Sweet, succulent and loaded with many vitamins and minerals, honeydew melon is a refreshing delicacy and a thirst quencher during a hot summer’s day. Honeydew melon or the white Antibes, a member of the cucurbitaceae family is a type of melon that was grown in Algeria and southern France for several years. They are known by name Bailan melon or Wallace melon. The skin color of honeydew melon varies from greenish to yellow with light green flesh that encapsulates a large number of seeds. Of all the different varieties of melons, honeydew is considered to be the sweetest. This wonderful fruit has been considered sacred by the early Egyptians because of the health benefitting properties it offers.
Nutrients in honeydew
Calories Honeydew melon offer is nearly 35 calorie per 100 gram. It is a low calorie, zero cholesterol fruit that consists of sugars like sucrose, glucose and fructose. It is also low in fat and whatever little fat it contains is a blend of small amounts of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. Honeydew melon is devoid of any cholesterol content. It contains both soluble and insoluble fiber that helps in supporting the normal functioning of your digestive system, lowering cholesterol and controlling blood sugar levels. Just as in the case of other fruits, honeydew also has a list of vitamins and minerals. This fruits provides you with vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, thiamin, niacin and folate. Honeydew contains high levels of potassium and moderate amounts of other essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and selenium. It has high levels of water (90%), which is why it is an excellent thirst quencher and hydrating fruit.
Honeydew Health benefits
Packed with some of the most important nutrients, honeydew is definitely a healthy option when you long to eat something sweet. Some of the health benefits of this fruit include the following:
Honeydew melon helps your skin look young
The high levels of water in honeydew hydrates and moisturizes your skin, keeping it supple and wrinkle free. The vitamin C in this fruit increases the production of collagen that helps in increasing the elasticity of your skin, making it look young and flawless. Moreover, the antioxidant properties of this vitamin prevent premature aging of your skin by eliminating the free radicals that cause cell damage. As a result your skin stays young and free from aging signs like wrinkles, fine lines, pigmentation and dark spots. Just apply some thin slices of fresh honeydew melon to your face. Let it remain for 15-20 minutes. Or try this Honeydew melon facial mask – To make honeydew melon facial mask at home, blend about cup slice of honeydew melon with a single egg yolk to form a paste. Apply this to your skin, leave it for about 20 minutes before you wash off with cold water. You would feel your skin smooth and radiant.
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Melon Honeydew is healthy for the heart
Just like potassium that lowers blood pressure and regulates your heart rate, honeydew also contains other nutrients like vitamin C and B complex vitamins that are beneficial for the health of your heart. Vitamin C has powerful antioxidant properties, which helps in eliminating the free radicals that cause cell damage, leading to cardiovascular diseases. A high level of the amino acid homocysteine can increase the risk of blood clots, stroke and heart attacks. The B group vitamins present in honeydew helps in lowering the levels of homocysteine thus protecting your heart from heart attacks. Honeydew also contains a chemical known as adenosine that helps in reducing the viscosity or thickness of blood, thus reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Honeydew has high amounts of soluble fiber that binds with cholesterol and removes it from the bloodstream. This helps in lowering the levels of cholesterol and in preventing its accumulation. High blood pressure or hypertension is often referred to as a silent killer as it can lead to life-threatening conditions like heart attack and stroke without showing any symptoms or signs whatsoever. A high level of sodium can sometimes lead to high blood pressure and hence it is important to maintain the correct balance of the electrolytes in your body. Honeydew is an excellent source of potassium that helps in neutralizing the negative effects of sodium and in maintaining a normal blood pressure.
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Honeydew aids in digestion
Honeydew contains insoluble fiber that helps the digested food to easily pass through the digestive system. It adds bulk to your stool and helps in regularizing the bowel movements, thus preventing digestive issues like constipation.
Honeydew is good for diabetics
It is important for diabetic patients to follow a diet that does not cause significant fluctuations in their blood sugar levels. Foods that have low glycemic index are considered to release glucose at a slow rate, thus preventing spikes in glucose levels. Honeydew is not only low in calories but is also a fruit with low glycemic index. The soluble fiber in this fruit helps in slowing down glucose absorption and in controlling the blood sugar levels.
Honeydew improves eye health
Honeydew melon contains phytonutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important for keeping your eyes healthy. Consumption of this fruit on a regular basis will help in improving your vision and also in reducing the risk of eye problems like macular degeneration, eye infections and cataract.
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Eating honeydew prevents dehydration
Your body is constantly losing water in the form of sweat, urine, stool and water vapor. If this water is not replaced, there is the likelihood that you may get dehydrated. Severe dehydration can even lead to death. Honeydew is a fruit that holds a large amount of water. So instead of turning to energy drinks or other beverages, try a honeydew melon. Its consumption during a hot day will not only keep you hydrated but your body will also benefit from the nutrients it provides.
