However whilst you’re munching in your favourite melon this summer time—whether or not that’s poolside, at a barbecue or as a post-workout snack—you’ll be glad to know that melons supply way more than simply hydration. The generally consumed melons within the U.S., specifically watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew, are additionally full of important vitamins like antioxidants. “Whereas most [melons] have comparable vitamin compositions reminiscent of protein and energy, they fluctuate in nutritional vitamins and minerals,” says Bridgette de Juan, a registered dietician at Orlando Well being.
With melons coming into season, this is a have a look at what every kind brings to the desk—and why it is best to in the end be consuming all three on repeat this summer time.
2 main advantages of melons that make them a summer time fruit MVP
1. They possess highly effective antioxidant properties
You might need heard a nutritionist or registered dietician use the phrase “eat the rainbow,” which is solely a catchy means of claiming that it is best to commonly eat vegatables and fruits in a wide range of colours. That’s as a result of these colours come from totally different pigments, every of which has its personal slate of well being advantages.
The signature colours of watermelons and cantaloupe come from pigments often called carotenoids which have highly effective antioxidant properties. Watermelon’s wealthy purple colour comes from lycopene, a carotenoid that can be present in different purple produce, like tomatoes and guavas. “Lycopene is thought to behave as a robust antioxidant by eradicating waste and relieving harm from cells,” says de Juan, including that analysis reveals that lycopene may also help cut back the danger of power illness, neurodegenerative situations, and sure cancers. (Research additionally counsel that lycopene might assist cut back the danger of cardiovascular ailments.)
Cantaloupe melons, alternatively, get their reddish-orange hue from beta carotene, a carotenoid that’s transformed to vitamin A by the physique. In actual fact, based on de Juan, cantaloupes are the richest sources of vitamin A (good in your eyes) of the three widespread kinds of melons. And, among the many three, in addition they supply essentially the most vitamin C (recognized to spice up the immune system.)
Cantaloupe melons even have essentially the most fiber and are wealthy in potassium, a essential mineral that de Juan notes “may also help to help a wholesome blood strain.”
2. Consuming melons may also help you keep hydrated
So, about that hydration issue. Melons are recognized to be hydrating throughout the board, however it could shock you to study that regardless of having the phrase “water” in its title, watermelon is definitely thought-about the least hydrating of the three. The title of “most hydrating” truly goes to honeydew. (Which you should use to whip up a much less acidic model of lemon water.)
“In response to the USDA Agricultural Analysis Service, honeydew is available in primary as the best in free water, cantaloupe quantity two, and watermelon in third place,” says de Juan, including, “it could really feel like watermelon has essentially the most water due to its decrease fiber contents which is why it feels so tender and juicy after we take a chew.”
Like the opposite melons, honeydew additionally incorporates a good quantity of vitamin C and potassium—one other good purpose so as to add this candy, green-fleshed melon to the menu.
Scrumptious methods so as to add melons to a summer time eating regimen
Melons, in fact, are completely scrumptious when eaten contemporary as a snack, whether or not sliced or reduce into cubes. Nevertheless, you don’t must confine them to the fruit platter; they can be included into each candy and savory dishes. “Nothing says summer time like a cool watermelon, mint , and feta cheese salad,” says de Juan. (Duchess Kate Middleton would agree.)
And adults and little ones alike can recognize melon “fries,” like on this enjoyable recipe from Abbey Sharp, RD. In fact, if you wish to slay dessert, you possibly can strive whipping up a watermelon pizza.
De Juan additionally suggests wrapping cantaloupe slices in prosciutto for an Italian-style appetizer. “There’s alway one thing for everybody,” she says.