watermelon
Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is from the family Cucurbitaceae, which includes fruit bearing vines such as cantaloupe, pumpkin, and other melons. Originally from West Africa, there are now over 100

sources at bottom of page

Nutrition

Watermelon is 92% water, thus the name. Watermelon is light on calories, fat, and protein while containing simple sugars made up of 50% fructose, 25% glucose, 20% sucrose, and slight amounts of others. What it lacks in other nutrients, it makes up for with its special ingredients. Watermelon is rich in minerals including copper, which is often lacking in western diets. Watermelon’s super ingredients are beta carotene, citrulline and lycopene, which have many healthy benefits. Lycopene is what gives it the red color. The more ripe and red the watermelon, the more lycopene it has.

FAT & FIBER
Watermelon has negligible amounts of fat and fiber
The fructose in watermelon is considered a fermentable, short-chain carbohydrate that can be beneficial in small amounts.
PROTEIN
Watermelon has very little protein
ANTI-OXIDANTS
Although antioxidants are not as abundant in watermelon as many other fruits, it is still an excellent source of citrulline and lycopene amino acids that have many health benefits that include protection against free radicals and oxidative damage. The vitamin C in watermelon is a great antioxidant.The flavonoids, carotenoids, and triterpenoids also have antioxidant properties
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY
Watermelon contains choline, which has been shown to prevent and reduce inflammation.
Watermelon is known to help relax muscles and help recover after exercise
ANTI-CANCER
The amino acids and vitamin A you get from watermelon have cancer fighting properties
HEART
Potassium helps regulate blood pressure
Watermelon has one of the highest concentrations of citrulline, especially in the rind.
Citrulline helps to regulate blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels and improving circulation and cardiovascular health.
BRAIN
Watermelon is one of the best, fresh sources of lycopene which helps boost Vitamin A in the blood. The Beta carotene in watermelon is converted to Vitamin A in the body and has been shown to improve vision and brain function.
DIGESTION
Most people will benefit from the hydration and nutrients in watermelon.
Large quantities of watermelon may cause digestive issues in some individuals who are intolerant to fructose. Large quantities of watermelon should be avoided by those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.
WEIGHT LOSS
Watermelon has relatively low calories and can make you feel full which helps curb appetite.
IMMUNE SYSTEM
Watermelon is a source of Vitamin A and C that both aid immune function.
Citrulline is converted to the essential amino acid arginine in the body Arginine also aids the immune system and is important for the health of lungs, kidneys, and liver
Beta Carotene builds tissue and helps wounds heal.
BONE
ASTHMA AND ALLERGY
Some individuals who are sensitive to pollen, may be susceptible to allergic reaction from watermelon.
DIABETES
Watermelon has a glycemic index (GI) of 76, which means it could cause a spike in blood sugar if eaten in large quantities all at once. Small quantities of watermelon should have less of an effect on blood sugar. A wedge would have GI of less than 6.

The amino acids in watermelon are known to help reduce blood sugar and help the body manage insulin. This helps prevent the effects of type 2 diabetes.

Where is Watermelon Grown

Historically, watermelon was believed to have originated in West Africa. Records show that watermelons were cultivated in ancient Egypt. Watermelons were described in the Kalahari Desert and semi-tropical regions of Africa in the 19th century by David Livingston.

AROUND THE WORLD
Today, watermelons are grown worldwide.

The top watermelon producing nations are China, Turkey, and Iran.

China is the top producer by far, producing an estimated 79.2million tons.

Turkey produced 3.9million where the climate is known to be ideal to grow high quality watermelons.

Iran produced 2.8million tons mostly in the Hamadan province where watermelon farms produce 1.2% total area.

IN THE U.S.
Watermelon is one of the top three crops produced in the US supplying about 24% of domestic demand. Watermelon is grown all across the country. Texas, Florida, Georgia and California supply approximately 69 percent of all watermelons grown in the U.S. Florida is the largest producer. Watermelon production has increased in the southeast region.

Imports have increased, and made up approximately 76% of the watermelons sold in the US in 2018. Most imported watermelons come from Mexico or Central American countries.

The average watermelon yield per acre in the U.S in 2014 was 31,800 pounds

In Season

Watermelons are grown in the summer where the temperatures range between 70-90 degrees Fahrenheit. They are typically grown from May to September in the northern hemisphere.

 

Economic Impact

Watermelon agriculture and industry is responsible for large amounts of jobs and revenue to the economies of many nations.

AROUND THE WORLD
In 2018,The worldwide watermelon seed market was estimated to be US$507million and forecasted to grow 5.8%.
In 2019, Watermelon exports were estimated at US$1.55 billion. Sales rose 2.9% over the previous 4 years, but sharply declined 24% from 2018-2019.

Europe accounted for about 54% of the total market. Other countries importing watermelons in large quantities included: the Netherlands, Germany, Maldives, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates, and Nepal.

IN THE U.S.
US watermelon consumption has been increasing at an average of 4.9%.
In 2019, a total of 7.26 billion pounds of watermelons were consumed in the US. US consumption declined 2% from 2018-2019. 3.7 billion pounds. Production in California and North Carolina declined slightly while production in Florida and Georgia increased. Most of the watermelon grown domestically is sold on the fresh market and fetched about $0.15/lb in 2019. Imports from Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala increased substantially between 2012-2019. Trade policies and climate change related weather is having a major impact on the watermelon market.

