conducive to disease.
- Benefits for the kidneys. High in water and hydrating, yellow watermelon supports normal kidney function.
- Benefits for weight loss. Relatively low-calorie, yellow watermelon can substitute other more calorie-dense options in your diet, helping you lose weight in a healthy manner.
- Diuretic properties. Eating yellow watermelon ups water intake and promotes diuresis which helps balance fluid volume in the body, lower blood pressure naturally and combat water retention.
- Minor benefits for blood pressure. Essentially sodium-free and a modest source of both potassium and magnesium, yellow watermelon contributes to lower blood pressure numbers and cardiovascular health. Bioavailable lycopene further helps improve blood pressure numbers.
- Benefits for eyesight. The content of beta-carotene, but also lutein and zeaxanthin in yellow watermelon promotes the physical health of the eyes and supports visual acuity, color vision and vision in dim light, informally called night vision.
- Benefits for gums and teeth. A good source of vitamin C, yellow watermelon promotes healthy gums and helps prevent gum disease and teeth loss.
- Anti-inflammatory benefits. Owed primarily to vitamin C, but also to the good antioxidant content of the fruit flesh.
- Benefits for the immune system. Owed to vitamin C, vitamin A from pro-vitamin antioxidants and other antioxidants in the yellow-fleshed fruit.
- Minor benefits for the nervous system. Owed primarily to a range of B vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9.
- Good to eat with diabetes. If you were wondering if diabetics can eat yellow watermelon, know they can. Despite having a high glycemic index score of over 70, yellow watermelon has a low glycemic load of around 5 per 100 g serving and does not raise blood sugar levels too much too fast when eaten in reasonable amounts.
- Good for hypoglycemia. If it’s hot outside and you haven’t felt like eating anything in a while and have low blood sugar levels as a result, a slice of chilled yellow watermelon provides natural sugars to raise your blood glucose levels fast and stop you from fainting.
This post was updated on Monday / August 17th, 2020 at 9:33 PM