You cannot identify the type of watermelon by its rind. Yes, this is because both yellow and red watermelons have green rinds. But did you know that the watermelon flesh was not red earlier? Yes, it was yellow before. However, genetic modifications enabled watermelons to change their color to pink or red. This sweet, juicy summer fruit belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. But what exactly is the yellow watermelon? How is it different from red watermelon?
In this article, we explore the benefits of yellow watermelons, their types, how they compare with red watermelons, and a few simple recipes to try at home. Take a look.
What Is It?
A yellow-fleshed summer fruit with a sweet flavor.
What Are Its Benefits?
It may help reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, manage weight, reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune system, and improve gut health.
Who Can Use It?
Anyone except individuals who are allergic to watermelons.
You can consume it as part of your diet in moderate amounts daily.
Limit consumption and seek medical advice if you experience any side effects.
In This Article
What Are Yellow Watermelons?
These are one of the oldest and natural varieties of watermelons without any genetic modifications. They are smaller than red watermelons and are believed to be native to Africa. Yellow watermelons have an oblong to oval shape with a thicker and harder green rind than red watermelons. The color of the flesh ranges from pale yellow to gold, and it contains large and edible brown or black seeds (it could be seedless too). Besides, these yellow-fleshed watermelons have a sweet flavor with subtle notes of honey.
These delicious yellow watermelons are available in different varieties. The most common types are listed below.
Yellow Watermelon Varieties
- Yellow Crimson
Most of the yellow watermelons you find at the grocery store are yellow crimsons. The yellow crimson watermelon is similar to pink watermelons (crimson sweet) on the outside but has brighter yellow flesh. Its pulp turns yellow when it becomes ripe, and it is sweeter than the crimson variety.
- Yellow Doll
You can grow this watermelon vertically in a container. A Yellow doll can weigh around five to seven pounds and mature early (within 68 days). Moreover, it tastes very sweet.
- Desert King
It looks like a cantaloupe but has the crisp texture of watermelon with a high beta-carotene content. It tastes extra sweet and has a honey-apricot flavor.
- Buttercup Yellow Melon
It is a seedless, hybrid variety of yellow watermelon with a very high sugar content.
- Yellow Petite
It is a very aromatic watermelon weighing just four to seven pounds and has a high sugar content. It is a perfect sphere (in shape) and fits into the refrigerator comfortably.
Yellow watermelons are replete with beneficial plant compounds and nutrients that help treat and prevent many ailments. Here is a list of the health benefits of yellow watermelons.
Health Benefits Of Yellow Watermelons
1) May Help Reduce CVD Risk
Jay Cowin, a registered nutritionist, says, “Yellow watermelon has been linked to improved cardiovascular health. It has been shown to have the ability to lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, increase HDL cholesterol, and reduce inflammation in cardiovascular disease risk patients.” He also adds, “They also are a great source of vitamins A and C, which help reduce inflammation and also strengthen the immune system.”
Yellow watermelons also contain antioxidants, phytochemicals, and minerals like potassium that help lower blood pressure (1).
2) May Help Manage Chronic Diseases
Studies suggest that consuming watermelons may help treat and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, and other age-related ailments. These medicinal properties are attributed to the presence of phytochemicals like lycopene, citrulline, and other polyphenolic compounds. Besides, watermelon intake was also found to help with weight management (2). L-citrulline (a non-essential amino acid) may also help improve exercise performance and recovery in individuals (3).
Note: A study found that supplementation of β-carotene (present in yellow watermelons) to smokers may increase the risk of lung cancer (4).
3) May Improve Gut Health
The peel of yellow watermelons was shown to have the highest probiotic activity on Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium bifidum (5). Trista Best, a registered dietitian, says, “Yellow watermelons provide water and fiber, both of which are necessary for gut health. These two characteristics make yellow watermelons useful in helping to prevent gastrointestinal discomfort, ulcers, and constipation.” Besides, the high percentage of water in yellow watermelon may help keep you hydrated for the whole day.
Wondering why this oldest variety of watermelons has yellow flesh? What does science have to say about it? Keep scrolling to find out.
Why Is This Watermelon Yellow Inside?
Yellow watermelons look the same as traditional red watermelons from outside – with a striped, smooth green rind. But the hue in red watermelons is due to lycopene, an antioxidant also present in tomatoes. Yellow watermelons do not contain this antioxidant. This is because they had undergone selective cross-breeding for their texture, color, and sweetness over a certain period.
Apart from their flesh color, how else are the two watermelon varieties different? Let us find out.
Red Watermelon Vs. Yellow Watermelon
Matthew Scarfo, a nutrition expert, says, “Flavor-wise, yellow watermelons are very similar to the red variety, only that they are slightly sweeter with a slight honey-like flavor. They are essentially identical in flavor and nutritional value other than the lack of lycopene.” Both are available in seeded and seedless varieties created by the natural cross-breeding process. These melons can be used in different fruit salads, smoothies, lemonades, and desserts.
What is the shelf life of yellow watermelons? How to store them properly to increase their shelf life? Here are a few tips to follow.
How To Store Yellow Watermelons?
An uncut watermelon can last up to two weeks, and regularly changing its (base) position may further increase its shelf life. If refrigerated, it can last up to two to three weeks. Store the watermelon in a sealed glass container once it is cut.
Note: Always check for watermelons with a creamy yellowish spot on their rind. A ripe watermelon should feel heavy and make a hollow sound if you lightly tap it.
Including yellow watermelon in your diet is easy. Here are a few delicious recipes you can try at home.
