Health benefits of Watermelon

Watermelon during summer is very refreshing. Know the scientific name of Watermelon. In which parts of the world is it cultivated? Health benefits of eating Watermelon. How many types of Watermelons are there?

As we all know summers in India are very tiring due to the hot weather conditions. Most of us avoid going out during day time, but if we do go out, we find a salvation in form of cool, red and juicy Watermelon fruit bites provided by road side vendors. Let us know a few things about this wonderful fruit.
Scientific name of Watermelon: Citrullus lanatus belonging to family Cucurbitaceae.
Origin of Watermelon: Researchers believe that watermelon originated in Southern Africa. The ancestor of water melon is another fruit called Citrullus colocynthis.
History tells us that Watermelon was cultivated during the Egyptian pharaoh periods. Mention of this wonderful fruit is in Bible also. It is also know that it was cultivated in America as early as 16th century.

Cultivation of Watermelon: The top five countries in the world producing Watermelon are
United States
Nutritional value of Watermelon: There is 6% sugar and 94% water in watermelon. It is also a good source of vitamin C and B complex. There is only 0.15% of fat in 100gms of watermelon. Also traces of iron, zinc, potassium and calcium are present.

Usage and Health benefits of Watermelon: The fleshy part of the Watermelon as we all know is consumes raw as fruit and juice.
The rind of the watermelon is also used as a vegetable in many parts of India and China. The rind is usually fried and consumed. In china the rind is also pickled for later usage.
Wine is made out of juice of Watermelon in some parts of the world
As mentioned above Watermelon is primarily made up of water and hence it is recommended for weight watchers. It has only 127 KJ of energy in 100gms.
According to Ayurveda it is considered as a cooling agent in human body during hot summers.
Watermelon is also diuretic (tendency to remove excess water from body through increased urine output) which helps in hypertensive patients.

Varieties of Watermelon

: Over 1200 varieties of Watermelons are present throughout the world. Different size, color, weight and shapes of watermelons are present. Weight can range from a little more than a kilogram to over 100 kilograms.
A variety of Watermelon called "Carolina Cross" currently holds the world record for weighing 119 kilograms.

Different varieties of watermelon
(Image source : Wikipedia, Licensed under Share Alike 3.0 attribution).

Yellow Crimson is variety of Watermelon where the flesh is yellow in color. It is sweeter and honey in flavor.

Orangeglo Watermelonis another variety in which the flesh is orange in color, with a weight of around 9 to 15 kilograms. This variety is oblong in shape.

Moon and Stars Watermelon another variety was artificially made in 1926. The fruit is purple/black in color with small yellow circles and one two large yellow circles. The flesh is pink or red in color.

Cream of Saskatchewan Watermelon is a small, round fruit. It has a sweet white flesh with black seeds.

Densuke Watermelon is round in shape and weighs around 10 kilograms. The rind has no stripes or spots and is black in color. It is produced only in the island of Hokkaido in Japan. Yearly only ten thousand watermelons are produced making them expensive. In 2008 a single Watermelon was auctioned at 650,000 yen (358578 rupees).

Cubic shaped Watermelons. Farmers of Japan found a creative way to grow watermelons. They placed the fruits in cubic shaped glass boxes and the fruits assumed the shape of the box. This trick was used because the cubic Watermelons were easy to store and consumed less space. However they are double the price because of their fancy shape.

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