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Watermelon:The fruit that is really a Vegetable!

Watermelon:The fruit that is really a Vegetable!

 

Watermelon: The fruit that is really a Vegetable!

        

Watermelon can be traced back to Africa and is part of the cucumber and squash family. It is perhaps the most refreshing, thirst quenching fruit of all. Watermelon consists of 92% water and 8% sugar.

1 Serving Size 1 cup, diced (150g) is 50 Calories.

 

How to choose, select and store watermelon?

 

Watermelons are available all year mainly during summertime. The natural sweetness of watermelon makes it a favorite anytime of the year. It is a perfect addition to a salad, salsa, or cool drink.

 

1-   Selecting

Choose firm, symmetrical, free of cracks, bruises, soft spots or mold. Ripe watermelon will have a healthy sheen, a dull rind, dried stem, and a buttery yellow underside where it touched the ground. There should be a melon like smell or fragrance. Thump if you must, sound should be dull and hollow. Lift them, weight should be heavy for size.

2-   Special Tip

Avoid watermelons that are very hard, white or very pale green in color on the underside, indicating immaturity. An immature watermelon will be slightly acidic.

3-   Storing

Once picked, watermelon will not ripen easily.  If unripe, try putting the  whole melon in paper bag un-refrigerated: this sometimes works.  Watermelons can be kept for short periods of time, up to 2 weeks, uncut at room temperature.  Wash watermelon with soap and water before cutting.  Once cut, package what is not eaten in closed plastic containers or bags and put back in the refrigerator.  

 

What is the main health benefit of watermelon?

        

watermelon is highly nutritious and packed full of the phytochemical lycopene. It's one of the few foods that contain it in large amounts. Other good sources include tomatoes, red and pink grapefruit, and guava.

Lycopene is a red pigment that occurs naturally in certain plant and algal tissues. In addition to giving watermelon and tomatoes their color, it is also thought to act as a powerful antioxidant. Lycopene scavenges reactive oxygen species, which are aggressive chemicals always ready to react with cell components, causing oxidative damage and loss of proper cell function.

Many epidemiological studies have concluded that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables reduces the incidence of heart disease and cancer in humans. Scientists have found that lycopene in the diet correlates with reduced incidence of certain types of cancer.

 

Lycopene content varied widely among cultivars and types, but the seedless ones tended to have more. Results showed that watermelon has as much or more lycopene as raw tomatoes and that the amount depends on both variety and growing conditions. Studies have shown that a cup and a half of watermelon contains about 9 to 13 milligrams of lycopene. On average, watermelon has about 40 percent more lycopene than raw tomatoes.

                       

 

 

Lycopene and Prostate cancer:

 Early research in men with precancerous changes in their prostate shows that taking 4 mg of lycopene supplements twice daily might delay or prevent progression to prostate cancer. In addition, researchers have surveyed men about their diet and health and found contradictory information about a possible role for lycopene in preventing prostate cancer. Some of these studies show that lycopene from foods, such as tomato products, is associated with a lower risk of developing prostate cancer. But other research shows no association between dietary lycopene intake and prostate cancer risk. However, for men in this study who had a family history of prostate cancer, getting more lycopene from food seemed to offer some protection against getting prostate cancer.

(Never use supplements before consulting with a health professionnal)

 "There are a lot of potential uses for watermelon that are just beginning to be explored", so enjoy your watermelon.