Honeydew Melon

Cucumis melo Inodorus group

Herbs gallery - Honeydew Melon

A cultivar of muskmelon belonging to the Cucumis melo Inodorus group, honeydew's shape varies from round to somewhat oval and is generally anything between 15 cm and 22 cm in length. The weight of honeydew melon varies between 1.8 kg to 3.6 kg.

According to historians, this melon has its origin in Asia and its use dates back to 2400 B.C. Honeydew was introduced into Europe sometime during the 15th or the 16th century.

Initially, Spanish missionaries introduced the honeydew melon to California way back in 1683. In 1900, this variety of melon was introduced into the U.S. from France and it instantly became a widely accepted crop in places having warm climatic conditions. Currently, honeydew melon is mainly cultivated in California and Arizona.

Till the end of the 20th century, people grew honeydew melons in their personal gardens and currently, honeydew melons are the second most popular melon variety commercially cultivated in the United States. In addition to the conventional honeydew melons, people in the U.S. now also cultivate the orange-flesh variety.

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Generally, honeydew melon has a light green flesh, while the color of its downy peel varies from green to yellow. This delicious melon is available readily in many supermarkets worldwide. Similar to nearly all other fruits, honeydew melon also contains seeds. The chunky, succulent, sweet flesh of this fruit is usually consumed in the form of a dessert.

Semi-arid climatic conditions are best suited for growing honeydew melon, which is harvested depending on the fruit's maturity and not its size. However, it is quite difficult to judge the maturity of the fruit. In fact, the maturity of honeydew melon depends on the fruit's ground color, which varies from greenish white when unripe to creamy yellow when ripened. Honeydew melon that has an almost spherical shape and no defects or scars is said to be of the best quality. In addition, good quality honeydew melons should always have a weighty feeling vis-à-vis their size and their surface should be waxy, but not hairy.

This muskmelon family member is reputed to have a very sweet flavour. Often, people consume honeydew melons for breakfast, snacks, desserts and also use them in the form of garnishes.

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Health benefits

This member of muskmelon family is loaded with a number of nutriments and, hence, offers various health benefits. For instance, honeydew melons contain high amounts of vitamins and essential minerals that may be useful for a growing infant. Since the flesh of honeydew melon is very soft, babies can be given melon puree or even mashed melon. This fruit is packed with vitamin A, lutein, beta carotene and zeaxanthin all of which promote excellent vision and soft skin, especially for a growing baby. Honeydew melon also contains adequate levels of calcium, which is helpful for baby's strong teeth and bones. As we are all aware, the immune system of an infant is weaker compared to that of an adult. This fruit is rich in antioxidant content and, therefore, helpful for strengthening the immune system of the babies and protecting them from various diseases.

In addition, honeydew melon is also loaded with vitamin C, which is useful in promoting the health of the eyes and, at the same time, augment the absorption of iron and calcium by the body. The last two minerals are necessary for the healthy growth of a baby. Similarly, this fruit contains B vitamins as well as other different minerals such as magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, potassium and others, which are helpful for sustaining a baby's overall health. Vitamin E and vitamin K contained by honeydew melon help to promote hair growth and ensure smooth skin. Roughly 90 percent of honeydew melon's content comprises water, which helps to keep a baby adequately hydrated during the summer months.

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As mentioned above, honeydew melon is a wonderful natural resource of vitamins, minerals and various essential nutriments. It is also beneficial for women during pregnancy, when the requirement for nutriments goes up considerably. It is essential for pregnant women to consume lots of healthy vegetables and fruits that supply their body with plenty of nutrients, dietary fiber and antioxidants. As in the case of infants, even the immune system of women is relatively weak during pregnancy. In fact, a pregnant woman may experience various problems related to digesting food owing to the developing size of their uterus. While the dietary fiber present in honeydew melon helps to put off constipation, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins contained by this fruit help to strengthen the immune system of the mother as well as the fetus.

Honeydew melon is also loaded with folate, which helps to promote new cell division rapidly. Consumption of one cup (roughly 177 grams) of this fruit provides the body with 34 mcg folate. In fact, women should essential augment their folate intake immediately when they decide to conceive. Folate is helpful in preventing or reducing birth flaws, such as neural tube defects.

