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17 May

The Best Superfoods - A to Z: X Is for Xigua

Pink on the inside, green on the outside, Xigua, aka Citrullus lanatus, is hydrating, refreshingly sweet, and arguably the epitome of summer fruit. “Why haven’t I heard of this magical summer elixir before?” we hear you wonder. Well, you most certainly have. Xigua is Chinese for watermelon.

Just like the cucumber and zucchini, watermelon belongs to the cucumber family. So technically, it’s a vegetable and not a fruit.

Watermelons that can get as heavy as 20kg are available in different varieties. If you’re not a fan of seeds, there’s even a seedless version out there.
 

Xigua Nutrition Facts
 

Watermelon is a beloved summer snack that people devour with a clear conscience. Being 91% water, Xigua is low in calories. 100g contain the following nutrients:
 

Energy & Carbs

  • Calories: 37 kcal
  • Fat: traces
  • Protein: 1g
  • Carbs: 8g (thereof sugar 8g)

Minerals 

  • Fiber: 0g
  • Natrium: 1g
  • Kalium: 140g
  • Calcium: 7g
  • Magnesium: 9g
  • Phosphate: 10g
  • Iron: 0.2
  • Zinc: 0.1g


Vitamins 

  • Beta carotene (µg): 245
  • Vitamin E: 0.1mg
  • Vitamin B1: 0.04mg
  • Vitamin B2: 0,05mg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.07mg
  • Folic acid (µg): 5
  • Vitamin C: 6mg
     

Overall, watermelons are a healthy and refreshing thirst-quenchers high in vitamins and sources for lycopene and the rare amino acid citrulline. 
 

Health Benefits of Xigua


Besides being low in calories and free of fat and cholesterol, let’s take a look at the perks of eating Xigua:
 

Heart

For starters, lycopene, a type of carotenoid, doesn’t just give the watermelon its color; the antioxidant also works as a radical catcher within the body, reducing bad cholesterol. At the same time, citrulline dilates the blood vessels and consequently promotes blood flow. 
 

Hair & Skin

If you’re diligent about skincare, then you might’ve noticed all the hype around vitamin C. Considering the wonders it does for your collagen production, wrinkle reduction, and sun protection, this hype is one that we can get behind. In terms of hair, vitamin C gives extra thickness and volume and makes your hair grow more healthily. 

On the other hand, Vitamin A keeps your skin smooth, reduces dryness, and prevents scaly skin. 
 

Other Benefits 

  • Cancer prevention: The antioxidants help relieve the body of free radicals, which can cause cancer. 
  • Immunity: 500g of watermelon cover 30% of the recommended daily Vitamin C and Vitamin B6 doses. 
  • Muscle pain reduction: The citrulline relaxes your blood vessels and improves your blood flow, reducing muscle pain. 

     

Enjoy With Care


One of the ironies of life is that too much of a good thing can sometimes be bad. For instance, we love cake. But we can eat an entire cake once every day without expecting some adverse effects on our health, can we? 

The same goes for Xigau. People with diabetes or kidney disease should be cautious due to watermelon’s diuretic properties (courtesy of high vitamin A and C levels). What’s more, watermelons contain potassium, which can be harmful to people with diabetes. The high glycaemic index (GI) can increase the level of glucose, which is also bad for people with diabetes. 

If you don’t have diabetes, then you still need to be careful. An overdose of lycopene can cause flatulence, nausea, vomit, and diarrhea. 

 

A Xigua Salad for Hot Summer Days
 



Brace yourself; summer is coming. And what better way to prepare for summer than to learn some new healthy and quick recipes? 

The Xigua recipe we’ve picked out is a real crowd pleaser--it doesn’t matter if you have a sweet tooth or prefer savory, we guarantee that you’ll enjoy this one:

 

Ingredients:

Dressing

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • ½ garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

Salad

  • 5 cups cubed Xigua
  • 1 cup cucumber
  • ¼ cup red onions
  • ⅓ cup feta cheese 
  • 1 avocado
  • ⅓ cup mint or basil leaves
  • ½ jalapeño or serrano pepper, optional
  • Sea salt

Instructions:

  1. To make the dressing, mix together the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, and salt.

  2. For the salad, combine the watermelon, cucumber, and red onions on a large plate or platter. Pour half the dressing on it. Spread the feta, avocado, mint, and serrano pepper, over it, and then add the rest of the sauce. Season to taste and voila!

 


Watermelon Martini: Your New Favorite Summer Drink
 

We can’t discuss watermelons and summer without also offering a new summer drink recipe. And don’t worry, we picked an easy one because we know just how urgently you need that cool drink. 
 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chopped watermelon (or 1/4 cup watermelon juice)
  • 2 large mint leaves
  • 1 ounce (2 tbsp) vodka
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tbsp) Cointreau
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tbsp) lime juice
  • 1 tsp simple syrup
  • For the garnish: small watermelon wedge
     

Instructions:

  1. Put the watermelon and mint into your cocktail shaker. Gently mash them with a cocktail muddler/a wooden spoon. (If you’re using watermelon juice, just muddle the mint.)
  2. Add the vodka, Cointreau, lime juice, simple syrup, and ice and shake until cold.
  3. Strain the drink into a glass. Garnish with a small watermelon wedge if you’re feeling fancy.

Stay healthy and hydrated throughout the summer with our inKin app and browse through other superfoods for more inspiration! 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Unsplash

 

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