Who doesn’t have an affection for this fruit that is the epitome of summer?Juicy, sweet with a bright pinkish-red flesh dotted with black and white seeds, watermelon is difficult to eat and prepare without getting messy—but that’s sometimes part of the fun. A fruit that can be as delicious as candy, the mere mention of it conjures visions of blue skies, green grass and sticky fingers. But because of its novelty, watermelon’s nutritional and skin care benefits often can be overlooked.
Watermelon is the lycopene leader in fresh produce, having higher concentrations of lycopene than any other fresh fruit or vegetable, even fresh tomatoes. It also promotes cardiovascular health, and a two-cup serving is an excellent source of vitamins A, B-6 and C.1
Thought to have originated in the Kalahari Desert of Africa, approximately 200–300 varieties of watermelon grow in the United States and Mexico, and the most popular are seeded, seedless, mini or personal-sized, and yellow- or orange-fleshed watermelons. The United States ranks fourth in overall watermelon production, with Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia and Texas ranking as production leaders.2