Melon: Health Benefits And Harms

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At the end of summer, the melon season begins in Russia - these large yellow-orange fruits not only taste good but are also considered an ir...

At the end of summer, the melon season begins in Russia - these large yellow-orange fruits not only taste good but are also considered an irreplaceable source of vitamins and useful elements. "Komsomolskaya Pravda," tells what are the health benefits of melon, and in which case it can be harmful.

Melon History in Nutrition

Melon seeds were brought to Russia from Central Asia. But if we talk about the history of melon from the very beginning, then for the first time its taste was appreciated in Ancient Egypt.

During the Renaissance, it was grown in the gardens of the Pope. Melon belongs to the melon family (from the Persian "melon" garden, vegetable garden), which also includes watermelon, pumpkin, cucumbers, and other products known to us.

Melon health benefits

The advantage of the melon is that the aromatic pulp is very low in calories.

- Melon is a nutrient-rich food with a low-calorie content -says Heather Mangieri, a nutritionist, and nutritionist based in Pittsburgh and lecturer at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. - Due to its high water content, 160 grams of melon contains only 55 calories. This product is able to provide the daily requirement for vitamin A, 50% of the daily requirement for vitamin C, 1.5 grams of fiber, and plenty of potassium.

A 2006 study in the journal HortScience found high beta-carotene content in melons. Beta-carotene is a plant pigment found in yellow fruits and vegetables that gives them a similar color. Despite the bright orange color of, for example, oranges Melon contains much more beta-carotene. This product is the best source of beta-carotene among all melons and gourds.

Antioxidant effect

Melon is a rich source of vitamins A and C.

- These vitamins are powerful antioxidants. They protect our body from free radicals that can damage DNA molecules and cause inflammatory reactions in the body, says Dr. Manjieri. “What's more, antioxidants (vitamins A and C) can inhibit the development of cancer, cardiovascular and other diseases.

Effect on the heart and blood vessels

According to the Harvard School of Public Health T.H., Chana eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is directly linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.

Effect on the organs of vision

Eating more fruits and vegetables helps maintain visual acuity and protects against cataracts and macular degeneration, two of the most common eye conditions that develop with age.

- Vitamin A, contained in melon, is the most beneficial for preserving eyesight, notes Dr. Manjieri.

Impact on digestion

The fiber and water in melon help with digestion and prevents constipation.

Composition and Calorie Content of Melon per 160 grams

Protein

1 g

Fats

0 g

Carbohydrates

14 g

Calories

54 kcal

Sodium

26 mg

Vitamin A

108% of the daily requirement

Cellulose

1 g - 6% of the daily requirement

Calcium

1% daily requirement

Iron

2% daily requirement

Melon harm

In general, melon consumption is not associated with health risks for most people. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, melons have been linked to outbreaks of food poisoning over the past 10-15 years. Most of these cases are caused by bacterial infections caused by Salmonella or E. coli. Several deaths of listeriosis have been reported.

In one analysis published in the journal Epidemiology and Infection in 2006, researchers found 25 cases of outbreaks associated with melon consumption between 1973 and 2003. Outbreaks of infection have affected more than 1,600 people. However, the researchers believe that the number of cases was more significant since not all of the victims sought medical help.

Such outbreaks of intestinal infection when eating melon may be associated with the fact that the fruit, during growth and ripening, is in direct contact with the ground, from where bacteria from the soil and water can enter it. Moreover, melons and gourds have a coarse and thick enough crust where bacteria can settle.

Food poisoning is not the only risk when consuming melon. Some people are allergic to ragweed pollen. In this case, when eating a melon, an oral allergy syndrome may develop, manifested in the form of sore throat, itching of the lips, and even swelling of the tongue, mucous membrane of the mouth, and throat.

These reactions occur when the immune system recognizes the similarity of ragweed pollen allergens to the proteins found in melon.

The use of melon in medicine

Melon contains a large number of antioxidants and vitamins, thanks to which it can have an anticarcinogenic effect, improve vision and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Due to the presence of fiber, melon improves digestion.

The use of melon in cooking

Melon is most often used as a stand-alone product. It is usually served between meals. The melon is dried and frozen. Jams, jams, marmalades are prepared, pickled, and also used in the form of juices, cocktails, and ice cream.

In Mediterranean countries, the fruit pulp can be served with ham or shrimp. In Italy, it is often used with cheeses such as mozzarella.

Melon Ice Cream



A simple recipe for a hot summer day

  • Melon - 250 g
  • Heavy cream (33% and more) - 250 g
  • Condensed milk - 100 g
  • A sprig of mint for decoration
Put the cream in the refrigerator to cool. At this time, peel and cut the melon into small pieces. We send it to a blender and beat it until puree. Pour cold cream into a separate bowl, beat them with a mixer until creamy. Continuing to beat, gradually add the condensed milk.

Combine whipped cream with melon puree, mix gently. Transfer to an iron mold, cover with foil, and put in the refrigerator for 7-8 hours. Then we layout the finished ice cream in vases, decorating with mint leaves.

Avocado and melon salad

Vitamin bomb in 10 minutes

  • Melon - 150 g
  • Ripe avocado - 1 pc.
  • Large orange - 1 pc.
  • Mint - a few leaves
  • Salt, white pepper - to taste
  • Sesame seeds - ½ teaspoon
  • Olive oil - 30 ml

Peel the melon and avocado cut them into large cubes. Peel the orange, get rid of white streaks and films, cut. Combine ingredients, season with olive oil, add sesame seeds, stir. Serve garnished with mint leaves.

How to choose and store a melon

Choosing a ripe melon can be tricky because we cannot see it from the inside.

Dr. Manjieri believes that the sweetness of a melon depends on the degree of its freshness: the fresher the melon, the sweeter it is. Take a melon in your hands, and if it seems heavier to you than you expected, then it is ripe. Ripe melon has a special aroma, and its rind is slightly pliable when pressed with the thumb.

If you happen to buy a melon that is not ripe enough, you can leave it at home to ripen for a few days. However, do not wash the melon until you are ready to cut it open. This prevents the growth of bacteria and premature spoilage of the product. Despite the fact that over time, the melon will become softer and juicier, it will not add sweetness, since it has already been plucked from the garden.

It will not be possible to store such a capricious fruit like a melon for a long time without special conditions. If there are no conditions to store fruits in a cellar or basement, then it is better to immediately process them into jam or candied fruits.

Popular questions and answers

We answered frequently asked questions from our readers about the health benefits of melon.

Can melon be eaten at night?

At night it is better to try not to eat at all - it is desirable that the last meal was at least two hours before bedtime. Melon, among other things, contains a lot of liquid and has a diuretic effect.

How is melon good for women?

It contains a large amount of folic acid. It is beneficial for the nervous system, as well as during pregnancy, planning, and breastfeeding. Sucrose, glucose, and fructose, abundant in melon, contribute to brain function and improve memory.

When is the best time to buy melons?

Despite the fact that yellow fruits have been flooding markets and supermarkets almost since the end of May, you should not rush into a purchase - most likely, such early melons were grown using chemicals, which means that they will not bring much benefit, and even for a bright taste. not worth counting. The melons season in Russia is August-September, it is during this period that it is best to buy sunny fruits.

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