Watermelons are one of the most-consumed melons in the US, followed by honeydew and cantaloupe. In fact, in the U.S, July is the National Watermelon Month, which tells a lot about its popularity among Americans.
These days, about 300 watermelon varieties are grown in the U.S and Mexico. While most people think of it as a tasty and refreshing fruit, it turns out that it has a lot to offer in terms of nutrition and health benefits.
6 WATERMELON FACTS THAT MIGHT SURPRISE YOU
1. WATERMELON HAS MORE LYCOPENE THAN RAW TOMATOES
Lycopene is a potent antioxidant which gives fruits and veggies a red or pink color. While this carotenoid is typically associated with tomatoes, watermelon has more lycopene than raw tomatoes! Specifically, a cup of watermelon has 1.5 times the lycopene in a tomato.
2. WATERMELON JUICE MAY RELIEVE MUSCLE SORENESS
Watermelon contains l-citrulline, an amino acid that prevents muscle pain. Hence, drinking a glass of watermelon juice before a workout is a good idea.
According to one study, men who consumed natural unpasteurized watermelon juice before working out had reduced muscle soreness compared to the subject who consumed a placebo.
However, you need to be careful with consuming watermelon juice as it is pretty much high in fructose.
3. WATERMELON IS A FRUIT AND A VEGETABLE
Watermelon is related to squash, pumpkin, and cucumbers as it is part veggie and part fruit (due to its sweet taste). In other words, watermelon is both fruit and veggie!
4. YOU CAN EAT WATERMELON RIND AND SEEDS
Instead of disposing of the rind, put it in a blended with lime for a healthy, tasty, and refreshing treat. The rind contains plenty of blood-building chlorophyll as well as more citrulline than the flesh itself.
In the kidneys, citrulline is turned into arginine, a compound that is vital for the immune system and the heart health. In addition to this, it has been also shown to have potential therapeutic value in more than 100 health conditions.
The black watermelon seeds, which are also edible, are packed with nutrients like fiber, protein, zinc, and iron.