Health Benefits of Eating Honeydew Melon

Watermelon and cantaloupe are generally the most popular melons, but honeydew melon deserves some of the spotlight. This sweet, juicy fruit is packed with vitamins, minerals and water content. It also has several health benefits and can even be incorporated into your weight loss plan.

Honeydew melons are packed with vitamins, minerals and water content. (Image: merc67/iStock/GettyImages)

Many adults underestimate the nutritional powerhouses known as fruits. This may be because some people are concerned about the sugar content in fruit, especially for people with diabetes. However, consuming too little fruit is more common than consuming too much fruit. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only one out of every 10 adults consume the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables.

The USDA recommends between 1.5 and 2 cups of fruit per day for adults, though this varies depending on your age and sex. Consider allocating a portion of your daily fruit allotment to honeydew melon for its nutrients and benefits.

Honeydew Nutrition Facts

Like most fruit, honeydew nutrition consists of many vitamins and minerals. Fruit tends to be high in carbohydrates, though you should not fear the carbs in fruit. Some of the carbs in honeydew melon come from fiber, while some come from the natural sugar in fruit.

According to the USDA, the honeydew nutrition facts per 1 cup diced are as follows:

  • 61 calories
  • 0.2 grams of fat
  • 15.5 grams of carbohydrates
  • 1.4 grams of fiber
  • 13.8 grams of sugar
  • 0.9 grams of protein
  • 34 percent daily value (DV) of vitamin C
  • 8 percent DV of potassium
  • 9 percent DV of vitamin B6

You may notice the high sugar content in honeydew melon, which is a trend across most fruits. The simple sugars in fruit are not the same as refined sugars, which are high in calories and low in nutrients. Fruit is the opposite — a serving of fruit tends to be low in calories and high in certain nutrients.

People with diabetes may wonder whether they should consume or avoid honeydew melon. According to Mayo Clinic, it is a myth that people with diabetes should avoid fruit high in natural sugar. However, they recommend sticking to a serving size with 15 grams of carbohydrates or less. In this case, 1 cup of honeydew melon is an appropriate serving size.

Honeydew Benefits for Health

One of the honeydew benefits that has been recently researched is its antioxidant content. A December 2016 study published in Foods reviewed honeydew for phenolic compounds and associated antioxidant activity.

The study notes that honeydew melon is a good source of antioxidants such as pro-vitamin A and vitamin C. Interestingly, this study even evaluated the the melon seeds, the first study of its kind, and researchers concluded that they are good dietary source of natural antioxidants.

Antioxidants have many health benefits overall, though antioxidant supplements are not a cure-all. According to Harvard Health, antioxidants have the ability to counteract free radical damage, which has been linked to certain cancers and other health conditions.

However, antioxidants can only do so much. There is little research that suggests consuming antioxidants has a significant effect on heart disease and cancer prevention, though there is evidence to support antioxidants' benefits for age-related eye diseases.

Honeydew benefits related to antioxidant content may minimize free radical damage, especially in the case of vision, but can't prevent all free radical damage and the health conditions associated with it.

Honeydew benefits also include the many health benefits of vitamin C. Since 1 cup of honeydew provides more than a third of your daily vitamin C requirements, this fruit may boost your immune system and skin health and increase iron absorption.

Honeydew Benefits for Weight Loss

With the popularity of low-carb eating patterns, you may wonder whether fruit can be part of your low-calorie diet for weight loss. Fruit is not considered a low-carb food, so it may not be a great addition to your keto diet or Atkins diet. However, one of the honeydew benefits is that it can be low in calories depending on the portion size.

Fruit can aid in weight loss because there are fewer calories in a larger serving size. Adding 1 cup of honeydew melon to your breakfast or snacks only adds 61 calories to your caloric intake. As long as you burn more calories than you consume — through exercise, diet or both — you are likely to lose weight.

Like most melons, honeydew melon also has a high water content. While consuming a lot of water in food and drinks may make you feel bloated, water helps rid the body of waste. Keeping your body hydrated is not associated with faster weight loss, though it can help you feel your best and prevent dehydration from sabotaging your weight loss goals.

Honeydew Versus Cantaloupe

Honeydew is often compared to cantaloupe because they both belong to the same family of melons. Both melons contain roughly the same amount of calories per serving, though they each have a unique nutritional profile.

According to the USDA, cantaloupe is higher in vitamin A and vitamin C, but honeydew is higher in vitamin B6. They also contain similar amounts of fiber, potassium, vitamin K, folate and water content.

Compared to other types of fruit, honeydew melon contains more water. It is approximately 90 percent water content, which is slightly less than other melons like watermelon. Though honeydew has some similarities and differences compared to other fruits and melons, it has a distinct flavor and offers some variety to your diet.

Eat More Honeydew Melon

With all of the health benefits associated with eating honeydew melon and its richness in vitamins and minerals, you may want to consider incorporating this juicy fruit into your diet. Some simple ways to consume honeydew melon include fruit salad, fruit smoothies, frozen into a healthy ice pop or on its own.

Though the thought of increasing your sugar consumption via fruit can be intimidating, especially if you are on a diet or have diabetes, you can let go of the fear of natural sugar in foods like honeydew melon.

Consume fruit in moderation, but make sure to meet your requirement of 1.5 to 2 cups per day. A serving of honeydew melon is a delicious and nutritious way to meet those needs.

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