A hot summer day and watermelons: they go together when the sun shines stronger and brighter. We are a definite watermelon-eating family – our guinea pig, chickens, and dog love to indulge their taste buds. I couldn’t resist going deeper into why watermelon is a healthy summer choice. And to start, I love to talk about the history.
Approximately 5, 000 years ago, the first recorded watermelon harvest occurred in Egypt. We know this from Egyptian hieroglyphics. And often, watermelons were placed in kings’ burial tombs to nourish them in the afterlife.
The watermelon was not initially known for its fruit but as a water canteen. The Egyptians used all the watermelons; after the fruit was eaten, it was used as a water canteen. This was an essential and significant job in Egypt, as travel and hydration were part of everyday life.
In the 1600s, the watermelon reached France and, finally, North America, specifically the Mississippi Valley, via the French Explorers.
Hot Summers and Eating Watermelons
Slice it up, and cut it into triangles. A seed-spitting contest is definitely in order if you prefer seeds in your watermelon.
Tossing watermelon chunks in a fruit salad adds some red colour, and a favourite of mine, is using watermelon in a cold gazpacho soup is tasty instead of tomatoes. Simple, easy, nutritious and very hydrating!
Why Watermelon in the Summer?
The obvious is they are refreshingly good. However, below are important health reasons for spoiling your taste buds and body.
- Watermelons are a fantastic source of antioxidants – lycopene – that help fight off any roaming free radicals in the body.
- Watermelon is packed full of vitamin C, vitamin B, and magnesium. All these will help your immune system be robust and your energy high.
- Sodium and potassium, essential electrolytes that keep our body’s water balance in check, are rich in watermelon ( watermelons are a perfect sports snack!).
- Very hydrating!
Fun Watermelon Facts
- Watermelons are 92% water and 8% sugar.
- They can grow with or without seeds.
- Watermelons are in the same gourd family as squash and cucumbers.
- The word “watermelon” first appeared in the English dictionary in 1615.
- A watermelon takes about 90 days to grow, from planting to harvesting. According to Guinness World Records, the world’s heaviest watermelon weighed 350.5 lbs!
To learn more facts, check out “What about Watermelon.”