Tasty and juicy "striped" – an indispensable attribute of summer. And also – very interesting berries, or vegetables, or fruits … MedAboutMe tells the most interesting facts about watermelons that you definitely did not know!
1. Your way out
The homeland of watermelons is considered Central Africa. It was she who became the starting point from which the watermelon began its victorious march on the planet. There, slices of watermelon were offered to travelers so that they could quench their thirst.
Today, the ways to use watermelons are hundreds of thousands. For example, in China, they like to eat watermelon fried, and in the countries of the Mediterranean basin, they pour over olive oil with a slice of sheep’s cheese and a powder of walnuts.
2. Where was born, it came in handy
Watermelons are grown in 96 countries. The ripening season is from July to October. So do not be afraid of July watermelons, in contrast to the January allowance.
The largest producer of watermelons in the world is China.
3. How huge and so small
The largest watermelon in the world was grown in 2013 by Chris Kent from Sevierville, Tennessee, USA. Its mass is 159 kilograms! The huge fruit was listed in the Guinness Book of Records.
And here is the smallest watermelon – from the dwarf family – “Mexican melotria”. In appearance, it resembles gooseberries. Its size rarely exceeds 3-4 centimeters. And the taste of miniature watermelons is refreshing, very close to the taste of cucumber. Miniature watermelons are used in elite restaurants in the world for cooking salads or as an unusual aperitif.
4. And fruits, and vegetables, and berries
Due to its sweet taste, watermelons are most often considered fruits or berries. However, from a botanical point of view, they are fruits (more precisely, pumpkins), because they contain seeds. They are attributed to the Pumpkin family, which also includes pumpkins, cucumbers and melons.
Did you know?
Watermelon is a great part of a romantic candlelight dinner. It can act like natural viagra. True, in order to see the effect you will have to eat at least 6 cups of watermelon. This is indicated by research at Texas A & M's Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center.
5. Leftovers are sweet
While many people confine themselves to juicy, slightly crispy, but certainly sweet pulp of watermelon, in some countries of the world they eat whole watermelon. For example, in China, the watermelon peel is fried or stewed, and in Turkey they like to pickle.
In the countries of the Middle East, watermelon seeds are dried and roasted in the oven, while receiving an analogue of pumpkin seeds.
6. 1200 varieties
More than 1200 varieties of watermelon grow in the world! Many of them have an unusual appearance, so it is impossible to recognize watermelons in them without a hint. Most often, the fruits are divided into 4 conditional categories: without seeds, with seeds, dwarf varieties and yellow / orange fruits.
The most unusual variety – the "golden dwarf" – during maturation, its peel turns yellow, which is very reminiscent of a melon. Another interesting look is “creamy Saskatchewan”, its flesh is a luxurious cream color.
7. Around water
Watermelon is considered to be one of the most refreshing fruits on Earth. It is 92% water. The remaining 8% is a storehouse of useful substances: vitamins A, C and group B, antioxidants, lycopene, potassium, magnesium and many others.
The calorie content of watermelons is negligible – only 30 kcal per 100 g of product.
8. And not hybrids at all
Most people are sure that watermelons without seeds are the result of hybridization, but this is not always the case. For example, watermelons with small transparent white "seeds" – empty seed shells are widespread in the USA. By the way, they never had seeds in them, and these empty shells are completely safe for food.
On a note!
The rarest watermelon in the world is Densuke. It is grown on the island of Hokkaido in Japan. The cost of one fruit can reach 8 thousand dollars!
9. Cubic centimeter
Farmers in Japan learned how to grow cuboid watermelons. In order for the fruits to take a square shape, they are placed in special containers. Such watermelons are sold at a price of $ 100 and above. Such fruits are often taken for gifts.
Today, Japanese farmers have gone even further by offering consumers heart-shaped watermelons.
10. Tasty ascorbic
Few people know that watermelon contains vitamin C. A cup of its pulp (conditionally one serving of the product) can satisfy 25% of the daily intake of vitamin C. And another 12% of the daily requirement for vitamin A.
Vitamin C is a well-known antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties, and vitamin A is known for its ability to protect blood vessel walls from cholesterol deposits.
11. Cancer Protection
Watermelons with dark pink pulp are considered an excellent prevention of cancer. These fruits have more lycopene (a powerful antioxidant) than its other record holder – tomatoes.
A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that eating foods high in lycopene (such as watermelon, mango, tomato, papaya) reduces the risk of developing prostate cancer by 84%. The same study emphasizes the protective mechanisms of lycopene against colon, lung, and endometrial cancer.
Did you know?
The content of sweets in watermelons on the Brix scale is approximately 10 (which is a very high level). But there are fruits in which the level of sweetness is 12.5. Such, for example, in Bradford fruits.
