Watermelon: Low calorie thirst quencher

The watermelon consists mainly of water. It is low in calories. Even those who want to lose weight can therefore access it. Everything about ingredients, origin and preparation

Rich in water, low in calories: the watermelon

© Panthermedia / Torsten Schon

Ingredients of watermelon

Watermelons keep what their name promises: They consist of over 90 percent water and are therefore even suitable as thirst quenchers. Because they only have a few calories, those who want to lose weight are also allowed to eat. In terms of vitamins, watermelon contains, for example, vitamin C and provitamin A. The carotenoid lycopene provides the reddish color.

Origin and botany

The watermelon originally comes from the steppe areas of Africa. Already in the Egypt of the Pharaonic times, about 4000 years ago, they were cultivated. The watermelon is comfortable in hot and dry climates and grows in tropical and subtropical countries. Today it is grown in these countries around the world. The main producers of watermelons in 2017 were China, followed by Iran and Turkey.

The watermelons available in Germany mostly come from Spain, Italy, Greece, Hungary and Turkey. In winter, imports come from Central America and Brazil.

The watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) Just like cucumber and zucchini, it belongs to the cucurbit family. So strictly speaking it is a vegetable, not a fruit. The watermelon is an annual herb with pinnate leaves. The single flowers are light yellow and very small. The fruit itself is known as the armored berry because the one to four centimeter thick rind is quite hard. The flesh of the watermelons available here is mostly red.

There are many different types of watermelon. Seedless varieties are now also being bred.

Season and storage of the watermelon

In Germany, the watermelon is available fresh from June to September.

Watermelons can get very large, even weighing up to twenty kilograms. The fruits that are available in stores weigh between two and six kilograms, although smaller specimens are increasingly being sold in the supermarket.

The individually shrink-wrapped melon pieces should, if possible, be consumed on the same day as they spoil very quickly. Watermelons have a limited shelf life in the refrigerator and lose their aroma quickly.

Tips for preparation

The freshness of the watermelon is tempting to eat it raw. It also tastes very good in a fruit salad or muesli. In many Asian countries, watermelon pieces are a popular and low-calorie dessert. If you want to try something new: Small pieces of watermelon also taste good in a salad.

Nutritional table: watermelon (per 100 grams)

energy

kcal

37

fat

total (g)

traces

carbohydrates

total (g)

8

Minerals (mg)

Sodium (Na)

1

Potassium (K)

140

Calcium (Ca)

7

Magnesium (Mg)

9

Phosphate (P)

10

Iron (Fe)

0,2

Zinc (Zn)

0,1

Vitamins

Beta carotene (

µg)

245

Vitamin E (mg)

0,1

Vitamin B1 (mg)

0,04

Vitamin B2 (mg)

0,05

Vitamin B6 (mg)

0,07

Folic acid (µg)

5

Vitamin C (mg)

6

Swell:

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAOSTAT): Watermelons, Production Volume (Tons) - for all countries. Online: www.factfish.com/de/statistik/wassermelonen%2C%20produktionsquote (accessed on 08.08.2019)

Imhof S: Useful plants database. Online: www.online.uni-marburg.de/botanik/php/details.php?id=213&lemma=wassermelone (accessed on 08.08.2019)

Heseker H, Heseker B: The nutritional table, 5th updated edition, Neustadt an der Weinstrasse Neuer Umschau Buchverlag 2018/2019

Franke W, Lelley J, Lobitz R et al .: Vegetables, 21st modified edition, aid infodienst Nutrition, Agriculture, Consumer Protection 2014