food facts: watermelon
Watermelon seems like a simple fruit that we're all familiar with, but this unassuming melon is full of surprises! One of the many wondrous things about eating from the earth is the unbelievable variety. Did you know the watermelon has over 1200 cultivars of fruit ranging from sweet to bitter, 1 to 350 pounds, red, to orange, to white with numerous colors and patterns on the rind? It was first found growing wild in South Africa and is now grown throughout 44 states in the U.S. This amazing fruit can be eaten raw or cooked, it tastes great and best of all, it's incredibly good for you!
It is a classic summertime favorite that gives you much more than happy faces with sticky fingers. A serving of watermelon counts as either a fruit or a vegetable for your day because it's both! It has the sweetness of a fruit and the traditional seeds which define fruit. But it is also a vegetable from the Cucurbit family or gourd family which includes vegetables like pumpkin, squash and zucchini.
Watermelon may be full of water, but it's full of lots of vitamins and minerals too. Did you know one cup of watermelon has more free radical fighting lycopene than a large tomato? One cup also packs 20% of your daily vitamin C and 17% of your vitamin A. In smaller doses, it gives you potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and a little bit of iron! All that with only 46 calories, but let's be honest, who really stops at one cup of watermelon?
All the above is found in the sweet flesh of the fruit, but that doesn't include the incredible health benefits found in the rind and the seeds. If chewing on the rind isn't your favorite, then try pickling it or cutting it up as its vegetable counterpart and using it in a soup or stir fry. The rind is filled with citrulline, an amino acid known to improve the health of your arteries, relax blood vessels, lower blood pressure and soothe aching muscles. The seeds can be roasted in your oven to make a great crunchy snack that packs a powerful kick of folate, iron and magnesium.
Whether you're eating the fruit, the rind, the seeds or all three, watermelon will fill your body with delicious nutrition. Being 91% water, it will also help to keep you hydrated on those scorching summer afternoons. Try mixing it up in a fresh, fruit salad or taking full wedges and putting them on the grill. This tough melon will hold up in the most grueling kitchen!
A plant based diet is fun and flavorful with endless variety. Let Veestro show you how delectable earth friendly food really is! Try out any of our meal plans with an option for one, two or three meals per day, fresh frozen and delivered to your door. No recipe book or grocery list required. Guaranteed these plants will please you!
Learn more about 5 Summer Foods to Keep You Hydrated.