Environmental Impact

LAND USE
Watermelon agriculture does not require deforestation or jungle removal because they can be grown in fairly poor soil so are not typically a crop that is grown using slash and burn agriculture.
Watermelon can be organically grown using regenerative agriculture techniques such as no till farming.

There was a 50% reduction in The total watermelon farm acreage in the US from 1990-2017 due to increased productivity and more efficient irrigation.
Over 113,000 acres of watermelons were grown in the US in 2017, producing 40.01 million pounds.

WATER USE
Watermelons require a minimal amount of water. In fact, they do better sometimes with less irrigation. This means they have a minimal effect on water supply and can be grown in semi arid climates
PESTICIDES AND HERBICIDES
Watermelons do not typically harm biodiversity as they do not require pesticides and herbicides if grown using regenerative agriculture practices to preserve biodiversity
FERTILIZER
Watermelon does not require much fertilizer if any, and does not need much soil nutrients to grow.
AIR POLLUTION
Watermelon agriculture energy requirements and air pollution can be fairly well maintained by using regenerative agriculture and minimizing transportation distance. Domestic watermelons can be purchased fairly locally in the US because of the many regions where they are grown.

Social Impact

Watermelon is a popular crop in many parts of the world. Chinese workers tend to work longer hours for lower wages in worse conditions than the farm workers in Kurdistan and the United States. Watermelon crops are comparatively high yield which provides a nutritious food source with minimal impact on resources.

 

Food Safety

The protective skin of the watermelon helps prevent pathogens and disease. It is still recommended to thoroughly rinse watermelon before cutting and eating.

 



 

 

SOURCES

Nutrition

  • https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/167765/nutrients
  • https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/watermelon#nutrition
  • https://www.livescience.com/46019-watermelon-nutrition.html#:~:text=Watermelons%20are%20mostly%20water%20%E2%80%94%20about,a%20modest%20amount%20of%20potassium.
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21982501/
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23862566/
  • https://foodandnutritionresearch.net/index.php/fnr/article/view/1203
    Seeds
  • http://article.sciencepublishinggroup.com/html/10.11648.j.ijnfs.20160502.18.html

Fat & Fiber

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5372955/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5885715/

Antioxidants

  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23440782/
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23741676/
  • https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0889157511001049
  • https://www.researchgate.net/publication/235731681_Bioactive_compounds_and_antioxidant_activities_during_fruit_ripening_of_watermelon_cultivars

Anti-inflammation

  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2802626/
  • https://journals.lww.com/shockjournal/fulltext/2006/06001/choline_suppresses_inflammatory_responses.137.aspx

Weight loss

  • https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/3/595
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12481979/
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18029483/

Anti-Cancer

  • https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/hp/prostate-supplements-pdq#section/all
  • https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/complementary-and-alternative-medicine.html
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17352962/
  • https://www.eatright.org/
  • https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01635581.2013.806672?journalCode=hnuc20

Digestion

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5372955/

Heart

  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23674806/
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11196344/
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11196344/
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17352962/
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24352797/
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21968645/
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23615650/
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20616787/

Brain

  • https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0963996905000839
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12672916/
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12672916/

Immune System

  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23440782/
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10642085/
    h
  • ttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12481979/

Diabetes

  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18029483/
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24936248/
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16772327/

Allergies & Asthma

  • https://acaai.org/allergies/types/food-allergies/types-food-allergy/oral-allergy-syndrome
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18788424/
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19847095/

 
Where Grown

  • https://www.agmrc.org/commodities-products/vegetables/watermelon#:~:text=While%20watermelons%20are%20grown%20across,in%202014%20was%2031%2C800%20pounds.
  • https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/top-watermelon-producing-countries-in-the-world.html
  • https://www.farm-equipment.com/articles/9077-four-states-account-for-most-us-watermelon-production

 
Season

  • https://www.almanac.com/plant/watermelons

 
Economic Impact

  • http://www.worldstopexports.com/watermelon-exports-by-country/
  • https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/watermelon-seeds-market
  • https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/top-watermelon-producing-countries-in-the-world.html
  • https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/outlooks/98171/fts-370.pdf?v=1507.8
  • https://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/pub-details/?pubid=98169
  • https://www.agmrc.org/commodities-products/vegetables/watermelon#:~:text=While%20watermelons%20are%20grown%20across,in%202014%20was%2031%2C800%20pounds.
  • https://florida.growingamerica.com/news/2016/09/usda-imports-supply-about-a-third-of-u-s-watermelon-consumption-2016-09-05

 
Environmental Impact

  • https://www.longdom.org/open-access/growth-and-development-of-watermelon-in-response-to-seasonal-variation-of-rainfall-2332-2594-2-117.pdf

Land Use

  • https://www.agmrc.org/commodities-products/vegetables/watermelon#:~:text=While%20watermelons%20are%20grown%20across,in%202014%20was%2031%2C800%20pounds

 
Water

  • https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/171c7aaf3f8b49d09496e5814fcb7839

 
Pesticides

  • https://healabel.com/w-ingredients/watermelon

 
Fertilizer

  • http://www.fao.org/land-water/databases-and-software/crop-information/watermelon/en/

 
Air Pollution

  • https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214317315300123

 
Social Impact

  • https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/171c7aaf3f8b49d09496e5814fcb7839

 
Food Safety

  • https://www.fda.gov/media/116691/download

 

 

PLEASE SHARE:
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather