Melons: The Nutritional Benefits
With so many different types of melons, the nutritional value can vary depending on the type. Each type of melon has its own nutritional benefits and vitamin content. Cantaloupe is high in fiber, 1.4 grams per cup to be exact, while honeydew contains a significant amount of vitamin C, protecting our bodies from bacteria and viral infections. Watermelon is high in an amino acid called L-citrulline, known to heal and protect muscles.
Watermelon is also 91 percent water, helping you stay hydrated throughout all summer activities. Melons also contain a high content of carotenoids, an agent found in the fruit that prevents cancer, lung cancer specifically. Melons are great in aiding digestion due to their high water content and promote weight loss due to their low calorie content.
Ripe or Not? How Tell if a Melon is Ready to Eat
With the skin of melons being so thick, it can be hard to determine whether it is ready to eat. The best tip? Keep your eyes peeled for a symmetrical melon, with generally no soft areas or blemishes. Another tip? Give your melon a quick knock as if you were knocking on a door. If it sounds dull, it is most likely very ripe and juicy. Melons can also be determined ripe or not by their smell. If you sniff a melon, they should have a sweet, fragrant smell at their ripest. If not, leaving your melon on the counter for a day or two should do the trick.
5 Fun Facts
- The Yubari King melon is the most expensive melon in the world, and can average over $20,000.
- Watermelons are not only red in flesh! They can be white, yellow or orange.
- The word “cantaloupe” was derived from the town Cantalupo located in Italy.
- The world’s largest melon producer is China.
- Honeydew can continue to ripen days after it has already been picked.
Try This: Melon Ice Cubes
In the case that you have not eaten a whole melon, or even have a few pieces remaining, make melon ice cubes. Using an ice cream scooper, scoop out various scoops of melon and mix and match the kinds you use. Place them on a tray in the freezer, chill, and serve in your next beverage.
Spicy Melon Salsa
Spicy Melon Salsa
- 1cupchopped cantaloupe
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
- 1/4red onion, sliced
- 1/4freshly torn cilantro
- 1lime, juiced
- Combine all the salsa ingredients in a bowl, seasoning with the salt. Toss well and let sit until ready to eat. Serve with your favorite tacos or tortilla chips!