As soon as summer starts feeling really hot and when temperatures reach an unbearable level, what’s better than a good portion of watermelon to cool us off and quench our thirst? Also, wouldn’t you like to have on your dinner table a good portion of red and sweet watermelon topped with pieces of cheese?
1- To start with, did you know that watermelon belongs to the same family of cucumbers, gourds and zucchini?
2- With a water content of 92%, watermelon is low in calories (30 kcal in 100g) despite its sweet taste.
3- Although it is not very high in sugar (about 7 g in 100 g) it has a high glycemic index. Thus, people with diabetes should take this into consideration.
4- Besides being purifying and diuretic, watermelon is rich in antioxidants. Its mineral content is not very high although it is rich in potassium. Also, it provides a certain quantity of vitamin C and it contains B vitamins as well as provitamin A.
5- Lycopene is a major antioxidant compound found in watermelon. It is known to be beneficial in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and prostate cancer.
6- Watermelon is one of the richest food sources of citrulline, an amino acid which converts in the body into arginine which is essential for the proper functioning of our cardiovascular and immune systems.
On the other hand, it is necessary to know that the whole watermelon should be kept in a cool place, out of the fridge and always away from direct sunlight. As such, it could stay for about a week at room temperature.
But how to choose a “good” ripe watermelon? Although this is not at all an easy task, here are some tips to avoid falling in the seller’s trap:
– The watermelon should be heavy for its size.
– The watermelon should have a shiny skin.
– The watermelon should make a sound when tapped with your fingers.
– The whole of the watermelon skin should be yellow and green and completely free of white spots.