There’s something about Singapore’s weather that gets to me. This isn’t exceptional I know, because Singapore’s weather gets to many people, both Singaporeans and foreigners. After a while, one comes to accept the local weather. Like algae and moss that grow on rooftops, leave it alone long enough and you take for granted it’s just there. You might even start appreciating its beauty and the character it gives the roof when viewed from certain angles. And that’s the thing, it’s about perspective.


And so too with Singapore’s weather. Say what you may about the heat and humidity that can feel oppressive at times, it’s undeniable that the same weather allows for a lot of outdoor activities. With mainly low-to-mid-30 degCel temperatures in the day, most days stay conducive enough for plenty of leisure and sport under the sun.


I once had an enlightening conversation with an avid motorbiker who loved Singapore’s weather… I mean, how could anyone love it, right? Well I was wrong. He told me Singapore is paradise for him, because he could ride his beloved motorbikes almost everyday, all year round. Back in his home country his BMW, Harley-Davidson and classic Kawasaki motorbikes stay parked in his garage for half the year, because the weather just won’t allow any way to ride safely – Perspective!


If you think about it, we do have relatively moderate and user-friendly weather here in Singapore. I know, lots of us Singaporeans like to complain about our weather especially to overseas friends. But many of my overseas friends also like to complain about their home weather, which they just adapt to also. So, perhaps weather-complaining is just something people do, like making conversation. Nothing wrong with a bit of small-talk really, it helps work the way to the big-talk.


And we don’t worry about missing pieces of the ozone cover here in Singapore either, that’s to do with the scorching summer sunshine in Australia’s and New Zealand’s neck of the woods. So, what is it about the local weather that gets to me then?


Headaches. The ones which pound and throb and make me lose my appetite. It seems that quite a number of people I know get them too. And I think it’s something to do with Singapore’s weather that we are able to not feel thirsty, especially when at work, even though throughout the day our bodies use and lose a lot of fluid. I suppose Singapore’s weather is just not exerting enough to remind many of us of the need to constantly hydrate.


Which leaves me sometimes with bad headaches. So the simple solution: drink water, three litres at least each day. Unfortunately it’s not quite that simple. And because I prefer not to take too many Panadols, I did a little research and found something that I do prefer to drugs, and more fully does the trick against headaches than water: Watermelons!


I’m not saying that water is not important. In fact, it’s absolutely necessary (for survival!). Dehydration is a major cause of headaches. And it can occur easily at the workplace because a water bottle isn’t handy, or one gets so caught up in work that one doesn’t feel thirsty and so doesn’t drink enough. It’s usually a surprise for many that a thing so basic as drinking water is so easily neglected. It could be a symptom of affluence, that we know clean drinking water is so readily available in Singapore that we forget all about it. Also, it actually takes discipline to make water-breaks a part of one’s daily routine. For those who’ve done national service in the Singapore Armed Forces: remember all those water parades? I’ve also heard a rumour that it’s better to stay dehydrated at work because the toilet is too far away and inconvenient to use… erm, not!


My research tells me that watermelons are a great remedy against headaches. For one, they consist just over 90% of water and so are a fantastic source of hydration. But while water’s necessary, it’s not sufficient. Besides vitamins (A, B1, B6 and C) watermelons also contain essential nutrients like pantothenic acid, copper, biotin, magnesium and potassium. In particular, magnesium and potassium are excellent for alleviating headaches. Bottom line: to stop headaches, water is necessary; but for sufficiency, in addition to water specific minerals (magnesium, potassium) are also required.


If you’re planning a picnic for family or friends at the Singapore Botanic Gardens (inscribed as Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site on 4 July 2015, by the way), make sure to include watermelon in the menu to keep kids and adults alike properly hydrated and charged with the right minerals. And it’s really hard to beat cold, sweet, juicy, refreshing chunks of watermelon on a warm Singapore day out. Just make sure there’s enough watermelon to go around (twice!) for everyone!


During workday lunch breaks, make it a habit to end your meal with slices of fruit either bought or brought from home, and include watermelon as one of your choices. Or if you’ve had a headache the whole day that you can’t shake, have some watermelon before or after dinner, and that should not only help you feel better the rest of the evening, but also ease you into a good night’s sleep without the headache. Start your day with a tall glass of freshly blended watermelon juice, or a watermelon smoothie, so you can focus your energy on the day’s tasks instead of fighting a headache.


It’s great that in Singapore watermelons are conveniently available all year round, and they’re inexpensive as well. As a matter of fact, here at Sofresh we supply literally tons of watermelons to our clients. Watermelons are a standard feature in fruit and salad stations, and they can also be cooked and used in dishes, or made into fresh juice, blended in smoothies, or in cocktail drinks.


Of course, don’t forget to drink water too. Watermelons have lots of water, vitamins and the necessary nutrients, but they also contain sugars, too much of which obviously is not good. So, while watermelons are good for stopping headaches, when it comes to survival water is irreplaceable. Anyway, now you know about watermelons and headaches: it works for me, and I hope you too. Till the next one!


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