Vegan watermelon sushi

Watermelon is a great addition to any type of eating pattern, but it is a perfect fit in a plant-based diet. Discover the power of plant-based as this eating pattern continues to reign and rise in popularity!

What does “Plant-Based” mean?

You have likely heard or seen the term “plant-based” on the morning news, on the cover of magazines at the grocery store in checkout aisles, or when chatting with friends, but what does “plant-based” really mean?

While there is no official, regulated, definition of “plant-based,” a 2017 research article defined a plant-based diet as one which “consists of all minimally processed fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, herbs, and spices and excludes all animal products, including red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products.”[1]

Foods that are part of a plant-based diet, such as fruits like watermelon, contribute vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Watermelon contains vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, thiamine, and phosphorus while remaining low in calories.[2] Packed full of nutrients, watermelon fits perfectly into a plant-based diet!

Why is a Plant-Based eating pattern important?

The recently released Dietary Guidelines for Americans Scientific Advisory Committee report referenced the term “plant-based” over a dozen times, showcasing the benefits of an eating pattern comprised mostly of plants.

Of the three USDA food patterns outlined in the report, Healthy U.S.-Style, Healthy Vegetarian, and Healthy Mediterranean-Style, the committee stated that the majority of energy came from plant-based foods, such as fruits, for all three. Additionally, when examining dietary patterns without animal-products, such as those described in vegetarian, vegan, or plant-based diets, a reduced risk of all-cause mortality was observed in several studies.[3]

Additionally, results from a 2014 study indicate that shifting to a plant-based diet can significantly reduce carbon emissions and water use.[4] Sounds like a win-win for human health and earth health!

Enjoy Plant-Based Recipes Featuring Watermelon!

To achieve a plant-based eating pattern, incorporate more watermelon into your meals and snacks with these fun, crave-worthy recipes!

  • Watermelon Buddha Bowl Stick to a traditional plant-based Buddha bowl and amp up the protein by adding tofu or legumes. This dish is both sweet and savory and can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
  • Steel Cut Oats with Watermelon Start your day off right by adding watermelon to your morning oats. This plant-based breakfast option is perfect for those cooler fall days!
  • Watermelon Sushi This plant-based sushi is as delicious as it is beautiful. Make this quick and easy meal for yourself or to share with friends- it is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

[1] Ostfeld, R. (2017). Definition of a plant-based diet and overview of this special issue. Journal of Geriatric Cardiology, 14, 315. Doi: 10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2017.05.008

[2] USDA Food Composition Database. Accessed March 25, 2019.

[3]Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. 2020. Scientific Report of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee: Advisory Report to the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Health and Human Services. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Washington, DC.

[4] Jalava M, Kummu M, Porkka M, Siebert S, and Varis O (2014).  Diet Change–a solution to reduce water use? Environ. Res. lett. 9(7):1-14.