Melon is a large and sweet berry of the Pumpkin family. Yes, from a botanical point of view, cantaloupe is a very healthy berry filled with many antioxidants, phytonutrients and electrolytes, which have been proven to have many health benefits. The nutrients found in the melon are found in its rich or soft yellow color, and can help prevent oxidative stress and a wide range of inflammatory diseases that are common throughout the world today.
Among all the nutrients it is known that two special protective phytonutrients are contained in a melon: carotenoids and cucurbitacins. These are two types of powerful antioxidants that provide the prevention of diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disorders. They also help stop the damage from free radicals in the body, which can significantly slow down the aging process.
Vitamin A, found in large quantities in melon, is a well-known antioxidant useful for healthy eyesight, firm and clean skin, boosting immunity and reducing inflammation. Together with antioxidant vitamin C, which is also present in large quantities in the fetus, this vitamin is necessary to maintain the health of the mucous membranes, the health of the inner layers of the skin and prevent DNA damage, which can lead to autoimmune diseases.
And there is another great useful property of melon. It is currently used to extract an enzyme called superoxide dismutase (SOD). It is a strong antioxidant that is found mainly in the skin of the fetus, which plays a vital role as a leading antioxidant that protects the internal organs of the human body from oxidative stress. In addition to this, although they are usually discarded and eaten only by the flesh, melon seeds also provide important omega-3 fatty acids and are actually edible.
So, from the article you will learn – what is melon, its use and harm to the body, the beneficial properties of melon seeds, calorie content, nutrient profile and much more.
Nutrition Facts and Nutrients in Melon
Despite the fact that berries (blueberries, blueberries, raspberries and others) are leaders in the content of antioxidants, they usually eat a little. At the same time, melon can be eaten in a sufficiently large volume, which will provide the human body with the same amount of antioxidants as a handful of berries. This means that melon can significantly increase the level of phytonutrients when included in the human diet.
Melon is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A in the form of carotenoids. In fact, melon is considered one of the fruits with the highest content of vitamin A. Melon also contains a lot of potassium, thiamine, niacin, folic acid, as well as vitamin K, magnesium and fiber.
One cup (160 grams) of melon contains:
Calories : 54 kcal
Fat : 0 gr.
Protein : 1 gr.
Fiber : 1.5 g
Sugar : 13 gr.
Carbohydrates : 13 gr.
Vitamin A : 270 mg (120%)
Vitamin C: 59 mg (108%)
Potassium : 427 mg (14%)
Folic acid : 34 mg (9%)
Niacin : 1.2 mg (6%)
Vitamin K : 4 mg (6%)
Thiamine : 0.7 mg (6%)
Magnesium : 19 mg (5%)
The benefits of melon for the body
Let us consider in more detail 12 useful properties of the product in question for human health
1. Contains a large amount of vitamins A and C
Due to the high content of antioxidants vitamin A and vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid, the use of melon helps to stop the damage caused by free radicals and fight oxidative stress in the body. Disease prevention is one of the main important aspects of caring for your health, therefore it is important to eat carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables.
Melon contains two types of antioxidant derivatives of vitamin A: beta-carotene and alpha-carotene. And since it contains both of these carotenoids, it also contains some of their species, including lutein, beta-cryptoxanthin, and zeaxanthin.
There is a growing body of research on the effects of these antioxidants and other carotenoids on chronic diseases in humans, especially related to how they can reduce dangerous inflammation. Inflammation and damage to free radicals are associated with the formation of various diseases, so eating melon is a great way to build protection from age-related conditions and keep the body healthy young and healthy.
2. Fights cancer with powerful phytochemicals
Melon is a rich source of antioxidant flavonoids such as beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin. These antioxidants have a protective role in the body and the ability to protect cells and other structures from DNA damage and stress caused by free radicals. Studies have shown that the benefits of melon for the body in this aspect are the prevention of cancer of the colon, prostate, breast, endometrium, lungs and pancreas.