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This fruit is rich in potassium content and can supply us with approximately 12 percent of our daily requirement of this mineral, which is beneficial for the health of the heart. It is essential for the heart of a pregnant woman to efficiently pump adequate amount of blood throughout her body. Consuming one cup of honeydew melon supplies sufficient vitamin C (almost 50 percent of our daily vitamin C requirement), which is effective in reinforcing the immune system. Therefore, consumption of honeydew melon assists in preventing infections as well as other ailments during pregnancy. Apart from pregnant women, all other people can also obtain the health benefits offered by honeydew melons by consuming this fruit on a regular basis.

Considering the calorie content of honeydew melons, you will be surprised to note that half cup of this fruit contains just 60 calories. Hence, honeydew melon can be incorporated into any diet meant for weight loss. People who often find it problematic to lessen the volume of food intake can eat honeydew melon, especially when they are on diet. Since honeydew melon has very low calories content, but is loaded with water (about 90 percent of the fruit's content is water) and dietary fiber, which also helps to shed additional flab, this fruit is useful for people struggling with overweight. Consumption of this fruit gives a feeling of being full for comparatively long time. It also helps to restrain the appetite, thereby reducing the possibilities of eating too much and gaining undesirable weight.

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Honeydew melon contains considerable B vitamins that are effective for eliminating toxic substances from the body. B vitamins also improve the functioning of the nervous system, in addition to perking up energy production. This fruit also encloses copper, which helps to maintain a glowing and smooth skin, besides promoting healthy tissues and muscles. In order to enjoy all these health benefits, it is important that you include this fruit in your diet. Precisely speaking, honeydew melon is a fruit for everyone to consume, as it contains nearly all the vital nutrients.

There are assortments of reasons why B vitamins are considered to be very healthy. In fact, they are extremely useful for the health of the nervous system. The B vitamins present in honeydew melon comprise niacin and thiamine. Both these B vitamins are wonderful for eliminating wastes and toxic substances from the body, in addition to augmenting the functioning of the nervous system. Also known as energy providers, the B vitamins present in honeydew melon are effective in ensuring that we have enough strength to endure longer periods of exercises. They are also useful in preventing the development of heart diseases as well as Alzheimer's disease.

Potassium is another essential mineral, necessary for the general health of our body. Any deficit of this mineral may cause several diseases and disorders, for instance inadequacy in pumping blood throughout the body and sometimes also cause irregular heart beats. Presence of adequate levels of potassium in the body helps to regulate the levels of blood pressure too.

Consumption of one cup of this fruit can supply the body with nearly 50 percent of our daily recommended allowance (DRA) of vitamin C, which helps to serve numerous purposes. Most importantly, vitamin C is one vitamin that is useful in perking up the immune system and encouraging the body to combat common colds, fever, other ailments as well as an assortment of infections. In addition, vitamin C is also extremely vital for producing collagen and, this, it is essential for the health of the skin.

As mentioned before honeydew melon is rich in copper content. Copper is considered to be very healthy and useful for the health of the skin. There is no doubt that the copper present in honeydew melon is particularly beneficial in facilitating the regeneration of the cells of the skin, thereby allowing us to maintain a healthy and glowing skin.

Buying and storing honeydew melon

If you are looking to buy the best quality honeydew melon, you need to look for the fruits that have not been harvested prematurely. This is important because once the fruits have been harvested, their flesh will not become any sweeter. However, the fruit will turn out to be softer as well as more succulent when kept at home after harvesting. Moreover, this fruit of muskmelon family will have a nearly invisible wrinkling on the surface of its peel, which can often be detected by touching the surface of the fruits. It is advisable that you should opt for the fruits that are extremely weighty considering their size. At the same time, ensure that you do not go for honeydew melons that are either very hard or too soft. Also do not purchase the fruits that have a green-hued surface or dark blemishes.

Uncut or the whole honeydew melon will keep well at room temperature for as many as two to four days or until the fruit ripens. You can store the mature honeydew melon in a refrigerator for a few more days. Always keep the cut melons in a container and cover it. Moreover, never store cut melons in refrigerator for more than three days. Remember the honeydew melons possess a potent odour  that is likely to saturate other foods stored in the refrigerator.

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