Honeydew melon, or honeymelon, is a fruit that belongs to the cucumis melo (muskmelon) species. It exhibits a light green sweet flesh, which is concealed by a white-yellow skin. Honeydew melons are very similar in size to cantaloupes and mini watermelons, and the consensus is that they are the sweetest of all melons.
Although you can typically buy honeydew melons year round, peak season is from July to September. Honeydew exhibits a diverse nutritional profile, which is potentially honeydew’s most valuable asset. Among the vitamins and minerals, it contains beneficial plant compounds that are responsible for some of its many health benefits. The following nutritional information is based off of a one-cup serving of honeydew:
- Calories: 64
- Carbohydrates: 16 grams (g)
- Protein: 1 g
- Fat: 0 g
- Fiber: 1.4 g
- Folate: 8% of the recommended daily intake (RDI)
- Potassium: 12% of the RDI
- Vitamin C: 53% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 6% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 4% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 8% of the RDI
Contains Vital Nutrients For Bone Health
Honeydew melon is a great source of magnesium, folate, and vitamin K, three nutrients that are crucial for maintaining strong bones. Folate works to break down homocysteine, a necessary function because elevated levels reduce bone mineral density over time. More research is necessary to draw conclusive evidence between the relationship of folate and bone health, though. Vitamin K, on the other hand, is essential for osteocalcin production, a structural protein in the bones. Adequate vitamin K levels, then, can help encourage healthier, stronger bones.
May Improve Blood Sugar Control
There are several research studies that indicate that eating fruits, such as honeydew melon, may help regulate blood sugar levels. One study monitored half a million people for seven years. Researchers noted that those who consumed fresh fruit daily were 12% less likely to develop diabetes, compared to people who hardly ate fruit. In the participants who already had diabetes at the start of the study, eating fruit at least three times per week reduced diabetes-related health complications by 13-28%.
One cup of honeydew provides more than five ounces of water. By consuming enough water, you can avoid dehydration. If the body enters a state of dehydration, it overheats and you can experience problems with mood, thinking, digestion, and kidneys. Drinking enough water can help flush waste from the body and lubricate and cushion the joints. According to one study, people who hydrate sufficiently develop fewer chronic conditions, including heart and lung disease. Well-hydrated people tend to live longer compared to people who don’t drink enough fluids.
May Regulate Blood Pressure
Because honeydew is low in sodium and high in potassium, it may help with blood pressure management. Potassium works to control blood pressure by causing the kidneys to excrete excess sodium. In excess, sodium is a nutrient that can cause high blood pressure. Potassium also works to reduce tension in blood vessels walls, which can further reduce blood pressure. Additional research shows that eating more fruits and vegetables that produce nitric oxide can help prevent and treat lifestyle-related disease, such as high blood pressure.
May Support Skin Health
Honeydew is a great source of vitamin C, water, and anti-inflammatory compounds, all of which benefit the skin. Skin cells are dependent on vitamin C to produce collagen and regulate the collagen and elastin balance. It is this delicate balance that gives the skin its volume and shape. If you don’t consume enough vitamin C, you may experience dull-looking skin and skin inflammation. In fact, several studies confirm that low vitamin C levels are linked to aged or sun-damaged skin.
May Improve Digestion
Honeydew contains a lot of fiber, an integral nutrient for optimal digestive function. There is a lot of evidence that supports the link between adequate fiber intake and a healthy gut. Fiber works to slow blood sugar response, encourage bowel regularity, and promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria.