Similar to the muskmelon (which is often confused with the cantaloupe), honeydew is one of the members of the melon family that’s often associated with summer. The outside texture of the honeydew is a bit smoother and lighter in color than many of the other lemons, and has a distinct green fruit inside instead of the orange or red colors that the others produce. Around the world, honeydew is enjoyed because of its sweet taste and different texture.
While the exact origin of honeydew is a bit hazy, it’s believed that honeydew originated in France and the Americas, and was then introduced to the far east in the 1940’s. Now, countries all over enjoy the honeydew, and for good reason. Honeydew not only has the great taste going for it, but also has a lot of great health benefits. Let’s take a look at the nutritional breakdown of honeydew, and what some of those benefits are.
Nutrition of Honeydew
The good thing about honeydew is that it’s mostly made up of water, meaning that you won’t get a lot of calories in each serving. One cup of honeydew has just 63 calories, with a gram of protein and more than five percent of your daily recommendation of fiber. Honeydew offers up a wide range of nutrients, with vitamin C being the most abundant, delivering more than half of your daily recommendation.
Many of the other vitamins found in honeydew fall between the five to 10 percent daily value range, including vitamin A, vitamin K, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate and pantothenic acid. In terms of the minerals, potassium stands out in honeydew with 12 percent daily value, while the others fall in the trace category. Magnesium, iron, phosphorus and many more equate to just under five percent. There’s almost no fat in honeydew and no cholesterol, with an added bonus of nearly 60 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids.
Most people know that eating more fruit in your diet is going to be very beneficial for your heart health, but honeydew is very exceptional in that category. Honeydew is one of those fruits that’s high in potassium, which allows your blood vessels to relax, resulting in a lower blood pressure. That makes honeydew one of the better foods you can eat to naturally take care of hypertension, which has become an increasing problem with sedentary lifestyles and high sodium diets.
Honeydew has also been shown to help treat cholesterol, as this fruit is high in soluble fibers. Getting the proper amount of soluble fiber in your diet flushes plaque out of your blood stream, resulting in a drop of your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. A combination of other trace minerals and a high water content also contribute to overall heart health and reduce your chances of heart disease or heart attack.
There have been a lot of fad diets that have been attempted for generations, and honeydew has even been the staple of one diet. Because of its high nutritional content and low calorie count, honeydew is one of those foods that you can eat quite a bit of without gaining weight. Obviously you won’t want to make honeydew the only thing that you’re eating, but it does make for a great part of any weight loss program.
It’s not just the low calorie count that makes honeydew a solid diet food, but also the decent amount of fiber. Fiber allows you to feel more full throughout the day, helping to curb some of the cravings for sweets that you might have. Since honeydew itself is also very sweet, it’s a great swap for a high calorie dessert packed with sugars that can derail a weight loss program.
If you’re more worried about your skin than your weight, honeydew is a good food to eat as it enhances your exterior appearance. Vitamin C is the most abundant nutrient of its kind in honeydew, which you’ll need for your skin as it promotes the production of collagen. When you produce more collagen, your skin will have more elasticity and will be less prone to signs of aging that include wrinkles.
Honeydew also has a fair amount of vitamin A, which gives your skin more of a glowing look due to increased hydration. The two combine to fight off the free radicals in your body (which we’ll discuss further in a bit), and these free radicals can attack your skin and make you appear older. Honeydew has become a popular ingredient in beauty products, and it’s easy to see why with the vitamins included.
Calcium can be a little hard to come by in foods, especially if you’re lactose intolerant. Eating the right types of fruits can help you, however, and honeydew is among them. Honeydew not only has calcium, but also small amounts of potassium, zinc and magnesium that are all building blocks of bones.
Vitamin K is another nutrient that is able to help bond all of these together to make your bones stronger and prevent problems such as osteoporosis. This even applies to your teeth as these are the bones that you see on a daily basis. More calcium will make your teeth stronger, preventing tooth decay or tooth loss in the future.
Since vitamin C is such a big part of honeydew, it goes without saying that the vitamin most frequently associated with disease prevention is going to help your immune system. Vitamin C works as an antioxidant that fights off the free radicals that can cause (not only illness, but) aging. Your body also produces more white blood cells, keeping you away from those nasty viruses that can keep you out of commission for a few days at a time.
Summing it Up
When it comes to the negatives of eating honeydew, there really isn’t anything bad that you have to worry about. One minor side effect that’s popped up only happens when you eat too much honeydew at one time, and it’s only temporary. Because honeydew is mainly comprised of water, you might dilute your digestive system’s function, which can result in discomfort and side effects such as diarrhea.
Outside of that, the only other real problem that someone could run into when eating honeydew is an allergy to melons. This allergy is extremely rare, however, so you won’t have to worry about it in all likelihood. With that in mind, honeydew makes for a great food no matter what time of the day as it blends in perfectly with anything from breakfast to dessert. So enjoy this sweet testing melon, especially in the hot summer months, and enjoy the great health benefits that it brings!