Men's Fitness


Loaded with vital vitamins and heart-healthy extras, watermelon is well worth a spot on your veg rack


There’s much debate as to whether watermelon should be classified as a fruit or vegetable, because although it’s the ripened ovary of a seed plant – the loose definition of a fruit – it’s also planted from seeds and harvested like other vegetables. Thought to originate from southern Africa, the watermelon plant has sprawling stems that can grow up to three metres in length. Today, China is the world’s single largest watermelon producer, cultivatin­g more than 66 million of them every year.


Just one cup of watermelon provides 20 per cent of your daily vitamin C requiremen­ts and 17 per cent of your vitamin A. The former has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and improve asthma symptoms, while regular doses of vitamin A is particular­ly effective at alleviatin­g the symptoms of osteoarthr­itis. Even more impressive is its unrivalled lycopene content, a runner-friendly phytochemi­cal essential to bone and cardiovasc­ular health.

Because 91 per cent of a watermelon is water, it comes into its own as a refreshing post-training snack – just cut into bite-sized chunks. Those with loftier melon ambitions could rustle up a thirst-quenching watermelon and basil iced tea or some lamb and mintedwate­rmelon kebabs.

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