Honeydew melon and its role in health regulation
The honeydew melon, sometimes called a honey melon, is a member of the muskmelon family. It has a peel that ranges in color from yellow to light green, with green, sweet flesh, and numerous seeds. Honeydew melon grows in semi-arid climates, such as Chile and California. It is commonly believed that honeydew is simply the American name for a variety of winter melon grown in France called the White Antibes melon. Imported to the States by a Mr. Gauger, he named his melon the honeydew, and the name stuck. Honeydew is now grown all over the world and is a popular dessert and breakfast fruit.
Benefits of honeydew melon
Supports Weight Loss –
Being low fat and practically calorie-free isn’t the only reason that honeydew always shows up on weight management diets and programs. Honeydew melon also has a good amount of fiber. Fiber is essential in your diet for scrubbing the digestive system and keeping it clean and regular. This helps body’s metabolism work faster and more efficiently. It also helps feel fuller longer, to support appetite control, and also contributes to lower overall cholesterol.
Prevents Hypertension –
As a potassium-rich food, honeydew melon is recommended for people suffering from hypertension (high blood pressure). Potassium helps in flushing excess sodium from the body and eases tension in blood vessel walls. By adding this fruit to the diet, not only one can avoid heavy carbs and processed sugars with a healthy treat, but also help the heart in other ways as well.
Strong Bones and Teeth –
Honeydew is a good source of calcium, which is a crucial ingredient for healthy, strong teeth, and bones. The body is constantly taking calcium stores from the bones and replacing them with new calcium. If there is less calcium coming in than going out, bones can grow weak, leading to a greater risk for fractures or osteoporosis. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, consuming high levels of calcium while young helps to reach peak calcium levels, which can have long-term effects on your health. Calcium is particularly important for children and pre-pubescent teens to have calcium-rich diets, as their bones are growing rapidly, but older adults are also encouraged to get more calcium, to slow down bone deterioration due to aging.
Healthy Hydration –
Honeydew melon is composed of almost 90% water, making it the perfect snack for a hot, summer afternoon. Also, as mentioned earlier, honeydew is a great source of potassium, with 388mg of potassium in every cup. Potassium is a key mineral for controlling fluid balance and regulating electrolytes in the body, particularly sodium levels. Plus, potassium’s anti-tension properties keep the body’s fluids moving smoothly and pumping strong.
Younger Looking Skin –
Honeydew melon is a great source of vitamin C, with one serving providing almost half the daily recommended amount. Vitamin C is famous for supporting the immune system, but it is also a key vitamin for skin health. Vitamin C helps produce collagen, the protein that helps maintain joint health and tissue strength. It is also the nutrient that keeps skin looking hydrated and bouncy. As we get older, collagen depletes from our skin. Vitamin C can help replenish some of that collagen, keeping wrinkles and fine lines at bay.
Promotes Healthy Eyes –
Two phytonutrients in honeydew melon, lutein, and zeaxanthin, are essential for maintaining eye health as we get older. Together, they reduce the risk of cataracts, age-related blindness, and age-related macular degeneration. Lutein and zeaxanthin are both found in high concentrations in the retina, and they form a protective barrier, filtering out harmful blue light and keeping the eye cells healthy.
Diabetic Support –
Honeydew has a medium glycemic index score, making it low compared to other processed sugars, but slightly higher than other fruit options.
Adding honeydew melons to your diet
Honeydew melon is primarily used in fruit salads, sorbets, and served fresh. Honeydew pairs well with grapes and cured meats. It is also a flavor in the popular Japanese liquor midori, and is a popular ingredient in cocktails.
Honeydew melons can be enjoyed anytime of the day but it should be avoided at night and is best to be consumed after a workout due to its high water content.
1. May Hamper Sugar levels – Diabetes mellitus is a condition characterised by elevated blood sugar(glucose) levels. Macrobiotic Nutritionist and Health Practitioner Shilpa Arora says, excess of melons may not be the best of idea for diabetics. “It can cause sugar overload which could lead to high blood sugar levels.” The glycemic index of watermelon is 72, which is high. Cantaloupe has a GI value of 65. Cantaloupe may be 90% water by weight, but still has 9 grams of sugar in it. It is always better to consult a doctor before you consume it on a daily basis.
2. Effect On Gastro-intestinal Tract – According to Ayurveda, certain food combinations may disturb the normal functioning of the gastric fire and upset the balance of doshas in our body. In his book, Ayurvedic Home Remedies, Dr. Vasant Lad makes a suggestion for all kinds of melons, ”eat them alone or leave them alone”. This means they should not be paired with anything. Bangalore-based Nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood also advises against drinking water after eating too many watermelons. She says, “It can affect your gastrointestinal tract. Watermelon is mostly water, sugar and fibre. Microbes or bacteria need water and sugar to develop and expand. So, if you drink water after having watermelons, there are more chances of the microbes spreading across your GI tract.”
Words Of Caution
3. Difficulty In Metabolising – It is not very advisable to binge on watermelons at night. It gets increasingly tough in the evening to burn this simple sugar effectively. The digestive process is slower than usual at night, hence, it is recommended to keep off sugary and acidic foods. Watermelons have a large percentage of natural sugar which may induce weight gain. Besides, eating very sugary or acidic food late in the evening may even hinder your sleep quality.
4. Risk Of Missing Out On Other Essential Macronutrients – Eating only melons, may make you too full to load up on foods which are rich in other essential nutrients like healthy fats and proteins. Our body needs all nutrients in certain percentage to sustain and be healthy.
5. May Result in Diarrhoea – Honeydew melon sure makes for an excellent fruit for its high water content and fibre. But consuming too much of it may pave way for diarrhoea, claim some experts. Watermelon contains sorbitol that is a sugar compound, which in moderate quantity is fine. However, if taken in excess, it is known to encourage loose stools and gas issues.
Recipe for Creamy Honeydew Smoothie
2 cups of cubed honeydew
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh apple juice
Place the honeydew cubes and yogurt in the blender.
Pour in the apple juice. You may also use or add other fruit juices depending on your taste.
Blend until the mixture becomes smooth.
While the blender is running, add ice sparingly until the mixture becomes frothy.
Pour the smoothie in a glass, and enjoy immediately.
Recipe for Honeydew Melon Kulfi
1/2 Honeydew Melon
1 pinch of salt
1/4 cup sugar
200ml (whipping) Cream
Cut the melon in cubes. Put it in a blender, add salt and blend it till it’s smooth.
Transfer the melon purée in another container, and add the sugar and the cream to it.
Whisk everything together till the sugar dissolves.
Pour the mixture in the kulfi moulds/ Popsicle moulds and freeze overnight or at least for 6-8 hours.
You can adjust the sugar according to the sweetness of the melon.
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