Studies show that antioxidants and cucurbitacins lead to apoptosis of malignant cells or to self-destruction of cancer cells. These beneficial chemical pheromones exist naturally in plants to protect plants from external damage, but they do the same in the human body. For example, cucurbitacins repeatedly demonstrate anticancer activity in the body when studied, ranging from antiproliferation, cell cycle arrest and cell apoptosis. It is believed that these compounds have an apoptotic effect, because they are able to penetrate the cell nucleus where DNA or genes are stored and activate apoptotic proteins that destroy harmful cells ( 1 ).
In addition, many other studies have shown that consuming large amounts of fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin A and vitamin C is one of the best ways to prevent cell mutation. Including 5 or more fruits and vegetables in your diet every day can help protect against cancer of the lung, colon, prostate and oral cancer, thanks to the antitumor effects of fresh plant foods.
3. It has anti-inflammatory properties
Studies have shown that the level of the main marker of inflammation in the body – C-reactive protein (CRP) is significantly lower in the bloodstream of people who often eat melons and other vegetables and fruits. Since CRP is a marker widely used to assess inflammation levels in the body, this is further evidence of the healing properties of melon, which stops dangerous inflammation and autoimmune reactions that can lead to disease.
The anti-inflammatory benefits that the body receives after consuming the fetus are due to the presence of cucurbitacins in it, including cucurbitacin B and cucurbitacin E. These are two well-known anti-inflammatory compounds that can effectively relieve pain and symptoms caused by inflammatory diseases.
4. Helps prevent heart disease.
Heart disease, including atherosclerosis, is often attributed to high levels of inflammation as one of the leading causes. Many heart problems, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and the risk of a heart attack or stroke, begin with chronic unwanted inflammation and chronic oxidative stress. Cucurbitacins in melon have a positive effect on heart health due to their anti-inflammatory abilities.
The greatest number of cucurbitacins is concentrated in the peel of the fetus. In fact, many plants containing cucurbitacins have been used as folk medicines in some countries for hundreds of years to treat inflammation and heart disease ( 2 ).
5. Increases immunity
Carotenes and antioxidants found in melon help strengthen the immune system and prevent infections.
One specific carotenoid, beta-carotene, is especially known for enhancing immunity and treating chronic diseases. Studies show that beta-carotene can enhance the function of immune cells, which is why it is so useful for fighting not only common diseases, but also serious conditions such as cancer.
6. Helps restore muscle and increase stamina
Melon contains a moderate amount of potassium as an electrolyte, providing about 14% of the daily potassium requirement of 160 grams. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids. It helps to control normal heart rate and regulate healthy blood pressure. It also offers protection against heart disease, stroke, and other problems because of its importance in regulating heart and cell function.
In addition, potassium found in melon is an important nutrient for athletes or those involved in sports. Potassium is considered a vasodilator because it releases tension in the blood vessels and helps increase blood flow. This allows you to restore muscle faster and reduce stress in the body when you build muscle, strength and endurance.
7. Protects eye health
The benefits of melon for the body are manifested in the improvement of vision. The fruit contains important nutrients that play a vital role in protecting eye health, including beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin.
Zeaxanthin, for example, is an important carotenoid that is absorbed by the retina of the eye, where it is thought to provide an antioxidant and protective function against ultraviolet light. And other carotenoids help slow down some of the destructive processes in the retina and the reticular pigment lining, which lead to age-related macular degeneration.
Since numerous studies have shown that a serious deficiency of vitamin A or vitamin C can lead to degeneration of glaucoma and macula or thickening of the cornea and even blindness, eating is a great way to prevent the development of these disorders.
8. Good for skin health
Orange vegetables and fruits, such as carrots , sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and, of course, melon, are sources of carneoids that can reduce the risk of skin cancer. They are also useful for relieving pain and damage associated with sunburn, and preventing signs of skin aging, including fine line wrinkles and age spots.
9. Good for digestion
Melon is a fruit that contains a large amount of water. All “aquatic” fruits and vegetables are extremely beneficial for the digestive tract, as together with fiber, water flushes out all toxins and harmful substances from the intestines and the body as a whole. It is also known that slices of the fetus are easily digestible and do not contain FODMAP (hard-to-digest carbohydrates), which can cause symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders.
