With their thick, inedible rind, watermelons can sometimes seem impenetrable. This is a pain when you’re trying to cut into it, but a good thing for maintaining the freshness of the fruit. Watermelons have an extremely high water content – over 90%. While other produce such as leafy greens - which also contain a lot of moisture, suffer from this characteristic as it makes them susceptible to drying out, watermelons aren’t at risk from losing juice because their tough skins act as a barrier. Moreover, the rind prevents contamination from airborne bacteria and other spoilage nasties. Once ripe, watermelon can be stored for up to a month in the fridge (and only 1 week at room temperature). Refrigeration, however, can be detrimental to their nutritional value. Watermelon naturally contains carotenoids which are fat- soluble pigments that are thought to decrease the risk of disease, including certain cancers, stroke and heart disease. Recent research has found that carotenoid levels in watermelon increase substantially when the fruit is stored at room temperature as opposed to much cooler environments.
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