12. Caring for heart health
The high content of lycopene in watermelons was the subject of another study initiated by Purdue University specialists. Experts found that watermelon pulp extract helps lower blood pressure in obese adults and reduce the likelihood of cardiovascular disease. Relevant data published by the American Journal of Hypertension.
13. Relief for arthritis
Watermelons are on the list of products with high anti-inflammatory properties. They are indicated for use by everyone who wants to protect themselves from the systemic inflammatory response syndrome. Due to the content of choline, juicy fruits help to keep inflammatory processes in the body under control, reduce pain in arthritis, writes the medical publication Shock. Therefore, watermelons should be present on the menu of people who want to improve their general health and strengthen immunity.
14. Both youth and beauty
As mentioned above, one cup of watermelon pulp contains 12% of the daily norm of vitamin A. This vitamin, along with vitamin C, supports the health and youth of the skin, promotes the formation of collagen fibers, which are “responsible” for skin tone and elasticity.
15. “Yes!” Sporting achievements
Athletes who love watermelons are very lucky. Since eating them before exercise helps reduce pain from physical activity the day after exercise (strength). About this writes Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
In addition, watermelons due to the content of magnesium and a valuable amino acid – citrulline maintain a stable heart rhythm, and also improve blood circulation.
16. The fight against fatigue
"First aid" for fatigue and a feeling of fatigue – vitamins of group B. You can get them not only from pharmacy complexes! Watermelons contain vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and B9, which is a good help to maintain body tone and love of life.
In addition, 100 g of watermelon pulp contains up to 60% of the daily value of magnesium, which is an excellent antidepressant.
It is interesting!
Most of all, watermelons are loved … by Americans. Statistics show that in the US they eat juicy fruits more often and more than in any other country in the world.
17. Health risks
Watermelons when consumed in reasonable amounts are a total benefit. But they can be harmful if they are eaten daily and in large quantities. It's all about the content of lycopene.
A study by the American Cancer Society shows that ingesting that substance at a dosage of more than 30 mg per day can cause nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, bloating and diarrhea. So be careful! And yet … bon appetit!
Yana Sergeevna Eregina, nutritionist, nutritionist
Watermelons contain lycopene, beta-carotene and citrulline. They serve as a good source of micronutrients, saturate the body with moisture. At the same time, watermelon removes excess fluid and helps fight puffiness.
The carotenoids contained in it protect our skin, and vitamins C and B2 are excellent antioxidants. With moderate consumption, watermelon helps our excretory system get rid of toxins.
Watermelon seeds contain protein, minerals and healthy fats. They can be dried in a frying pan, lightly fry and eat.
Watermelons eat well in the heat. The glycemic index of watermelons, of course, is a bit high, so eat them in moderation.
The only thing I categorically do not recommend is to arrange watermelon fasting days when other foods are excluded. This is not only stress for the body due to a sharp decrease in calorie content, nutritional value of food and an increase in sugar levels, but also an unnecessary load on the kidneys, pancreas and liver.
To choose a tasty and sweet watermelon, you need to follow a few simple rules. Knock – a ripe watermelon should have a clear sound. Pay attention to the tail, it should be dry (it is better not to buy a watermelon with a green tail). There is also an opinion that “female” watermelons are tastier. Learning to distinguish them is easy – a speck of a stalk from them is larger in size.
Vladimir Plahotin, plastic surgeon
Watermelon is one of the most useful fruits, because it contains a huge amount of vitamins and minerals: B vitamins, pectin, proteins, calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, folic acid, lycopene. In addition, watermelon is a low-calorie product consisting of more than 90% water: it is not only able to quench thirst, but also known for its diuretic, antioxidant, antipyretic and other healing properties.
It is able to maintain normal weight, is an indispensable product in the diet of people with gastrointestinal tract and urinary system problems. It is able to remove toxins from the body, normalizes digestion, has a beneficial effect on metabolism. Useful for diabetes, kidney disease, cystitis, gallstone disease.
The right choice of watermelon is a special topic, otherwise you will not only get no benefit from this product, but you will be able to harm yourself even more. One of the main rules for buying watermelons is that it is better not to take June or early July watermelons, as producers often stuff them with various chemicals, which could even provoke poisoning.
Watermelon should be the correct form, smooth, shiny, bright. It must necessarily have a distinctive spot of yellow, indicating that it was with this barrel that he lay on the ground and basked in the sun. When tapping, a ripe watermelon should make a distinctly audible, sufficiently sonorous sound, when squeezed, it should crack, have no extraneous cracks, dents or any spots (with the exception of the one that we mentioned above). The stripes should be contrasting, and the tail must be dry. And watermelons are also “boys” and “girls”: in “boys” there are more bones, and “girls” are sweeter.
Do not forget that it is better to eat watermelons before meals, and even better instead of it – this way you will get much more nutrients and really “flush” your body from toxins, get undeniable benefits even if you monitor your weight. Drinking watermelons after eating or while eating can cause increased gas formation and reduce the effect of washing the kidneys.
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