The Surprising Health Benefits of Melons

by | Updated: October 14th, 2020 | Read time: 2 minutes

It’s well known that melons have a high water content (hence the name for “watermelon”). You also probably know that melons peak in the summer and make a great side dish to any backyard BBQ. But not only do these juicy fruits satisfy taste buds and quench thirst, watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe offer many more health benefits that are especially useful during the sunny months.

Surprising Health Benefits of Melons

What’s with watermelon?

According to a study conducted by the Journal of Nutrition, watermelons are packed with even more lycopene than tomatoes. Lycopene is an antioxidant known for supporting a healthy inflammatory response. The best benefits are found beneath the surface, though. Look at the flesh of the watermelon and choose the pinker, riper fruit. The richer the color, the higher in lycopene.†

How does honeydew help?

A single serving of honeydew has 14 grams of fiber – more than 50% the recommended daily value (RDA)! But not only is it a great source of fiber, honeydew is rich in potassium. Potassium is an essential nutrient, particularly for replenishing electrolytes lost through sweat. Got a volleyball game on the beach? Snack on honeydew slices to stay fueled and hydrated.

Cantaloupe can do all that?

Cantaloupe is high in both vitamins A and C. Vitamin A is known for supporting eye health, immune function and healthy bones and teeth. Meanwhile, vitamin C plays a role in metabolizing fats and proteins, while helping with healthy tissue formation.† Sweet-tasting and functional? Maybe it should be renamed “can-aloupe.”

Are your melons ripe enough? 

Nutritional content becomes more potent as the fruit ripens. So you want to be sure you’re choosing your melons at their peak. There’s an easy process picking the freshest fruit every time. First, inspect the melon, looking for any bruising, dents, scratches or lesions. Avoid any markings, opting for the cleanest, most aesthetically pleasing fruit. Then, follow these tips for each type of melon.

Watermelons: Tap the melon with your fingers and listen. The deeper the sound, the riper the melon.

Honeydew: Using your thumb, press into the end of the melon opposite to the stem. If it indents slightly without much effort, you’ll know the melon is ready to eat.

Cantaloupe: Smell the stem side of the melon. If it’s fragrant, it’s good to go. Be very wary of moldy scents or a lack of scent – and avoid these cantaloupes at all costs!

Whether you’re blending melon into a nutritious post-workout protein smoothie or mixing up a fruit salad, rest assured you’re making a healthy choice.