Why Is A Watermelon A Vegetable?
Watermelon is one of the most popular summer fruits around the world, known for its refreshingly sweet taste and flavor. But did you know that according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), watermelon is actually a vegetable? It may sound unusual but this is indeed the case. Let’s take a closer look at why a watermelon is classified as a vegetable.
The Botanical Definition
The USDA classifies all plants according to their botanical definitions. When it comes to a watermelon, it belongs to the plant family of Cucurbitaceae, which are all mass-produced vegetables. This particular group of plants includes cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, and yes, watermelons! Therefore, from a botanical perspective, watermelons are categorized as a type of vegetable.
Uses In Cooking
In terms of its uses in cooking, a watermelon is typically treated like a type of vegetable. While you can of course enjoy it as a delicious snack or dessert on its own, watermelon can also be used in a variety of different recipes. From salads and salsa to stir-fries, soups, and gazpacho, watermelon is a great way to add some sweet, juicy flavor to your meals.
Nutritional Benefits Of Watermelon
Watermelon is also packed with important vitamins and minerals. In fact, a single cup of diced watermelon provides:
- Vitamin A: 18% of the recommended daily value (DV)
- Vitamin C: 21% of the DV
- Potassium: 5% of the DV
- Magnesium: 4% of the DV
Watermelon also contains beneficial plant compounds, including lycopene and beta-carotene, which have been associated with a variety of health benefits.
From a botanical perspective, watermelons are classified as vegetables due to their belonging to the Cucurbitaceae plant family. This crunchy sweet fruit has many uses in cooking and is also rich in important vitamins and minerals. Therefore, the next time someone asks you what type of food watermelon is, you’ll know the answer: a vegetable!