Out of all the foods associated with summer, such as hot dogs, burgers, and soft-serve ice cream, there is one synonymous for being a “summer treat” and that one food is watermelon. Taking into account that July has been dubbed “National Watermelon Month”, Fox News and Inserbia (in which both got the initial source from Health) have reported five very interesting facts about watermelon that you might not know about. I will admit some of the facts are quite possibly common knowledge but there were some things about watermelon that I didn’t know. So without further delay, here are the five interesting facts about watermelon!
#1. – It contains more lycopene than tomatoes: For those who are not in the know (like me prior to this article for example), lycopene is something in both watermelons and tomatoes that act like a super-antioxidant thus stopping free radicals before they do damage to your cells and immune system. It has also been linked to preventing heart disease and some forms of cancer. According to the USDA, just one cup of watermelon contains 1.5 times more lycopene than a large fresh tomato. On a personal note, I would rather eat a cup of watermelon over one large ripe tomato.
#2. – The juice relieves muscle soreness: This is actually new information found through a Spanish study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Drinking watermelon juice can be quite soothing after a grueling workout. Athletes who consumed a little more than 16 ounces an hour before exercise had less muscle soreness and a lower heart rate daily. The explanation of how this is possible comes from an amino-acid in the melon, called citrulline, which is believed to improve the function of arteries and reduces blood pressure. In short, this may be a wonderful alternative to coconut water, which is already very popular with workout junkies and athletes.
#3. – It’s a fruit AND a vegetable: So are you telling me that I can get my daily dose of fruits and vegetables by eating watermelon?! That’s awesome… especially since I kind of hate most veggies. Nevertheless, this overachiever of a food item is a fruit because it produces seeds and tastes sweet. However, it is also related to cucumbers because they come from the same family as pumpkins, which is a vegetable. This dual nature makes the entire thing edible including the bark, despite not being delicious. Still the bark is very healthy. As a matter of fact, most of the citrulline from fact #2 is located in the bark, or the part where the juicy red meat meets with the bark.
#4. – It’s full of water: This one is probably a no-brainer because the fruit is called a WATERmelon right? Anyways, about 91.5 percent of the entire food is water thus why it is probably one of the most popular foods during summer. As a matter of fact, this fruit may be the answer to dehydration which is a very bad state to be in. The Journal of Nutrition found that women with even mild hydration experience headaches, poor concentration, fatigue, nausea, and bad moods.
#5. – Not all watermelons are red: Now this is new news to me! And to be honest, I cannot fathom any other color for a watermelon except for the ruby red I’ve come to admire when smashing one open with a sledgehammer like Gallagher. But there is actually another variety known as the Yellow Crimson. The interior is “sunny” and the flavor taste like honey. Wait a minute! It tastes like honey?! I now want to try one! Just take note that the untrained eye won’t know which is which because they look exactly like the ones we know (known as a Crimson Sweet) on the outside. Guess I’ll have to ask someone at the farmer’s market which is which.
Hope you enjoyed the interesting facts about watermelon. We here at The Inquisitr actually have some interesting ways you can utilize watermelon in your lives, including a hack for a watermelon smoothie. And if you’re lucky, your neighborhood might have the famous watermelon flavored creme Oreos. Now if you excuse me, I need to go to the produce section and the cookie aisle.
[Image via Bing]