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 provide rather 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 similar to protein and energy, they range in nutritional vitamins and minerals,” says Bridgette de Juan, a registered dietician at Orlando Health.
With melons coming into season, this is a have a look at what every kind brings to the desk—and why you need 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 just a catchy manner of claiming that you need to recurrently eat vegetables and fruit in quite a lot of colours. That’s as a result of these colours come from completely 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 coloration comes from lycopene, a carotenoid that can be present in different purple produce, like tomatoes and guavas. “Lycopene is thought to behave as a strong antioxidant by eradicating waste and relieving harm from cells,” says de Juan, including that analysis reveals that lycopene will help cut back the chance of continual illness, neurodegenerative circumstances, and sure cancers. (Research additionally counsel that lycopene may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.)
Cantaloupe melons, however, get their reddish-orange hue from beta carotene, a carotenoid that’s transformed to vitamin A by the physique. In truth, in accordance with de Juan, cantaloupes are the richest sources of vitamin A (good for your eyes) of the three widespread kinds of melons. And, among the many three, additionally they provide essentially the most vitamin C (known to boost the immune system.)
Cantaloupe melons even have essentially the most fiber and are wealthy in potassium, a crucial mineral that de Juan notes “will help to help a wholesome blood strain.”
2. Consuming melons will 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 identify, watermelon is definitely thought-about the least hydrating of the three. The title of “most hydrating” really goes to honeydew. (Which you should utilize to whip up a less acidic version 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 amount of vitamin C and potassium—one other good cause so as to add this candy, green-fleshed melon to the menu.
Scrumptious methods so as to add melons to a summer time food plan
Melons, in fact, are completely scrumptious when eaten contemporary as a snack, whether or not sliced or lower into cubes. Nonetheless, you don’t need to confine them to the fruit platter; they can be integrated 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 admire melon “fries,” like on this fun recipe from Abbey Sharp, RD. In fact, if you wish to slay dessert, you’ll be able to strive whipping up a watermelon pizza.
De Juan additionally suggests wrapping cantaloupe slices in prosciutto for an Italian-style appetizer. “There may be alway one thing for everybody,” she says.
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