Honeydew is another member of the Curbitacaea family of fruits, or in layman’s terms, it’s a type of melon. It’s quite similar to cantaloupe specifically as a member of the muskmelon family.
Much like other popular types of melon, including watermelon and cantaloupe, honeydew is a delightfully sweet fruit that makes for a perfect healthy snacking option to help you cool off.
Mention of honeydew melons can be traced all the way back to ancient Egypt, where hieroglyphics depict the fruit as far back as 2,400 B.C. It was eventually introduced to parts of Europe, and brought to North America with Christopher Columbus. Nowadays, much like cantaloupe, it is mainly grown on the West coast of the United States in California.
The Characteristics of Melons
Pretty much all melons share a variety of characteristics, such as being comprised mostly of water. They are all excellent sources of vitamins and minerals as well, particularly vitamins A and C.
While they naturally contain vitamin C, while also being packed full of carotene antioxidants in the form of beta carotene. Once ingested, this antioxidant is converted into vitamin A inside of your body, where it has many useful benefits, as we will discuss shortly.
In addition to the above two vitamins, melons also contain an excellent combination of B vitamins, which are essential for many vital bodily processes. Again, we’ll take a closer look at more of the honeydew benefits for your health shortly. https://www.botanical-online.com/english/properties_melons.htm
For now, let’s go over some of the ways that honeydew can be enjoyed and what makes it such a sweet treat.
A Delightfully Sweet Treat
Honeydew melons are again similar to the other members of the melon family in that they can be enjoyed in quite a few different ways. However, it’s interesting to note that they are far less popular than both watermelon and cantaloupe. Both other varieties of fruit are consumed as much as five times more often in fact!
Still though, honeydew are naturally incredibly sweet, and I personally like to enjoy them sliced up on their own as a nice afternoon snack. Other people like to include them in colorful fruit salads, or even use them to make fresh juice and smoothies.
No matter how you choose to enjoy honeydew, you won’t just be eating a tasty treat — you’ll also be providing your body with some incredible health benefits as well.
10 Of the Very Best Honeydew Benefits
Seeing as how honeydew is packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, it’s only natural that they could provide you with some amazing benefits when it comes to your health.
Here’s 10 of the main honeydew benefits you’ll be gaining when it’s added to your diet!
Honeydew Is An Excellent Source Of Fiber
Honeydew melons contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, making them a fantastic fruit to eat to help improve your digestion while also offering some great overall benefits for your health.
The insoluble fiber helps to easily pass nutrients through your digestive system, while also bulking up your stool and helping to keep your bowel movements regular. http://www.valuefood.info/1950/health-benefits-of-honeydew-melon/
Meanwhile, the soluble fiber actually binds with cholesterol and helps to remove it from the bloodstream. This helps to both reduce the ‘bad’ form of LDL cholesterol and overall cholesterol levels, which in turns help protect against heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/fiber-heart#1
Honeydew Is Great For Giving Your Immune System a Boost
Honeydew is a fantastic source of vitamin C. Everybody knows how important vitamin C is when it comes to keeping your body’s immune system functioning properly. Vitamin C does far more than just that, however.
Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid, and it is in fact a very potent antioxidant. It helps to protect your body against many forms of free radical damage, and it has even shown promising benefits when it comes to the treatment and prevention of several different types of diseases, such as cancer and diabetes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3783921/
Still, without a doubt the most well known benefit of vitamin C is it’s immune strengthening effect. It’s been proven that several cells in the immune system actually accumulate vitamin C and require the nutrient in order to carry out their tasks. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19263912
Honeydew Contains a Combination of B Vitamins
Honeydew is a great source of B complex vitamins. It contains thiamin (B1), niacin (B3), pantothenic (B5), and pyridoxine (B6).
Vitamin B1 is important as it plays a role in the production of new cells within your body while also providing support for your immune system. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24460461
Meanwhile, vitamin B3 is essential when it comes to improving your overall cardiovascular health. It’s capable of boosting your levels of the ‘good’ form of cholesterol (HDL) and lowers triglycerides. https://www.webmd.com/diet/supplement-guide-niacin#1
Vitamin B5 is widely available from both plant and animal sources and it’s largely responsible for supplying your body with energy by breaking down both fats and carbohydrates for use as fuel. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/219601.php
Last but not least is vitamin B6. It handles two vital functions within your body — it lowers inflammation and it’s also required for the synthesis of neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin that are responsible for regulating mood and emotions. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4288272/
Honeydew Can Help to Relieve Hypertension
Honeydew melons also contain the essential mineral potassium. This electrolyte is responsible for many key functions within your body. Increasing your potassium intake can lower your risk of stroke, lower your blood pressure, prevent the loss of lean muscle mass, preserve the density of your bone mineral mass, and reduce the formation of kidney stones. Not only that, but high potassium intake has also been linked to a 20% reduction in overall mortality! https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287212.php
In my opinion, the most beneficial aspect of potassium is in its ability to fight high blood pressure. It helps to balance out the effects of sodium in your body, causing you to expel more of it via your urine. In addition, potassium helps to ease tension within the walls of your blood vessels, reducing blood pressure even further. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/MakeChangesThatMatter/How-Potassium-Can-Help-Control-High-Blood-Pressure_UCM_303243_Article.jsp#
Honeydew Can Help Improve Your Vision
This is a great health benefit that honeydew shares with other members of the melon family thanks to its antioxidant content. Beta carotenes and by extension, vitamin A are especially beneficial for your eyesight.
Vitamin A can help to reduce the risk of macular degeneration and loss of vision. It’s also capable of soothing inflammation within the eyes. The benefits don’t end there either — it also helps protect your eyes against all sorts of nasty eye infections.
