THE FOOD SERIES: Watermelon

Definitely one of my favourite summer fruits. It’s refreshing, it’s hydrating and so sweet.
Personal fun fact: I went on watermelon island for 3 days; meaning I only ate watermelon for 3 days and it was amazing, definitely quite the experience.

DESCRIPTION:

Watermelons are extremely high in water content, they are juicy with its unique crunch and texture.Watermelon is part of the Cucurbitaceae family which also includes squash, pumpkin, zucchini, cucumber and cantaloupe. There are numerous of varieties of watermelons, from seeded to seedless, from mini to ninety pounds, from red, pink, yellow and even orange.

When you are purchasing pre-cut watermelon, look for ones that are rich and deep in color. When buying whole watermelons, many people knock and tap on the watermelon and listen to the sound that it makes. I personally find that lifting it and estimating it’s weight vs. the size is a good way of evaluating. Watermelon as we know is extremely high in water content, therefore the heavier it is (relative to its size) the more fully ripe it is. You also want to look at the top and bottom of a watermelon. A fully ripe watermelon usually has a yellow spot usually on the bottom or where the watermelon have rested against. Additionally the appearance of the watermelon should look dull and not shiny particularly the top of the watermelon.

PRODUCTION:

The origin of watermelon have been found to trace back to Africa where it is still grown in the wild presently. Today the top producers of watermelon are: China, Turkey, Iran, Brazil and Egypt.

NUTRITIONAL PROFILE:

One cup of watermelon (cubed):

45.7 kcal
11.5 g carbs
0.6 g fiber
0.2 g fat
0.9 g protein
12.3 mg vitamin C
864.9 IU vitamin A
0.3 mg vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
0.1 mg copper

Most of us know about all the vitamins and the common minerals. Copper is one mineral that may not be as well known. Although 0.1 mg may not seem like much, copper is necessary in our bodies. Copper is a water soluble trace mineral, with largest concentrations being found in the brain and liver. Some important functions of copper include: the formation of hemoglobin, synthesis of phospholipids, direct role in iron metabolism, oxidization of vitamin C, a conductor of electricity thus essential for the nervous system, and so much more. Although it is a trace mineral it has so much crucial functions in the body! Just one cup of watermelon, you can get around 7% of your daily recommended intake of copper!

Other health benefits of watermelon include its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties from the flavonoids, carotenoids and triterpenoids that are present.

WAYS TO ENJOY

Melons, one fruit that I tend to enjoy eating by itself. However, there are a few other ways I like to enjoy them 🙂

With lemon/lime.

This may sound odd, but just try squeezing some lemon or lime juice on top. I personally love the sour citrus taste of lemons and limes and eating it with something as sweet as watermelon results in such a delicious combination. Try it and see what you think!

Slushie

An extremely refreshing and hydrating way to enjoy watermelon is in a summer slushie. Simply blend frozen watermelon with lemon/lime juice and some mint. I have a YouTube video watch it HERE!

FUN FACTS

  • Watermelon is 92% water.
  • It has more lycopene than raw tomatoes. Lycopene is a phytonutrient that is important for heart health, bone health and also prostate cancer prevention.
  • The world’s heaviness watermelon weighed in at 350.5 lbs!
  • Seedless watermelons were created through hybridization and not from genetic engineering.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES / REFERENCES 

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