However whilst you’re munching in your favourite melon this summer season—whether or not that’s poolside, at a barbecue or as a post-workout snack—you’ll be glad to know that melons supply far more than simply hydration. The generally consumed melons within the U.S., particularly watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew, are additionally filled with important vitamins like antioxidants. “Whereas most [melons] have comparable diet compositions corresponding to protein and energy, they differ in nutritional vitamins and minerals,” says Bridgette de Juan, a registered dietician at Orlando Health.
With melons coming into season, here is a take a look at what every kind brings to the desk—and why you must in the end be consuming all three on repeat this summer season.
2 main advantages of melons that make them a summer season fruit MVP
1. They possess highly effective antioxidant properties
You may need heard a nutritionist or registered dietician use the phrase “eat the rainbow,” which is solely a catchy approach of claiming that you must often devour 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 generally known as carotenoids which have highly effective antioxidant properties. Watermelon’s wealthy crimson coloration comes from lycopene, a carotenoid that can be present in different crimson produce, like tomatoes and guavas. “Lycopene is understood to behave as a strong antioxidant by eradicating waste and relieving harm from cells,” says de Juan, including that analysis exhibits that lycopene may help scale back the chance of persistent illness, neurodegenerative circumstances, and sure cancers. (Research additionally recommend that lycopene may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.)
Cantaloupe melons, alternatively, get their reddish-orange hue from beta carotene, a carotenoid that’s transformed to vitamin A by the physique. Actually, in keeping with de Juan, cantaloupes are the richest sources of vitamin A (good for your eyes) of the three frequent sorts of melons. And, among the many three, additionally they supply 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 obligatory mineral that de Juan notes “may help to assist a wholesome blood stress.”
2. Consuming melons may help you keep hydrated
So, about that hydration issue. Melons are recognized to be hydrating throughout the board, however it might shock you to be taught that regardless of having the phrase “water” in its title, watermelon is definitely thought of the least hydrating of the three. The title of “most hydrating” truly goes to honeydew. (Which you need to use to whip up a less acidic version of lemon water.)
“Based on the USDA Agricultural Analysis Service, honeydew is available in primary as the very best in free water, cantaloupe quantity two, and watermelon in third place,” says de Juan, including, “it might 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 chunk.”
Like the opposite melons, honeydew additionally comprises a good amount 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 season food plan
Melons, after all, are completely scrumptious when eaten contemporary as a snack, whether or not sliced or lower into cubes. Nevertheless, you don’t should confine them to the fruit platter; they can be integrated into each candy and savory dishes. “Nothing says summer season like a cool watermelon, mint , and feta cheese salad,” says de Juan. (Duchess Kate Middleton would agree.)
And adults and little ones alike can respect melon “fries,” like on this fun recipe from Abbey Sharp, RD. After all, 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 may be alway one thing for everybody,” she says.