10. Helps the body cleanse of toxins
Melon is rich in electrolytes, which help the body cleanse itself and get rid of excess water. This is useful for alleviating the uncomfortable symptoms of poor digestion, including bloating and swelling. Potassium acts as an electrolyte and promotes the release of excess fluid and allows oxygen to reach cells unhindered. At the same time, it is useful in maintaining water balance in the body, in order to keep the amount of water in the intestine necessary and not allow the body to get dehydrated, which, in turn, can stop cases of diarrhea.
11. Restores body pH
Melon is considered an alkaline product. This means that it can help bring the body’s pH level to its natural level. It is believed that the disease develops much more difficult in an alkaline environment inside the body, compared with a more acidic system, so eating melon and other alkaline-forming foods will protect your body from inflammation and the development of diseases.
12. Low in calories and good for weight loss.
Melon contains only 34 calories in 100 grams and contains a large amount of water and various nutrients, which makes it a great addition to any plan for losing excess weight. Since those on a low-calorie diet can sometimes experience nutrient deficiencies, poor digestion, low immunity, and weakness, adding melon to your diet can help balance these risks and ensure that you get a lot of vitamins and minerals during weight loss.
How to choose a good melon
Melons and watermelons are seasonal summer fruits, and their peak season in Europe runs from July to September every year. However, they can usually be found in stores for most of the year because they are grown in parts of the world where the climate is always warm.
There are two common types of melons that are sold and eaten around the world: European (Cucumis melo cantalupensis), which got its name from the Italian papal village Cantalup, and North American. The European look is greener than orange, while the North American look is commonly sold in the United States with a deep orange color. Although it is known as the “cantaloupe” throughout the United States, many other nations call it “ cantaloupe ”.
There are many different types of hybrid melons that exist worldwide in different markets that combine the elements of the two most popular varieties mentioned above. Because of this, you can find melons of completely different sizes and colors.
To judge the maturity and taste of a melon, you can pay attention to several things:
- Check the peel. Do not buy fruit that has cracks or large discolored blemishes.
- Look for a melon heavy enough in weight with a clean and peeled skin. Weight means the fruit has a better sugar and water content, which usually means a richer and sweeter taste.
- Tap the melon just like you check a watermelon. If the sound echoes a little and you feel the cavity inside – this is a good sign!
- Fresh melon should have a sweetish, pleasant aroma. Smell the peel and make sure it smells good.
At home, first wash the entire fruit in cold running water to get rid of dirt and potential bacteria. Most people skip this step, but it is very important to do this before slicing a melon. If you didn’t eat the whole fruit at a time after you cut it, put the rest in the refrigerator so that no harmful bacteria get into the melon.
The benefits of melon seeds
Like melon itself, its seeds are also full of nutrients and health benefits. All vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats present in the pulp and peel are also present in the seeds. In addition, seeds are a rich source of protein. For vegetarians and vegans who need to be especially careful in getting the right amount of protein from their diet, eating melon seeds can be one of the solutions to problems with protein foods.
Melons: possible harm, contraindications and side effects
In general, melons are considered safe for the health of fruits, rarely causing negative consequences.
A general recommendation is to limit the use of melons during pregnancy and the period of breastfeeding. Despite the fact that the melon is rich in substances useful for the future mother, there is a risk of infection with listeriosis – a bacterial infection of foodborne origin. And this can harm both the mother and the child.
Also, people with diabetes should refuse to consume a large amount of melon, as it contains a considerable amount of sugar, which can cause a surge in insulin in the blood.
So, we studied the questions about what constitutes a melon, its benefits and harms to the body. To summarize a short summary.
- Melon is a healthy, low-calorie fruit.
- It has many health benefits, including improving heart health, promoting good digestion, boosting immunity, and even helping fight cancer.
- Melon can undoubtedly take pride of place in your summer diet for a healthy diet for your benefit and the almost complete absence of harm when consumed in moderation.