Government researchers in Washington advise against storing watermelon in the refrigerator if you want to maximize its health benefits.
A U.S. Department of Agriculture study found watermelons stored at room temperature have significantly more antioxidants and other nutrients than those kept in the refrigerator, WebMD reports.
To come to that conclusion, the researchers analyzed the carotenoid content in several varieties of watermelon stored for two weeks at three different temperatures.
Watermelon stored at 70 degrees had up to 40 percent higher levels of lycopene and as much as 139 percent more of beta carotene than refrigerated watermelon.
Another downside of refrigerating watermelon, the researchers say, has to do with its shelf life which is only a week if you keep it in the frig.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
Explore further: Researchers discover low-grade nonwoven cotton picks up 50 times own weight of oil