Melons are some of summer’s most cooling and refreshing fruits, and they are often the first fruits that get selected for gatherings or parties. Coming in all shapes, colors, and sizes, melons are unique, nutritious, tasty, and the most popular poolside snacks. Iced beverages can quench your thirst, but chips, dips, and other snacks lead to dry mouth and overeating. Snack on more melons this summer to excite your taste buds and keep your calorie count down.
Most melons, including cantaloupes, honeydews, and watermelons, contain up to 90% water, which is why they help to hydrate the body. While this hydration aspect is one of the benefits of eating melons, some people, diabetics included, often shy away from melons due to their high glycemic index (GI) score. Watermelon may have a GI of 72, but most people are not going to eat an entire watermelon at once. That number is based on 50 grams of carbohydrates, the amount used to measure the GI of every food. The glycemic load (GL), which determines how food affects your blood sugar over time, is worth discussing in the case of melons. The GL accounts for the quality of sugar, the quantity of carbohydrates consumed, and the other nutrients in the food. Eating one cup of watermelon, for instance, translates to a GL score of 9, which is low.
Providing 78% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C in a one cup serving, cantaloupe is low in calories, fights inflammation, and is a great source of vitamin A. The high antioxidant content of cantaloupe makes it an excellent fruit from neutralizing free radicals, which cause oxidative stress in the body. Recent studies have also found that cantaloupe may decrease metabolic syndrome, which increases one’s risk of heart disease.
Watermelons are great sources of lycopene, which is a phytonutrient that has been associated with reduced hardening of the arteries. Higher blood lycopene levels can also help to reduce inflammation and blood pressure. Watermelon is rich in citrulline and arginine, two amino acids that have been known to improve protein synthesis, reduce muscle fatigue, and reduced cardiac stress in obese people, according to one study.
Honeydew may be the second most popular melon, settling in just behind the ever-popular watermelon. The diverse nutritional profile is responsible for its many healthy benefits. Honeydew is rich in vitamin K, magnesium, and folate, all of which are vital for maintaining healthy bones. Additionally, the vitamin C content can help support healthy skin because it works to stimulate collagen production and protect the skin against sun damage.
The Nutrients Of Melons
Lycopene is responsible for the red color of watermelon, and this powerful antioxidant has been known to reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart attack, and it helps to prevent cell damage. Eating 1.5 cups of fresh watermelon provides 1-13mg of lycopene.
This antioxidant helps to encourage healthy cell and tissue growth in the body, but it also works to repair broken down cartilage, bones, and teeth. The average adult requires 90mg of vitamin C per day, and a one-cup serving of cantaloupe can deliver 65mg. One cup of honeydew provides 30mg, while one cup of casaba melon provides 37mg of vitamin C.
Potassium is an essential trace mineral that works to lower blood pressure by reducing excess sodium in the body. Adults should consume 4,700mg of potassium per day, and melons are excellent sources of potassium. One cup of honeydew contains 403mg of potassium, while one cup of cantaloupe contains 473mg of potassium. You can click here to view other potassium-rich foods.
Carrots and sweet potatoes receive the most attention when it comes to vitamin A, but cantaloupes should also receive praise. One cup of cantaloupe satisfies 25% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A. Eating vitamin A-rich foods can help decrease your risk of developing weak bones, teeth, vision, and mucous membranes.