Know Your Melons

Sweet, luscious and juicy melons! Summer is just the right season for them. In the scorching heat, when you need to refresh your body and cool your senses, melons help you beat-the-heat and are a perfect source of fluids. While watermelons are the most popular ones in the melon family, there are other varieties like the honeydew melon and musk melon which are commonly consumed in India. Did you know that melons belong to the same gourd family as cucumbers and pumpkins? Listed below are some common melons with their nutrition facts. Melons are regularly recommended by sports nutritionist as a part of recommendations for an athlete and also in weight loss programs.

WATERMELON:

  • Watermelon is mostly water (about 92%) but, besides that it is rich in nutrients. They are an ideal snack option for weight watchers as a cup of this juicy melon provides only 40 calories and is fat free.
  • It is rich in the phytonutrient, lycopene which gives it the colour red. Lycopene comes with benefits for heart health, bone health and with anti cancer properties. And, the bioavailability of lycopene from watermelon is higher than from the other top foods that it is present in like tomatoes, papaya and grapefruit.
  • One generally discards the white flesh near the rind. But, you will be surprised to know that the amino acid citrulline is present in plenty in that flesh. Citrulline plays an important role in cardiovascular health.
  • Watermelon has been shown to reduce muscle soreness and improve recovery time following exercise in athletes or sportspersons. Researchers believe this is likely due to the amino acid L-citrulline contained in watermelon which helps in nitric oxide synthesis and increased glucose transport in skeletal muscle.
  • Watermelon seeds once discarded are of high nutritive value. They are high in protein, vitamin B, magnesium and good fats besides some phytonutrients. So, they have the same anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties like the fruit.

MUSKMELON:

  • Musk melons have negligible fat content and calories in them again making them a preferred fruit in a weight loss diet.
  • Like the other melons, muskmelon is high in water (almost 90%) and thus the perfect summer food to fend off dehydration. Being well hydrated helps your digestive system and your kidneys work at their best.
  • Yellow orange fruits are rich in beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant that helps fight the free radicals in the body and important for good vision. Muskmelon is rich in beta carotene.
  • Vitamin C helps in boosting your immune system by kicking the colds and flu. Muskmelons are rich in Vitamin C that help in building a strong immune system.
  • A bowl of muskmelon provides close to 14% of a person’s daily potassium needs and potassium is a mineral responsible for heart health (especially in controlling the blood pressure).

HONEYDEW MELON:

  • Honeydew is usually pale green in colour with a sweet and juicy interior and a hard rind. Again, like the other members of the melon family it is low in calories with most of them coming from natural sugar in it. Hence, it is an ideal snack option for those wanting to knock of those excess pounds since the fat in it is also close to nil.
  • The fiber in this melon helps regulate digestion and may help in lowering the overall body cholesterol levels.
  • It is rich In B – complex vitamins and other minerals which are needed by the body for various functions each day. So, toss your B complex vitamin pills out of the window and look out for this fruit to fulfil your daily needs for the B vitamins.
  • Studies have shown that eating or drinking the extract of this fruit is good for those who are hypertensive. It is because its high potassium content.
  • The melon fruit family is known to contain high amount of water. That is why this fruit is popularly juiced on hot sunny days because it keeps the body hydrated and also quenches thirst at the same time.

All the melon varieties can be an important part of a healthy diet. As they are abundantly available in summer and are perfect for the season one should indulge in the natural taste of the fruit and procure the benefits too. Cafe Nutrition is a nutrition management and counselling company with their weight loss clinic in Mumbai offering various diet and nutrition solutions to children and adults likewise along with the budding and elite sportspersons. They are one of the best nutritionist in Mumbai.

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