Food Profile - Watermelon

Pink watermelon
(pic - courtesy flickr.com)
Watermelons have always been one of my favourite fruits and I remember enjoying chilled cuts of the fruit under the hot sunny weather in Lagos, back in the day...While I relished the sweet, refreshing and juicy fruit, I was often bothered by the numerous black seeds buried in its flesh. No matter how much I tried to remove them all, there were still some hiding away somewhere...


When I relocated to the UK, I discovered the many species and variations of the fruit! I had never seen a yellow watermelon, neither had I seen a seedless one. Straight away the seedless ones became a major attraction for me because with them, I did not have to bother so much about the seeds. The yellow ones were also quite peculiar, a little strange, but all the same exciting to add colour to my recipes.

Yellow watermelon
(pic - courtesy flickr.com)
I had an inkling about the origin of this wonderful fruit but was further convinced that they originate from Africa based on information I found on www.watermelon.org website which indicates that watermelons were originally found in the Kalahari desert. It also states that there has been records of the fruit in Egyptian wall writings, dating back as far as 5000 years.

Some though, are of the opinion that they originate from South Africa! Due to its very high water content, it's logical to conclude that watermelon is a desert plant which would have served as water storage for desert travellers! It is from Africa that this fruit found its way across the world; to the Americas through slave trade and to other continents through ship merchants.

A Super Food?
Recent research findings conclude that watermelon is a super food. As well as it being high in natural sugars, it is also packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Its vibrant red colour is due to high levels of Lycopene a powerful antioxidant also present in tomatoes and pink grapefruit. Watermelon contains more Lycopene compared to these other fruits!

Nutritional Data (based on 1 250g slice/wedge)
Calories - 79kcal
Dietary fibre - 1g
Carbohydrates (of which sugars) - 17g
Protein - 1g
Fat - 0g
Vitamins - A, C B6
Minerals - Calcium, Iron, Potassium


Some watermelon recipes to try:

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