Mad About Melons

melons, melones

Whether it’s watermelons, cantaloupes, or honeydews, melons of many stripes not only taste good but offer numerous benefits. Watermelons contain lycopene, the antioxidant touted for its anti-prostate cancer benefits.

They’re also a great source of vitamins A, C, magnesium, and potassium. Watermelons can be a good option for those going through treatment because they can be palatable for nausea or a sore mouth. Melons are made up of mostly water, so they will help to keep you hydrated.

Cantaloupes are high in beta-carotene — another extraordinary antioxidant found in red and orange foods. This orange-colored melon is a great source of vitamins A and C, both of which are extremely helpful for the immune system and cell damage repair.

Honeydews are a good source of vitamin B6 and C, folate, and potassium.

Chef Tips

All melons should feel heavy for their size and should be relatively uniform in shape.

To determine if a watermelon is ripe, knock on it a few times. It should sound somewhat hollow on the inside. Look for a white or cream spot on one side. This is the point where it’s been laying on the ground. The creamier looking the spot, the longer the watermelon has been ripening on the vine.

The best way to see if a cantaloupe is ripe is to pick it up and sniff it.  Ripe cantaloupe should have a strong, sweet smell. Cantaloupe should not look too green (a sign that it’s under-ripe) and neither should it be too soft (a sign that it’s overripe).

When choosing honeydew, make sure it’s smooth and that there are no soft spots. To see if it’s ripe, gently press the flower end, to see if it gives slightly. If it does, it’s ready to eat. You can also give the melon a shake to hear if the seeds jumble around.  This also means it’s ripe.

Melons are an obvious addition to fruit salads, but they can also be dressed up a bit for more interesting fare. For something a little different, try our Watermelon and Feta Salad — you’ll be surprised how delicious this combination is. Or try our nutritional powerhouse Kale & Melon Smoothie, so refreshing to sip on when it’s hot outside.

Registered Dietitian Approved

There are many misconceptions about nutrition and cancer in widespread media. By using current scientific literature, plus recommendations of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Institute for Cancer Research, the National Cancer Institute, and the American Cancer Society, our Registered Dietitian, Kate Ueland, MS, RD, and our team of editors work to help our readers discern truth from myth.

The statements on this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. Always consult your physician or registered dietitian for specific medical advice.

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