Honeydew for strong bones and teeth
Calcium is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in the health of your bones and teeth. Honeydew is an excellent source of this mineral and provides your body with the required amount of calcium, thus helping in the development of strong and healthy bones and teeth.
Honeydew boosts your immunity
Keeping your immune system functioning properly is of utmost importance as it helps in defending your body against the attack of dangerous microbes. The food that you eat plays a major role in strengthening your immune system. Vitamin C is a nutrient that is known to strengthen and enhance your immunity. Honeydew is super rich in vitamin C and hence its consumption can help in preventing common colds, flu and other types of infections.
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Honeydew is a great baby food
Honeydew contains many essential vitamins and minerals that are ideal for the growth of a baby. Since the pulp is very soft, it is easy for the baby to eat the fruit. Honeydew contains high amounts of calcium that helps in strengthening the bones and teeth of the baby. It is a rich source of lutein, zeaxanthin, beta carotene and vitamin A, nutrients which are important for maintaining healthy eyes and skin. It also provides vitamin K and vitamin E, which are good for the skin as well as the healthy growth of hair. The high levels of the antioxidant vitamin C in this fruit help in boosting the immunity and defending against diseases. Honeydew is a good source of B complex vitamins that enhance the overall health of your baby. The high percentage of water in this melon keeps your baby hydrated, especially during the hot summer season.
Honeydew is one of the best weight loss foods
In spite of the fact that honeydew is the sweetest among the melons, it is still a great weight loss food as it is low in calories and saturated fat. In addition, the dietary fiber in this fruit satiates your appetite and keeps you feeling fuller for a longer period of time. By curbing your hunger, honeydew reduces your tendency for frequent snacking and overeating.
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Honeydew is good for pregnant ladies
A nutritious and well-balanced diet is very important during pregnancy as the mother eats not only for herself but also for the growing fetus in her womb. It is vital to intake food that offers all the nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber etc. Honeydew is considered to be a great snack for pregnant women as it packs an impressive list of nutrients. Digestive problems like constipation are common among many pregnant ladies. Honeydew contains high amount of dietary fiber that improves digestion and helps in making the bowel movements regular. The vitamin C is beneficial in enhancing the immune system of the mother as well as the fetus. Another important nutrient that is present in high levels in honeydew is folate. This vitamin is essential for the proper growth of the baby and also in preventing neural tube defects.
Honeydew is helpful in fighting cancer
The abundance of vitamin C in honeydew has been found to be effective in fighting off certain types of cancers. The oxidative stress caused by the free radicals in your body result in cell damage and DNA mutations, which may lead to the formation of cancer cells. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect your body against cancer by neutralizing the harmful effects of these free radicals. Vitamin C also plays a vital role in promoting a healthy and strong immune system by encouraging the white blood cells to fight off toxin foreign bodies that try to attack your body and cause diseases.
Store honeydew melons at room temperature and once they are ripe, move them to the refrigerator. Store in closed container or paper wrap to aid honeydew melon ripe. Being a low calorie fruit with health benefitting vitamin and minerals, honeydew is definitely a nutritious and healthy addition to your daily diet. Next time you crave for something sweet have a honeydew melon instead of sugary and high fat processed food items. This will help you satisfy your sweet tooth without taking in too much calories. Some honeydew recipes you may try and add in your diet – honeydew melon smoothie, honeydew melon soup, honeydew melon juice, honeydew melon syrup and many others. Check this honeydew sago recipe which is popular in Asia.
Honeydew sago recipe – The recipe can be broken in three parts – making sugar syrup, cooking sago and making honeydew melon puree. Add about ½ cup of sugar in equal amount of water and boil till sugar dissolves and makes syrup. In separate pot, boil about 5 cups of water. Once boiled, add sago to water and allow it to cook for 10 minutes. Sago turns translucent when cooked. Once cooled, wash the sago in cold water and sieve them out. Take half honeydew melon and make a puree out of it. Make cubes of remaining half melon. In a serving glass, place the melon slices, then add the melon puree over it. Add about ½ cup of coconut milk to this. Pour the cooked sago, followed by sugar syrup.
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Honeydew smoothie recipe – Nothing is as refreshing as honeydew smoothie. Blend honeydew melon with yogurt and ice. Add apple juice to enhance flavor. Add pinch of salt for flavor. Sugar can be avoided. Garnish with honeydew melon slices.Image Credits: Wikimedia - Yotoen, Flickr - SteveH, Flickr - Pablopabla