Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus), which is thought to have originated in the Kalahari Desert of Africa, is a popular food in the United States. In 2017, the U.S.’s annual per capita consumption was approximately 16.1 pounds of watermelon per person.A member of the Cucurbitaceae family, watermelon is a cousin to cucumber, pumpkin and squash, and over 50 varieties exist. The most common ones you’ll find are seeded, seedless, icebox, picnic and yellow or orange-fleshed watermelon, and they can range in size from about five pounds to 200 pounds. Within each of these main groups there are many sub-varieties.Watermelon flesh ranges from bright red to yellow and orange, and the color of the skin and rind may vary as well, from bright green to yellow. When selecting a watermelon, look for one with a firm skin that is heavy for its size and free of gashes, bruises or dents. Another good sign is a yellow spot on the underside of the melon from where it sat on the ground while it was growing.Aside from being delicious, this refreshing fruit also boasts numerous health benefits. Here are some great reasons to include it in your diet.It’s Very HydratingThis probably won’t come as a surprise, so to state the obvious, watermelon is named for its high water content (about 92 percent). This makes it a great option for helping you stay hydrated on a hot summer day. Because even mild dehydration can make us feel sluggish and tired, watermelon juice or enjoying watermelon as a snack or as part of a meal can help you perk up. Trying to feel like a functioning human the morning after a few too many drinks? Watermelon can help ease hangover symptoms like headaches that are related to alcohol’s dehydrating effects.
Source: Robert Parker: The Wine Advocate
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