Watermelon is the most consumed melon in the United States today, followed by cantaloupe and honeydew. A cousin of cucumbers, pumpkins, and squash, watermelon is thought to have originated in Egypt close to 5,000 years ago. Today, more than 300 varieties of this fruit are grown in the US and Mexico.
Here are five watermelon facts that might surprise you:
- It Contains More Lycopene Than Tomatoes
Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that gives fruits and vegetables a pink or red color. It is most often associated with tomatoes, but watermelon is actually a more concentrated source. One cup of watermelon has 1.5 times more lycopene than a large fresh tomato (6 milligrams (mg) in watermelon compared to 4 mg in a tomato).
- Watermelon Juice May Relieve Sore Muscles
A study found that men who drank natural unpasteurized watermelon juice prior to their workouts had reduced muscle soreness 24 hours later compared to those who drank a placebo.
- Watermelon is a Fruit and a Vegetable
Like most fruits, watermelon is the product of a plant that produces seeds and a sweet taste. However, it is also considered a vegetable since it comes from the cucumber family. Not exactly as tasty as a cucumber’s skin, the rind of a watermelon is equally edible and healthy.
- It is Mostly Water
Watermelon has an amazing power of hydration. Over 91 percent of watermelon is water, making it ideal for summer days.
- Not All Watermelon Are Red
While it is difficult to imagine watermelon without its typical green rind and red flesh, there is a type that is yellow inside. The “Yellow Crimson” watermelon has yellow flesh with a sweeter, honey flavor than the more popular pink-fleshed “Crimson Sweet.”
(Source: Mercola, Naturally Healthy Tips)