Watermelons are almost entirely water, which makes them a refreshing treat on a hot day. They’re loaded with nutrition too. Watermelons are a good sources of vitamin A and C. They are rich in lycopene, a phytonutrient that is believed to keep the heart healthy. And the redder the watermelon, the more lycopene.
- Did you ever hear the old folk tale about a watermelon growing in your belly if you eat watermelon seeds? No need to worry if you follow a few seeds. Researchers have discovered that watermelon seeds are not only edible, but very nutritious, especially when they’re sprouted.
- Watermelon came from the Kalahari Desert in Africa. Traders later took it to China, the Mediterranean, and Europe. Slaves probably brought it to the Americas.
- Ancient Egyptians placed watermelon in tombs to nourish the dead on their way to the afterlife.
- In Japan, farmers grow square watermelons by keeping the young fruit in plastic boxes. The square fruit are popular, even though they’re very expensive ($200). They take up less room in a refrigerator than a round watermelon.
- Watermelon is related to cucumbers, cantaloupes, pumpkins, and squash.
- More people eat watermelon in the U.S. than any other kind of melon.
- The largest watermelon, grown by Chris Kent in 2013, weighed 350.5 pounds.
- Watermelons today come in many varieties, including small watermelons and seedless watermelon.
- Seedless watermelons aren’t completely seedless. They have thin, tiny, edible seed coats that never developed into seeds.
- Seedless watermelons were invented about 50 years ago. They’re created by breeding two types of watermelon together to create a hybrid.
- Lycopene: a phytonutrient found in red fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes and watermelon. It is believed that lycopene can improve health and reduce the risk of certain diseases and cancers.
- Nourish: feed
- Hybrid: a cross between two plants or animals
Questions and Answers
Question: How can I pick a good watermelon?
Answer: Look for a watermelon that feels heavy for its weight and has a yellow spot on one side. This is the spot where the watermelon rested in the field.
Visit Martha Stewart to learn how to make a special watermelon treat.