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Healthy Living: Watermelon

WatermelonDid you know watermelon is both a fruit and a vegetable?

Neither did I – until my kids got into an epic argument over it in the car one day. Who is right is VERY important in elementary school. In the years to come, as well, now that you mention it, and I know a lot of adults who throw a toddler-like tantrum if they aren’t always acknowledged as correct. But I digress.

On this particular car ride, my older child insisted the watermelon was BOTH a fruit and a vegetable while the younger one staunchly held his ground that it was ONLY a fruit.

Turns out the fifth grader prevailed on this one, much to the chagrin of the third grader, who is fiercely competitive.

I know because I had to Google it at a stoplight.

Watermelon is a fruit in that, like the pepper, tomato and pumpkin, it has the ripened ovary of a seed plant and its contents.

But if you look up “vegetable” in the dictionary, it says, “anything made or obtained from plants.” The watermelon is a member of the cucurbitaceae plant family of gourds and is related to the cucumber and squash. It is planted from seeds or seedlings.

So if you take into a consideration it is BOTH a fruit and a vegetable, then it must be doubly healthy, right?

Just about!

It is a leader in lycopene, an important anti-oxidant. It boasts a huge amount of vitamins, which is good for eye health and also boosts white blood cells for immunity.

It’s prolific in Vitamin B6, which helps nerves function and helps build red blood cells.

Then there’s Vitamin C and potassium, both of which it contains in spades.

So grab a watermelon at your local Brookshire’s today. You can be assured it’s grown nearby for peak freshness and optimal nutrition.

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