It’s All About Spots: How to Choose a Watermelon and Whether to Buy Early Berries

Farmers say the watermelon season started two weeks late this year due to unfavorable weather conditions. Rain and hail damaged the harvest, and some farmers had to reseed their fields.

Is it worth buying early watermelons?

People are in no hurry to buy watermelons. Firstly, because of the high price, and secondly, because of the possible nitrate content.

Biologist Iryna Yezhel says that the presence of nitrates in watermelons is normal, and their amount is checked before the products reach the shelves. According to her, nitrites, which are formed from nitrates during long-term storage and transportation, are much more dangerous.

“Nitrites harm the entire body at the cellular level. They disrupt the balance of cellular respiration. This can lead to disorders of various systems: nervous, musculoskeletal, and affects hemoglobin,” says Yezhel.

Thus, the first watermelons brought from abroad may be more dangerous to health.

How to choose a watermelon

When buying a watermelon, experts advise paying attention to its appearance. In particular, the presence of a white or yellow spot indicates that the berry has been ripening in the sun on its own.

If there are two or more such spots, it means that the watermelon was especially moved and more fertilizers could be added to accelerate the growth of the fruit. It is better not to buy such a watermelon without a special check for nitrates.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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