The melon is one of the fruits of the season during spring and even more in summer. It is also a sweet fruit that helps us fight the heat, as it refreshes and hydrates us. As a consequence, it is a delicious fruit that provides us with numerous nutritional properties that are beneficial to our health.
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What is melon?
The melon (Cucumis melo) is a herbaceous plant that grows at ground level. In addition, this plant includes more than 800 different species. It is cultivated for its fruit, a peponid fruit with a hard shell and a summer season. Contains a lot of water content, refreshing, sweet taste and that helps us hydrate our body in times of warmer.
The melon (Cucumis melo) is one of the largest fruits, along with the watermelon, weighing between 500 g and 5 kg approximately. As there are hundreds of varieties of melon, there are differences in the rind, it varies in texture and color (green, yellow, orange or even white), as well as the pulp (from yellowish white to orange, going through green) but all varieties coincide in which they are delicious.
The best known and most consumed varieties in Spain are cantaloupe, charentais , yellow, Spanish, galia , snake, honey dew and branco , according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food.
In Spain, we can find melon in the markets between the months of June and October. We can buy it cheaper in times of greater production, which are the months of the summer season.
Melon (Cucumis melo) is among foods classified as sweet fruits. Although it is a sweet fruit, the melon has few calories and is rich in mineral salts. In addition, it is an excellent source of provitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin C and carbohydrates.
Origin of melon
According to different historical references, the melon was already cultivated in Ancient Egypt during the III millennium BC. Representations of this fruit have been found in Egyptian tombs from 2,400 BC. It is believed to be native to Iran, Anatolia, and the Caucasus, with a secondary center in northwestern India and Afghanistan. In Spain it was introduced by the Arabs after the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula.
Spain is currently the main European country in melon production, along with France and the Netherlands. The main melon producing areas in Spain are: Almería, Valencia, Castellón, Cuenca, Ciudad Real and Madrid.
Spanish navigators took it to America after the conquest of the new world. From there, its cultivation spread to warm areas with little rain on the American continent.
Likewise, Europe also imports these foods from countries with hot climates such as Brazil, Costa Rica, Israel, Morocco, Honduras, Ecuador etc.
The melon is synonymous with summer. Therefore, the most optimal time for its consumption is between the months of June and August. Certainly, there are varieties with which the season can be extended from May to September.
You can check the calendar of the fruit season to be able to consume these foods at their most optimal moment. In addition, when they are in season they provide us with more benefits for our health, they have a better aroma and are tastier, among other advantages.
How do you eat melon?
The healthiest way to consume the fruit and, in this case, the piss, is in its natural state, since in this way it preserves all its properties. It is a fruit that we eat regularly as a dessert fruit during the summer months. Its consumption is recommended both day and night thanks to its beneficial properties that it has for our health.
A fruit for the elaboration of different recipes
However, it is an ingredient that can be incorporated into many recipes or preparations, both sweet and savory.
It is ideal for making compotes, jams, creams, sorbets or juices.
More and more, the consumption of demon is used as a snack, making delicious nutritious, refreshing, hydrating and low-calorie shakes.
It also allows you to prepare recipes for summer salads and fruit salads. In the hottest season, it is also important to hydrate ourselves by eating fruit and vegetables, especially in the hottest season.
Vegetables are essential for a balanced diet. Vegetables, along with fruits, are the foods that provide the most hydration to the body. It is very important for our health, especially in the summer season.
There is a belief that it is not good to eat melon at night.
Melon is one of the most consumed fruits in summer because it is a great ally to combat heat and thirst. Dining at night and in the cool is common in warmer times, when the hot day gives way to a cool and pleasant night. 80% of the melon is water, so it is a good way to combat thirst, also at night.
However, there is a belief that eating this fruit at night is bad because it causes digestive problems. Nothing could be further from reality, since there are various studies that recommend eating this fruit at any time of the day, including at night.
Melon, despite being one of the sweet fruits, contains a lot of water, approximately 80% of the composition. Likewise, it only provides 40 kcal per 100 grams, an amount similar to that of apples. The few calories it provides are due to its moderate sugar content. Due to its low caloric content and diuretic effects, melon is chosen for weight control diets .
Along with watermelon, it is one of the most palatable fruits in summer and with very similar benefits for our health. The melon contains a lot of water in its pulp, as we have already mentioned. In addition, it provides us with few calories, carbohydrates, fiber, protein and a low amount of fat.
A fruit that provides us with vitamins and minerals
Also, the melon has a large amount of beta-carotene (vitamin A), and vitamins C and B9. Both vitamin A and C are antioxidants and support the immune system. The amount of beta carotene depends on the amount of orange pigment it has in its pulp next to the seeds.
Vitamin C, with antioxidant action, is involved in the formation of collagen, bones and teeth, red blood cells and favors the absorption of iron from food and resistance to infections.
The beta – carotene is converted in our body into vitamin A is essential for vision, good skin, hair, mucous membranes, bones and for the proper functioning of the immune system.
We also have to highlight that it contains potassium which explains its diuretic effect and contains some phosphorus, calcium and magnesium.
The potassium is a mineral with important functions level muscle and the nervous system. Magnesium is involved in the maintenance of teeth and helps us to have a healthy heart and bones. In addition, it has a small laxative effect, good for good intestinal regulation.
In addition to those mentioned in this article, the melon thanks to its large amount of water, potassium, folic acid and antioxidant vitamins makes it a light and very healthy food.
Melon is one of the fruits with the highest water content. Approximately 80% of the melon is water, that is why it is excellent to eat it, especially since its consumption time is during the summer season, which is the hottest time of the year, and it can help us to have a good state of hydration.
In addition to the melon water hydrating us, it also has a purifying and diuretic effect on our body thanks to its great contribution of water, fiber and potassium.
Help to purify and eliminate waste from the body.
It is also an aid for our skin and is a natural detox that helps us eliminate toxins and with fluid retention problems. The melon favors the functioning of our kidneys and helps us to prevent kidney diseases.
Helps reduce blood pressure.
This fruit is rich in antioxidants that help us fight free radical damage. The antioxidants in the fruit help us, among other things, to improve the defenses of our immune system and also to prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Added to the high proportion of water and potassium is its low sodium content (20 mg / 100 g), which allows it to be included in the prescribed salt-free regimens, once again, in cases of hypertension or high blood pressure, in addition to being recommended for people with fluid retention problems.
Recommended for weight loss diets.
Due to its low caloric intake and its low percentage of sugars, it is recommended to include it in diets for weight control or even for diets for people with diabetes problems.
The fiber that melon contains helps us regulate intestinal transit and maintain a healthy colon. A correct intestinal regulation in our body helps us against bloating, annoying gas and gastrointestinal discomfort.
Therefore, melon, together with watermelon, which are the star fruits of the summer in many countries, are the perfect moisturizer, especially for hot seasons. They also have many other properties that adding their delicious flavor is consequently an essential fruit in our diet.
My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .
I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.