Beta carotene also has certain benefits for your eyes. This antioxidant can both help to make your vision sharper and it also reduces the oxidative stress that your eyes are exposed to as a result of blue light given off by the sun and device screens (laptop, cell phones, etc). http://visionsource.com/blog/how-vitamin-a-and-beta-carotene-benefit-our-vision/
Honeydew melons also contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which occur naturally in your eyes and provide a wide range of benefits for both your vision and skin health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19168000
Honeydew Is a Rich Source of Calcium
When people think of calcium, they typically think of things like dairy milk being the main source of it in our diets. However, given the amount of people who are lactose intolerant and the fact that evidence suggests dairy milk can actually trigger inflammation in the body, it’s a good idea to seek alternative sources of dietary calcium.
Most people are completely unaware that fruits and vegetables are especially good calcium sources. Honeydew is no exception. It’s an excellent way to ensure that you maintain strong and healthy teeth and bones.
Calcium has more benefits beyond just the obvious ones for your bones and teeth however. Your heart, muscles, and even your nerves all also require calcium in order to function properly. There are even studies that suggest calcium in combination with vitamin D may help protect against cancer, diabetes, and hypertension, although more research needs to be done in regards to this possibility. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/calcium-supplements/art-20047097
Honeydew Can Help Give You Better Looking Skin
The vitamin C content in honeydew doubles up and adds another great benefit for your health by actually helping to give you healthier looking skin. This is due to vitamin C’s ability to improve collagen levels. Vitamin C is responsible for regulating and stimulating the production of collagen within your body. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/vitamin-C
Collagen is typically found in bones, muscles, skin, and tendons in your body. It is essential for keeping your skin looking youthful and healthy. It’s the most abundant type of protein in your body, and it is primarily responsible for repairing skin tissue and blood vessels while keeping them nourished as well. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/262881.php
Honeydew Can Assist With Your Weight Loss Efforts
Honeydew is a great food to add into your diet if you are trying to focus on shedding some unwanted pounds. It doesn’t matter whether you are eating it whole or drinking honeydew melon juice, you’ll be able to experience some weight loss benefits.
One of the reasons it is so effective is due to its fiber content. As it contains dietary fiber, it helps to improve your digestive system as we discussed in an earlier point. One of the added benefits of a healthy digestive system and high fiber intake is that it is linked with healthier body weights. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/fiber-weight-control#1
This can partly be explained because fiber helps you to feel more satiated after eating a meal, which in turn can prevent binge eating. This is especially beneficial in regards to honeydew — not only is it extremely low in calories (only 64 calories per serving), but the fiber content can help prevent you from experiencing hunger cravings as well.
Honeydew Can Help You Stay Hydrated
Honeydew is a fantastic treat to indulge in, especially so during the hotter summer months. Melons naturally contain a lot of water, in addition to their electrolyte content. The fruit contains potassium, magnesium, iron, and zinc — all minerals that your body requires to function properly.
An unfortunate fact of life is that many people are chronically dehydrated without even realizing it. Most people don’t drink enough water on a daily basis. Studies actually suggest that as many as 75% of Americans may be chronically dehydrated! http://www.medicaldaily.com/75-americans-may-suffer-chronic-dehydration-according-doctors-247393
The symptoms of dehydration can range from downright unpleasant to life threatening. This makes it absolutely essential to make sure that you stay properly hydrated. Honeydew is a fantastic food to eat to help with this — it’s not only delicious, but extremely hydrating as well!
Honeydew Contains Healthy Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Believe it or not, but honeydew is actually an excellent source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids as well. Along with mangoes, honeydew melons are a particularly good source of this fatty acid because it also contains lower amounts of omega-6. https://plenteousveg.com/vegan-sources-omega-3/
That last point is very important to keep in mind. Omega 3 is effective at reducing inflammation in your body, while omega 6 actually causes inflammation. A healthy diet should contain a 1:1 balance between the two types of fat.
Unfortunately, the modern Western diet has an abundance of omega-6 sources, due to the reliance on margarine, vegetable oils, and other similar foods. This has caused a huge imbalance in the ratio; it’s estimated that most Americans diets have a balance of 17:1 omega-6 to omega-3 fats. http://www.gbhealthwatch.com/Science-Omega3-Omega6.php
My Favorite Ways to Eat Honeydew
As you can see, adding honeydew melon into your diet can provide you with some amazing health benefits. Just in case you’re not interested in eating honeydew on its own, I wanted to share a couple of my personal favorite ways to enjoy it with you.
First up is a delicious honeydew and cucumber salad, and the recipe instructions come courtesy of allrecipes.com.
You’re going to need the following ingredients:
- 1 honeydew melon – peeled, seeded, and cubed
- 2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
- ½ red onion, minced
- 1 bunch fresh mint, minced
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ lemon, juiced, or to taste
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Mix together the mint, red onion, cucumbers, and honeydew in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and toss to coat. Mix in the lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for about 40 minutes before serving.
The second thing I wanted to share is a great honeydew smoothie recipe courtesy of foodnetwork.com. It’s an incredibly refreshing smoothie and definitely one of my favorites.
Here’s the ingredient list:
- 2 cups honeydew melon, cubed
- 1 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt
- 2 tablespoons apple juice, from frozen concentrate
- Honeydew melon slices, for garnish
Blend together the honeydew melon, yogurt, and apple juice until smooth. Then gradually blend in the ice until it’s frothy and pour into a glass before garnishing with melon slices.
I hope this article has encouraged you all to start adding some honeydew into your diets!
Be sure to try out both of the recipes above and let us know what you think down in the comments below as well. Also, feel free to share some of your favorite ways to enjoy honeydew.
And of course, please feel free to share this article with your family and friends if you think they might find it useful.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to blend together a creamy honeydew smoothie!
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