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10/25/2017

Why watermelons are good to eat?


Watermelons are thought to have originated in India, but may have come from tropical Africa. They were enjoyed by the Ancient Egyptians but were unknown in Europe until the thirteenth century.

In Italy, the watermelons became a symbol of Martyrdom of San Lorenzo- the Patron Saint of Cooks, every year on August 10th in Florence, it is celebrated with watermelon eating.

Nutrition
The high water content of watermelon means that they are low in calories; only 30 kilo calories per 100g/3 3/4 oz. Fresh watermelon contains higher levels of lycopene than fresh tomatoes - a 2-cup serving of watermelon contains and average of 18.16 mg and one medium-sized tomato contains 4 mg.
  • A 2-cup serving of watermelon is an excellent source of Vitamins A, B6 and C.
  • A two-cup serving of watermelon is also a source of Potassium, a mineral necessary for water balance and found inside of every cell. People with low potassium levels can experience muscle cramps. 
  • A two-cup serving has less than 10 percent of the daily reference value for potassium.
Varieties
There are different varieties that are grown throughout the world but these are the most popular that you can find in your local fruit store.
  • Sugar Baby - a particularly sweet round variety with very dark green skin and red flesh.
  • Tiger - has a pale green skin striped with yellow or green as its name suggests.
  • Golden watermelon - have bright yellow flesh and a more delicate flavor than the red fleshed varieties.

Tips in Buying and Storing
While buying a watermelon, keep a few important points in mind:
  • Watermelons should be firm and evenly colored and feel heavy, remember it as it contains almost 92% water.
  • Tap them with your knuckles, they should not sound hollow.
  • Turn it over - the side where the melon has rested should be yellowish not white or green.

Preparing and Serving 
  • If you are buying cut watermelon in wedges, do not buy those with faded flesh. 
  • Cut watermelons should be wrapped in clear film plastic and kept in the fridge. 
  • Watermelons can be kept for short periods of time - up to 2 weeks- uncut, at room temperature. 
  • Store them for too long and they lose their flavor and texture. Watermelons are generally cut into wedges and eaten on their own as a thirst-quencher. 
  • Cube or balls make an attractive addition to fruit salads and melon medleys. 
  • The watermelon salad is popular especially among the health conscious. They can be made into sorbets, watermelon drinks and smoothies are the most popular drinks.
  • The rind can be pickled and is sometimes candied. 
  • The seeds can be toasted and eaten (discard the outer shell). 
  • In the Philippines the seeds are dried and eaten, called 'Butong Pawkan'- Dried Watermelon Seeds and consumed as snacks 

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