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Melon, here are all the properties of this sweet and fragrant fruit

June 21, 2023
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Melon, here are all the properties of this sweet and fragrant fruit

Melon contains fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, anti-free radical, anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties, protects the heart and helps to reduce body weight in case of overweight and obesity, detox and antihypertensive action

The melon, scientific name Cucumis melo, belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family, the same as the courgette, cucumber and watermelon. There are several varieties of melon, which differ in flavour, colour, skin and size. In fact, the melon can have a sweet, orange colored pulp and a rough skin, in this case we are dealing with the famous cantaloupe, but melon can also have a light yellow colored pulp and a smooth skin, this is what called white melon, or even light green flesh. In short, there are really many types of melon. But what are the properties of the melon? Let's try to answer this question based, as always, on the most interesting scientific studies.

Melon, nutrients

The melon provides fibers, both soluble and insoluble, which support digestion, help to counteract constipation and also visceral fat.

Then, the melon contains carotenoids and chlorophyll, which are precious antioxidants that give the color to the pulp (Manchali et al, Plants, 2021). Among the carotenoids, beta carotene stands out, of which melons with orange flesh are especially rich. Studies have shown that the beta-carotene in orange-fleshed melon is comparable, in quantity and ease of absorption by the body, to that of carrots (Fleshman et al, J Agric Food Chem, 2013). Not only that, the melon pulp also contains proteins, sugars, vitamin C and vitamin B6 and minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron (Manchali et al, Plants, 2021).

Melon against free radical damage and inflammation

Consuming the pulp of the melon is equivalent to filling up on precious antioxidants, useful for counteracting free radicals and reducing the risk of developing diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and tumors (Manchali et al, Plants, 2021). The melon also helps to reduce inflammation levels, with important benefits for the body, such as a reduction in body weight in the presence of overweight and obesity, but also an increase in our natural defenses (Adebayo-Gege et al, BMC Complement Med Ther, 2022).

Melon for heart health

Melon protects the heart and helps keep blood pressure under control. This action is due to the presence, in the melon, of water and minerals, especially potassium, but also of some amino acids such as L-arginine and L-citrulline. These amino acids, in fact, stimulate the action of nitric oxide, a substance that dilates the walls of blood vessels, thus contributing to lowering blood pressure (Manchali et al, Plants, 2021). Not only that, the antioxidant substances contained in the melon, such as carotenoids and polyphenols, are able to inhibit the action of the angiotensin converting enzyme, or ACE, with an antihypertensive and cardioprotective effect (Manchali et al, Plants, 2021). In addition to the action on blood pressure, melon helps keep cholesterol and blood sugar under control, promoting the rapid elimination of bad LDL cholesterol and reducing insulin resistance (Adebayo-Gege et al, BMC Complement Med Ther, 2022 ).

Detox melon

The melon stimulates the purification processes and the elimination of toxins from the body (Adebayo-Gege et al, BMC Complement Med Ther, 2022). The melon is also useful in case of water retention and stagnation (Debnath et al, Nat Prod Res, 2022).

Eat melon seeds too!

The seeds of the melon are generally thrown without the possibility of appeal. Yet they are a valuable source of vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids (Manchali et al, Plants, 2021). Thanks to these characteristics, melon seeds counteract atherosclerosis and are cardioprotective, since they help reduce triglycerides and bad LDL cholesterol and at the same time increase good HDL cholesterol. Not only that, melon seeds help reduce body weight and fight overweight (Adebayo-Gege et al, BMC Complement Med Ther, 2022). Next time you eat melon, save its seeds. The seeds must be well washed and brushed under running water, in order to eliminate all traces of pulp.

Then you can distribute them on a tea towel and leave them in the sun, turning them over from time to time. Otherwise you can opt for roasting in the oven. You can distribute the seeds on a pan lined with baking paper and cook for a quarter of an hour at 100° C. Here melon seeds can become a tasty and healthy mid-morning snack, they can be added to yogurt, salads and side dishes, but also to the preparation of baked goods or energy bars.

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