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A Fruitful Season

Contributed by: NAPSA

(NAPSA) - For those who crave some bright, flavorful fruit as part of a
A Fruitful Season
light breakfast, lunch or snack as swimsuit season approaches, here are three excellent picks. All are high-quality and readily available throughout spring, thanks to Mexico, which is the No. 1 importer of fresh produce to the United States.

  • Mangoes-Tangy and juicy, the mango is the world's most popular fruit. It's been cultivated for more than 4,000 years in Southeast Asia and India and made its way to Mexico in the 18th century.

    Today, Mexican mangoes are becoming more popular in the U.S., according to Lee Frankel, president of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas. In 2003, Mexico exported more than 382 million pounds of mangoes to the U.S.

    High in vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C, an entire mango has about 140 calories.

    Tip: Many people prepare a mango by peeling its skin off with a paring knife and scoring the flesh like a tic-tac-toe board. Then, you can slice off these little resulting squares into cubes and have diced mango for a salad, smoothie, dessert or just a snack.

  • Watermelon-It's little wonder refreshing, cooling watermelon has been a valuable source of water for desert situations throughout history. It was cultivated in Egypt and India as early as 2500 B.C. and now is an important crop in Mexico, which exports about 412 million pounds of it to the United States a year.

    Watermelon is high in lycopene, which has been shown in studies to help fight prostate cancer, protect the lungs, skin and eyes and even help fight heart disease.

    Tip: Don't forget watermelon at a picnic or outdoor party-it's a fun, easy dessert and a big, 17-ounce wedge has just 154 calories.

  • Honeydew-Honeydew and other melons originated in the Middle East and food historians believe they're one of the oldest foods grown. They're still popular -Americans ate 126 million pounds of sweet, lush Mexican honeydew last year.

    Tip: Need more vitamin C? One-tenth of a honeydew has 45 percent of the vitamin C needed in a day, with just 50 calories. For a classic European snack, try wrapping a wedge with a thin slice of smoky sweet ham; or do as the Mexicans do and just add a squeeze of lime juice.



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