Yellow Watermelon Recipes
1. Yellow Watermelon Salad With Mint
What You Need
- Yellow watermelon, rind removed – 600g
- Crumbled Greek feta – 180g
- Olive oil – 4 teaspoons
- Mint leaves (hand-torn) – ⅓ cup
- Pepper – to taste
- Salt – to taste
- Cut the yellow watermelon into bite-size chunks.
- Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the Greek feta and mint leaves.
- Add the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Mix the ingredients gently and serve.
2. Yellow Watermelon And Mint Pops
What You Need
- Yellow watermelon (peeled, seeded, and chopped) – 1 quart (960 ml)
- Sugar – ¾ cup (150g)
- Fresh lemon juice – 2 tablespoons
- Fresh mint – 5 to 6 large sprigs
- Very thinly sliced fresh mint – 2 teaspoons
- Ice pop molds – 8
- Water – 180 ml
- Dissolve the sugar in water in a medium saucepan, stirring often.
- Lower the heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer until the syrup is slightly thickened (about 5 minutes). Remove the saucepan from the heat.
- Stir in the mint sprigs and let the pan stand uncovered until the syrup is completely cooled.
- Drain the syrup in a wire sieve over a bowl and squeeze the mint with your fingertips to extract the very last drops. Discard the mint.
- Puréethe watermelon in a food processor or blender and transfer to a bowl.
- Stir in enough mint syrup to make a very sweet mixture. Add the sliced mint.
- Divide the purée evenly among the eight ice pop molds, leaving a little clearance at the top of each mold to allow for expansion. Cover the molds with the lids.
- Freeze the pops until they are solid, for at least 4 hours (the pops can be frozen for up to a week).
- To serve, run the bottom of the molds briefly under lukewarm water and unmold.
3. Grilled Watermelon With Cucumber Cantaloupe Salsa
What You Want
- ¾-inch yellow watermelon slices – 12
- Vegetable oil – 2 tablespoons
- Lime– 2
- Cucumber (peeled, seeded, and diced) – 1 cup
- Diced red onion – ½ cup
- Diced cantaloupe – 1 cup
- Minced jalapeno – 1
- Chopped fresh basil and parsley – 1 tablespoon each
- Extra virgin olive oil – 2 tablespoons
- Kosher salt – to taste
- Black pepper – to taste
- Preheat the grill over medium-high heat.
- Place watermelon wedges and lime halves on a large, parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet.
- Brush vegetable oil on both sides of the watermelon and cut the side of limes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Grill watermelon for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until charred but not soft.
- Next, grill the limes (with their cut-side down) for 3 minutes. Place watermelon and limes back on the baking sheet. Set aside.
- Combine the cucumber, cantaloupe, red onion, jalapeno, basil, parsley, and olive oil in a medium bowl.
- Squeeze the juice of grilled limes over the salsa. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Arrange watermelon wedges on a large platter.
- Spoon salsa over the top.
- Garnish the platter with extra lime wedges and fresh herbs.
- Serve with the remaining salsa on the side.
Infographic: Yellow Watermelons: Health Benefits And Recipe
These sweet and watery fruits keep you hydrated and are a good snack alternative. Yellow watermelons are available in different varieties that have plenty of benefits and elevate your simple salad recipe. Check out the infographic below to know about their top health benefits along with a delicious recipe to try out.
Yellow watermelon is the oldest variety of refreshing red watermelon we know. It is not only delicious but also replete with the essential nutrients your body needs. It is a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Yellow watermelon’s benefits range from improving exercise performance to boosting gut health. It is also beneficial to your heart as it may help reduce blood cholesterol levels and reduce the level of inflammation, thereby reducing any risk of cardiovascular disorders. However, excessive consumption can cause health issues. You should limit its use and seek medical advice if you experience any side effects.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do yellow watermelons grow?
Yellow watermelons thrive best in tropical countries that are warmer like Africa, where they originated. They also grow in Mexico and the United States.
Is yellow watermelon good for weight loss?
Yes, yellow watermelon is good for weight loss. It is a low-calorie food and is filling.
Can yellow watermelon be juiced or blended into smoothies?
Yes, yellow watermelon is super sweet and is used extensively to make juices and smoothies.
Can I grow yellow watermelon in my home garden?
Yes, you can grow yellow watermelons in your home garden with suitable climatic conditions and soil. Growing yellow watermelons have similar requirements as traditional watermelons.
Can yellow watermelon be used as a dessert ingredient?
Yes, yellow watermelon can be used in desserts like pop sickles, smoothie bowls, sorbet, and granita.
- Yellow crimson, yellow doll, desert king, buttercup yellow melon, and yellow petite are some varieties of yellow watermelon.
- Lack of lycopene, an antioxidant, makes the flesh of this melon yellow.
- Yellow watermelon may help reduce CVD risk, manage chronic diseases, and can keep the gut healthy.
Learn about the unique yellow watermelon, its facts, and its health benefits in this informative video. Discover why this fruit is so special and how it can benefit your health.
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- Effects of Red and Yellow Watermelon Juice on The Blood Pressure in Pre-Elderly Prehypertension
- Versatile Nutraceutical Potentials of Watermelon-A Modest Fruit Loaded with Pharmaceutically Valuable Phytochemicals
- Effects of Citrulline Supplementation on Exercise Performance in Humans: A Review of the Current Literature
- β-Carotene Supplementation and Lung Cancer Incidence in the Alpha-Tocopherol
Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study: The Role of Tar and Nicotine
- A Catalog of Natural Products Occurring in Watermelon—Citrulluslanatus