Melon has more to offer than a cool summer snack! Numerous varieties of melons are available which are basically fleshy fruits belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family which also includes squash, cucumber, pumpkin, gourd etc. Though botanically melons are fruits, they are often used as culinary vegetables.
These fruits are mostly eaten fresh as desserts due to their uniquely sweet flavor. They have a tough rind and watery flesh with seeds embedded in it. In fact, 95% of this fruit comprises of water. Popular varieties of melon include watermelon, honeydew melon, musk melon and cantaloupe. Some can be eaten raw while others are cooked, particularly in soups and stews. They are available from April to August.
Health Benefits of Melon
Besides their cooling and soothing effects, melons are a nutritious punch offering a variety of health benefits.
1. Anti- Cancer Properties:
The high content of carotenoids in melon fruit can prevent cancer and lower the risk of lung cancer. Regular consumption of this fruit is effective in preventing and killing the cancer seeds that invade your body. So incorporate melons in your diet to prevent this deadly disease.
2. Heart Health:
An anticoagulant called adenosine present in melon fruit can stop the clotting of blood cells which causes stroke or heart disease. Melons lower the risk of heart disease by smoothing the blood in the body. Besides, the high content of water in melon provides a soothing effect which helps relieve heartburn.
3. Cures Kidney Disease:
The excellent diuretic properties of melon are beneficial in curing kidney disease. The combination of melon and lemon is effective in curing gout. Thus, regular consumption of melons every day in the morning helps in maintaining kidney health.
4. Digestive Health:
If you have digestive problems, you can try eating melons to facilitate smooth and easy bowel movement. The high content of water in melons is great for digestion as it helps launch defecation while the mineral content eliminates acidity that often causes difficulty in digestion, particularly in the stomach organ.
5. Energy Booster:
Most melons contain B vitamins which account for most of your body’s energy production. B vitamins are required by your body to process sugars and carbs. Thus, consumption of melons can provide you with substantial energy.
6. Weight Loss:
Like most other fruits, melons are ideal for weight loss. These fruits are low in sodium and calories as well as fat and cholesterol free. The high water content can keep you full for longer while the natural sweetness curbs your cravings for sugary foods and high calorie sweets. Watermelon, in particular, is great for weight loss with a whole cup providing just 48 calories.
Skin Benefits of Melon
Melons are not only great for your health; their nutritional value makes them beneficial for skin as well. Some of the melon benefits for skin care are as follows.
7. Maintains Healthy Skin:
One of the amazing benefits of melon is that it contains collagen which maintains the integrity of the cell structure in all connective tissues including skin. It also speeds up wound healing and maintains skin firmness. Regular consumption of melon is beneficial for those who have rough and dry skin.
8. Anti- Aging Benefits:
Melons like honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon can tone your skin and provide anti-ageing benefits due to the presence of vitamins A, B and C. You can prepare an anti-ageing facial mask by cutting thin slices of fresh melon. Place these slices on your face and neck. Lie down and relax for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse off with cool water. This will refresh your skin and provide a youthful glow.
9. Good Moisturizer:
Melons have good moisturizing and energizing properties. You can prepare a moisturizing face mask by mixing cucumber with honeydew melon. Take half small sized fresh cucumber along with its seeds and skin, few slices of peeled honeydew melon and an egg white. Blend these ingredients in a blender or food processor to form a cream like paste. Apply this on your face, massaging with your fingertips in upward circular motions. Allow it to stay for 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse off with warm water. This mask will not only enrich your skin with a variety of nutrients but also soak up any oil or dirt that clogs your pores. It will also soften your skin, imparting it a smooth and radiant complexion.
Hair Benefits of Melon
Healthy hair enhances your appearance to a great extent. Just like the rest of the body, hair health also depends upon the nutrients that we provide to our hair follicles for their growth. Consuming fruits rich in vitamins and minerals can promote hair growth and prevent hair problems. Melons can be beneficial for your hair in the following ways.
10. Promotes Hair Growth:
Melons, particularly, cantaloupes are a good source of beta carotene which is converted to vitamin A inside the body. This vitamin A is vital for healthy hair and normal hair growth.
11. Prevents Hair Loss:
Deficiencies in B vitamins are also responsible for causing hair loss. Melons like cantaloupes are rich in B vitamins like folic acid and inositol which help prevent hair loss and promote hair growth.
Melon: Nutritional Value
These juicy fruits are packed with health benefiting nutrients comprising of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Their nutritional value can be understood from the table and explanation given below.
|See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:Cantaloupe (Cucumis melo), Fresh,|
Nutritive Value per 100 g
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.19 g||<1%|
|Dietary Fiber||0.9 g||2.25%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.105 mg||2%|
|Vitamin A||3382 IU||112%|
|Vitamin C||36.7 mg||61%|
|Vitamin E||0.05 mg||0.5%|
|Vitamin K||2.5 mcg||2%|
- Calories: These fruits are extremely low in calories with 100 grams of fresh fruit providing just 34 calories.
- Vitamin A: Melons are an excellent source of vitamin A. 100 grams serving of cantaloupe provides about 3382 International Units (IUs) or 112% of the recommended daily allowance of this vitamin which is the highest among all fruits.
- Antioxidants: Melon is rich in antioxidant flavonoids like beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin which fight free radicals, thus providing protection against various types of cancers.
ORAC: Oral Radical Absorption Capacity or ORAC is the measure of total antioxidant strength. Cantaloupes have an ORAC of 315 µmol/100 grams while honeydew melons have an ORAC of 241 µmol/100 grams.