Neighbors

How do you Pick the Sweetest Watermelon?

Grace and Dave Marquette

It’s summertime again, and that means barbecues, swimming pools and the sweet treat that can’t be beat, watermelon. How do you buy a watermelon and know that it’s ripe and sweet?

Today, Grace Marquette is going to teach us how to choose the best, ripe and sweet watermelon.

Grace has been in Rio Linda since 1971, but her roots go way back to the 1920s. She, along with her husband Dave, are members of the Rio Linda Historical Society; an organization dedicated to preserving, protecting, promoting, and restoring the unique history and heritage of Rio Linda and Elverta.

First, when considering a watermelon, make sure it has a prominent yellow spot. This spot is where it sat on the ground ripening. No spot means it was a premature pick and it is not ripe.

Secondly, Look for “webbing”. This is the brown, course web looking material. This is caused when bees pollinate the flower and scar the membranes that later form the fruit. The more pollination means more webbing and sweeter fruit.

Finally, Look for black hard globs seeping out. This is sugar! Definitely not insects or rotting.

Watermelon is HEALTHY

Watermelons are mostly water — about 92 percent — but this refreshing fruit is soaked with nutrients. Each juicy bite has significant levels of vitamins A, B6 and C, lots of lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids. There’s even a modest amount of potassium. Plus, this quintessential summer snack is fat-free, very low in sodium and has only 40 calories per cup. 

What’s been recently discovered is that watermelon is rich in L-citrulline, an amino acid that helps improve blood flow. L-citrulline supports the body in optimizing blood flow when it converts to L-arginine and then to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is involved in vasodilation (dilation of the blood vessels). Low levels of nitric oxide are associated with mental and physical fatigue and sexual dysfunction. Like Viagra, L-citrulline increases blood flow to the sexual organs but without any negative side effects.

Thanks Grace! We’ll be sure to look for those signs of a ripe, juicy and sweet watermelon the next time we wander into Food Source.

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