There’s nothing more refreshing than biting into a juicy melon on a warm day. Melons are sweet, fleshy fruits hailing from the Cucurbitaceae family, making them relatives of gourds and cucumbers. Most melons can be placed into two categories: watermelons and muskmelons (which include honeydews and cantaloupes).
There are more than 30 different types of melons, but here are some of the more common ones and their health benefits:
Watermelon: Made up of 92% water, watermelon is excellent for hydration. It is also one of the best foods to eat for weight loss, as it contains very few calories per serving. Watermelon is loaded with electrolytes, and is a good source of vitamin C. Lycopene, a potent antioxidant, is what gives watermelon its red color.
Honeydew: This sweet, light-green melon contains folate, vitamin K and magnesium – three nutrients vital for bone health. Honeydew’s high potassium and low sodium content may also help reduce blood pressure.
Cantaloupe: Like other melons, cantaloupe is a low- calorie fruit that is comprised mostly of water. Among melons, cantaloupe is the top source of vitamin A, with one cup offering over 100% of your daily needs for this vitamin.
Canary melon: These vibrant, yellow melons are somewhat less well-known, however they should not be overlooked. Canary melons are a great source of fiber which aids in digestion and helps keep you regular. In addition, these melons are rich in vitamin A which supports healthy vision and eye functioning.
Sometimes, the inconvenience of preparing a melon and cutting it up into an accessible eating form can discourage people from frequently buying and consuming melons. An effective method of preparing such fruits is to first cut the melon in half (crosswise), then cut off the stem at each end so there are two flat surfaces on each half. Next, you simply place the melon flat on the cutting board and slice down vertically to cut off all the rind. Once left with just the flesh, it is easy to slice the melon up into cubes, or whatever shapes you wish. While melons are delicious eaten on their own, they are also great in smoothies or salads.
Overall, melons have plenty of nutritious qualities, and no particular melon is “healthier” per se than another, it just depends on what nutrients you’re looking for. Therefore, incorporating any melon into your diet would be a beneficial addition. To learn more about healthy eating and meal planning contact Health By Gini to make an appointment today!