Here’s the scenario: You’re planning a summer cookout and it’s going to be sweltering. Sure…water, iced-tea, cola, and an assortment of other ice-cold drinks should be on the menu. But what about a refreshing snack? Chips and pretzels might give you a case of dry mouth. So, why not try something a bit more invigorating? Like a melon!
Melons are not only low in calories and fat, but they are also high in essential vitamins and minerals, and water content. In fact, a fresh watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew contains up to 90 percent water, making them some of the most thirst-quenching snacks around. And serving them is simple as can be. All you need is a knife and a plate and you’ll have yourself a poolside favorite. But melons are more than just refreshing. Here are some quick facts on the additional health benefits of melons.
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Honeydew provides you with natural sugars that will continue to fuel your cells throughout the day. It also is low in fat and contains several key vitamins and minerals, such as:
- Vitamin C: proven to boost your immune system, as well as give you healthy skin, strengthen tissues, and promote healthy brain function.
- Potassium: an important mineral for healthy heart function. A potassium shortage can result in an irregular heartbeat.
- Copper: aids in skin cell regeneration, which helps promote healthy skin.
- Vitamin B: helps rid the body of toxins that can cause illness and disease.
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Cantaloupe, not only does this treat appeal to the eyes, literally, but also to other parts of the body. Some key health benefits of this delicious melon include:
- Carotenoids: a powerful antioxidant that helps maintain healthy eye function.
- Folates: important for healthy growth and maintenance of cells within the body.
- Vitamin C and Potassium: see honeydew information.
- Vitamin A: important for healthy teeth, skin, bone, and mucous membranes.
This melon can be identified by its bright color, which not only makes it look appetizing, but also adds nutritional benefits, including:
- Lycopene: a powerful antioxidant that can help prevent cell damage, and may help prevent several types of cancer. The deeper the color of the watermelon, then the more lycopene it contains.
- Phytonutrients: may help boost cardiovascular health.
- Vitamins A and C: like the other melons, watermelon provides a rich source of these essential vitamins, as well as potassium.
Whether you’re serving these mouth-watering melons by-the-slice or as part of a delicious fruit salad, these seasonal fruits stand as a tasty alternative to salty or sugary snacks as you lounge by the pool.
Based in Pittsburgh, UPMC is a world-renowned health care provider and insurer. We operate 40 hospitals and more than 700 doctor’s offices and outpatient centers. Our expert physicians are among the leaders in their fields, and we are leaders in groundbreaking research and treatment breakthroughs. UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside ranks as “One of America’s Best Hospitals” and No. 1 in Pennsylvania in U.S. News & World Report’s listings.