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Vietnamese legend says that the watermelon originated there in answer to the prayer of an exiled prince. But this fruit is so easy to love that it has been cultivated wherever it has traveled—watermelon seeds were found in Tutankhamen’s tomb, North African traders brought it to Europe by the 13th century, and it appears to have been adopted by Native Americans early in the history of their contact with Europeans.
As captured in its name, watermelon is mostly water—making it a refreshing treat and a somewhat portable source of hydration. It provides vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and some B vitamins.
Watermelon is also a rich source of lycopene, which is a phytochemical found in some red fruits and vegetables. (Lycopene is often regarded as the likely agent in the tomato’s apparent prevention of some cancers.) Watermelon rinds are a significant source of citrulline, which helps lower blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels.
Nutritional Facts :
One cup of raw watermelon pieces provides 51 calories, 11.5 g carbohydrate, 1 g protein, 0.7 g fat, 0.8 g dietary fiber, 586 IU vitamin A, 15 mg vitamin C, 4 mcg folic acid, 186 mg potassium, 3 mg sodium, 14 mg phosphorus, 13 mg calcium, and 18 mg magnesium.
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