What is Xigua?

Category: Xigua

Xigua (pronounced “she gwah”) is the Chinese name for watermelon. Watermelon is technically a fruit, not a melon. It is closely related to squash, cantaloupe, pumpkin, and cucumbers. China is the world’s largest producer of watermelon. It is also grown in Russia, Iran, Turkey, and the U.S. There are over 1200 varieties of watermelon, including seedless.

Watermelon is usually eaten as a fruit by itself. It can also be incorporated into fruit salads, juices, or sorbets. Watermelon can be cut up ahead of time with no losses of antioxidants.

Common watermelon has a hard green outer rind and a sweet pinkish-red interior. Both the rind, the seeds, and the soft crisp interior are edible. Watermelon is mostly water (92%) and sugar (6%). It contains other nutrients however which are beneficial to health, including vitamins and antioxidants.

Health Benefits of Xigua (Watermelon)

Category: Xigua
  • Watermelon is low in calories (86 calories per slice).
  • Watermelon is a good source of vitamin C (23 milligrams for 1 slice). Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant helping prevent cell damage and disease.
  • Watermelon contains Vitamin A in the form of beta carotene (1 slice has 1627 IU’s of vitamin A). Beta carotene also acts as an antioxidant reducing cell damage and disease.
  • Watermelon contains lycopene, another antioxidant compound that protects DNA. In studies, lycopene has been shown to prevent cancers of the breast, lung, prostate, endometrium, and colon. Lycopene can also help prevent heart disease. The redder the flesh and the riper the watermelon, the more lycopene antioxidants it contains. Watermelon will also increase in lycopene content if left at room temperature before it is cut. Once cut, it should go in the refrigerator.
  • Watermelon contains B vitamins needed for energy production.
  • Watermelon contains potassium and magnesium, necessary for heart health. These minerals can help reduce blood pressure and prevent heart disease.
  • Since watermelon is 92% water, it can help with hydration.
  • Watermelon can act as a mild diuretic.
  • Incorporating fruits such as watermelon in your diet, can keep your eyes healthy and help prevent age related vision loss.
  • Watermelon contains citrulline, an amino acid which helps our body make arginine. Arginine can help lower blood pressure, relax blood vessels, and prevent impotence.
  • Watermelon seeds are rich in healthy fats and contain protein.

Caution

Category: Xigua
  • If you are diabetic, caution with eating excess watermelon. One slice contains about 22 grams of carbohydrate. That is about 1 ½ carbohydrate servings.
  • If you have kidney failure and are on dialysis, caution with eating too much watermelon. Each slice contains 320 milligrams of potassium per slice. You should stay within your potassium limits set for you by your doctor or dietitian. A high potassium level is dangerous if your kidneys do not work. It can cause a heart attack.
  • Keep uncut watermelon at room temperature to increase the antioxidants. If you put uncut watermelon in the refrigerator, the antioxidants do not increase. Once cut, put it in the refrigerator.