Most people discard the rind of the juicy watermelon, but donâ€™t be so hasty â€“ the watermelon rind has many benefits. Whether you eat the rind or use it topically, this often-wasted food can do good things for your body.
The rind may not be as juicy as the flesh of a watermelon, but you can eat it. A 1-inch cube of watermelon rind contains 1.8 calories. The majority of the calories come from carbohydrates, with 0.32 g per serving. While you will not derive a tremendous amount of macronutrients from eating watermelon rind, this food does contain some vitamins. One serving provides 2 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C and 1 percent of the vitamin B-6 your body requires every day. This makes watermelon rind good for your skin and immunity, as well as the health of your nervous system.
Watermelon rinds may have additional medical benefits. Research by the Agricultural Research Service discovered that watermelon rinds contain citrulline. Citrulline creates arginine, an amino acid that makes proteins for your body and plays a role in the relaxation of your blood vessels.
Eating the rind allows you to use all of the edible parts of a watermelon, and it reduces food waste. Due to their mild flavor, you can use watermelon rinds in a variety of dishes. Asian cultures use watermelon rinds in stir-fries, salads, soups and other dishes. Pickled watermelon rinds are a popular dish in Southern states. Watermelon rinds also are used to make preserves, relishes and candy.
The red flesh of the watermelon spoils faster after it is detached from the rind, so plan to use the rind last. Peel the green outer skin from the white rind, then cut the rind into 1/2-inch pieces. Use the chopped rind as you would a vegetable in your dishes. Toss it into a carrot-and-raisin salad with a light dressing. Add diced rind to your favorite soup recipe, or mix it in with your favorite stir-fry vegetables. Enjoy this overlooked part of the watermelon, and make the most out of this delicious seasonal fruit.