Watermelon Tea: Health Benefits, Uses, Interactions

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We get it: It’s hard to find a morning beverage as satisfying as coffee if you need to cut back on your caffeine intake. I’m a black tea lover myself, but my doctor recently recommended that I drink less of it, as the caffeine causes occasional heart palpitations.

Thus began an endless quest to find a pleasant alternative. I’m not a big fan of herbal teas, and while I enjoy hot lemon water as much as the person next to it, the sourness isn’t good for my teeth or stomach. Then a relative recommended that I try fruit teas. That’s when I developed a love for watermelon tea.

What is fruit tea and what is watermelon fruit tea?

Ever heard of watermelon tea? Neither do I ! Fruit teas are a whole subgenre of tea worth exploring, if you’re curious. You are simply infusing dried fruit instead of dried leaves, although often different products include a mixture of fruit and herbs. Fruit tea is usually packaged in bulk and therefore requires a strainer, but I think it’s worth it. By the way, I use this stainless steel colander to make soaking and cleaning incredibly easy (Buy on Amazon, $9.99).

Of all the fruit teas I’ve tried, watermelon tea has become my morning pick because of its delicious smell and taste, and I love that pop of color. My favorite blend right now is Tiesta Tea’s Chunky Watermelon (Purchased on Amazon, $7.95). It also contains tiny pieces of dried apple, carrot and melon for added flavor and nutrients.

The Potential Health Benefits of Watermelon Tea

Tiesta Tea claims its Chunky Watermelon tea is an “immunity blend” that can help you recover from mild illness, as the ingredients contain essential vitamins and nutrients. But does watermelon tea really have any health benefits?

According to the USDA, about one cup of diced fresh watermelon contains:

  • 43 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin A, or 6% of your daily value (DV)
  • 12.3 milligrams of vitamin C, or 16% of your DV
  • 170 milligrams (mg) of potassium, or 6.5% of your DV

Although most of us know that vitamin A can improve our vision, this nutrient also has anti-inflammatory properties that play a vital role in a healthy immune system. Vitamin C is another important nutrient because it helps improve both our innate immunity (the immune mechanisms we have had since birth) and our adaptive immunity (the functions our immune system has learned over the years in response to disease). And potassium, which is found in every cell in your body, is a type of electrolyte that can help keep your heartbeat steady.

Additionally, watermelon contains an enzyme known as citrulline, which is converted into arginine in the body. Arginine is an amino acid that is very beneficial for the heart and circulatory system and helps maintain a strong immune system. It is also rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that may have a protective effect against certain cancers.

Does tea have the same benefits as fresh watermelon?

It is unknown if watermelon tea has the same health benefits as fresh watermelon. Processing can reduce the amount (or potency) of certain nutrients. However, dried fruit often contains a higher concentration of certain nutrients, including vitamins, fiber and minerals, compared to fresh fruit.

Other nutrients, like vitamin C, deplete significantly during the drying process. And dried fruits are generally much higher in sugar. But when the sugar from the dried fruit is diluted in a cup of tea, it’s not that sweet.

The bottom line? More research needs to be done to determine the health benefits of watermelon tea. Still, it can be a great substitute for caffeinated beverages.

Keep in mind that you should always talk to your doctor if you try any new food or drink, especially if that drink can naturally lower your blood pressure. Drinking a tea that lowers your blood pressure (such as hibiscus tea) could increase the effects of any heart medication you’re taking. This in turn could lead to an excessive drop in your blood pressure or heart rate.

As long as you get the go-ahead from your doctor, watermelon tea may be your next favorite drink! I know I will continue to enjoy a soothing cup with my breakfast every morning.

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