ABC SUPERFOODS: X is for Xigua

Xigua

I will give $5 to the person who can guess what a xigua is! Just kidding. But seriously, I had to do a little research to find out what they were myself! A Xigua is another word for “watermelon.” Can you guess the record weight for the largest watermelon grown? It was grown in 1990 in Tennessee and weighed 262 pounds!

Benefits
Did you know that the lightly-colored flesh of the watermelon (closer to the rind) is just as nutrient-rich as the juicy-red flesh in the center of the melon. No matter how you slice it, watermelon is an all-around great superfood! It is an excellent source of Vitamins C and A and contains more lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable! Lycopene is important because it neutralizes free radicals which cause damage to our bodies. Do you workout often? If so, you should definitely eat watermelon as it replenishes the electrolytes, sodium and potassium that we lose through perspiration. It also has a special cooling effect on our bodies and provides us with needed energy through its Vitamin B content. This delicious fruit has been known for reducing the risk for rheumatoid arthritis, some cancers, asthma, and heart disease.

At the Market
-The fresher, the better. Buy local if possible!
-Find a melon that is free from obvious blemishes or bruises.
-Look for a melon that is symmetrical in shape (not lopsided or narrower on one end than the other).
-Remember, the darker the melon, the more ripe it will be.
-A good juicy watermelon should be heavy for its size (92% of the melon is made up of water).
-Take a look at the bottom of the melon for the “ground spot” where it sat growing in the sun. This spot should be creamy yellow, not white. If it is, this may be a sign it was picked too soon.

In the Kitchen
-Did you know every part of a watermelon is edible?!
-Refrigerate your watermelon only after it has been cut and wrapped in plastic (but note that refrigeration decreases the melon’s texture and flavor).
-Store whole melons slightly cooler than room temperature.
-Use the shell of a hollowed out watermelon to hold a “bowl” of fruit salad!
-Place popsicle sticks on the end of thick wedges of the fruit and freeze for popsicles!

Recipe

Easy Xigua Salad

1/2 small watermelon, cut into bite-sized chunks
4 oz feta cheese
1/2 cup salted sunflower kernals

watermelon

Combine the ingredients in a large bowl; toss. Serve immediately.

Recipe taken from Allrecipes.com

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