National Watermelon Day: Benefits, facts, and how to grow
It is National Watermelon Day today in the US and we cannot get enough of this juicy red bundle of deliciousness. It's a shame we don't get it year-round! Did you know that watermelon belongs to the gourd family and is considered a berry? Besides the taste, there are a lot of nutritional benefits associated with it. Here's more about this summer season favorite.
Watermelon first originated in South Africa, about 5,000 years ago, and wild watermelon is said to have been domesticated by Egyptians. Seeds and paintings of watermelons were discovered in the tombs of Egypt that are 4,000 years old. It made its way to India in the 7th century, and ever since this delicious and iconic red fruit has become a summer staple.
Watermelon is 92% water which makes it exceptionally hydrating and refreshing. It is loaded with lycopene which is an effective antioxidant. This fruit also features vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C in great proportions. Significantly, watermelon offers only 46 calories per cup. It is also said that it can help in the battle against cancer, heart-related ailments, and inflammations.
Watermelon is both a fruit as well as a vegetable. There are more than 1,200 varieties of watermelon around the world, some of which are even pink and orange in color! You may find watermelons in the shape of hearts, human faces, and pyramids in Japan. The heaviest watermelon ever weighed 350.5 pounds (159kg) according to the Guinness World Records.
A watermelon grows well in a warm climate and loamy soil. Sow some seeds in your garden and make sure it gets enough sunlight and space to grow. You can also plant it indoors, but you have to sow seeds six weeks prior to its actual growing season, in large pots. Water regularly, but don't overwater. Get rid of weeds, and harvest when ready.
Get lime juice, tequila, and blended watermelon ready. To blend the watermelon, slice it into pieces, remove the seeds, and blend it till it turns into a juice. Now add a reasonable amount of lime into it and mix well. Add a shot or two of tequila to the concoction and shake well. Add some ice cubes and voila - you're all set!