Do you love melon? That’s good: this summer vegetable (yes yes) is excellent for your health. Overview of its benefits, and our advice for choosing it well.
If there is one product that smells good in summer, it is melon. Contrary to what one might think, the melon is not a fruit: Cucumis melo L. (this is its scientific name) is a vegetable that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family, like zucchini or pumpkin.
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In France, melon is mainly grown around the Mediterranean. However, melon is also found on the Atlantic coast – from Quercy to Haut-Poitou. In the rest of the world, the melon is produced in Spain, Morocco and Italy.
If the melon has two main defects (its price, quite high at the beginning of summer, and its sugar content, rather high), this vegetable remains excellent for health since it is rich in vitamins and minerals, while remaining low calorie. No reason to deprive yourself of it!
How to choose the right melon?
Beyond the not always effective “grandmother’s tips”, there are some reliable clues for choosing the right melon at the (super)market:
A very ripe melon (and therefore: very sweet) is necessarily heavy: so do not hesitate to weigh the candidates…,
The tastiest melons are colorful and well contrasted: a pale melon is not a good sign!
Ripe melons have a pronounced scent: be careful, the more fragrant the melon, the faster it will have to be tasted…,
The skin of a “good” melon is slightly flexible when pressed with your finger,
When the melon is ripe, its peduncle detaches naturally, without it being necessary to “force”: therefore look for a small “scar” at this level.
Melon is hydrating Like the watermelon, the melon is a fruit mainly composed of water; 100 g of melon contain nearly 85 mL of water! In summer, this southern fruit therefore helps us to stay well hydrated, and helps to prevent health concerns associated with dehydration (kidney stones, fatigue, headaches, etc.).
Melon is vitaminized In 100 g of melon, there are approximately 417 µg (micrograms) of provitamin A and 59 µg of vitamin B9. The first contributes to iron metabolism (it is therefore essential to prevent iron deficiency anemia) while the second participates in the good health of blood vessels. With 100 g of melon, we fill 52% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, and 30% of those recommended for vitamin B9.
Melon provides potassium Melon is also a good source of potassium: 100 g of melon contain 380 mg of this trace element, i.e. 19% of the recommended daily intake. Necessary for a good water balance in the body, potassium fights in particular against water retention, which is frequent in summer…
The melon can be cooked in all sauces In the savory version, the melon mixes well with raw ham and mozzarella; we can also add melon balls to our salads (with feta, cucumber, arugula…), simmer it with meat (pork tenderloin, for example) or even cook it in gazpacho for a vitamin starter. In a sweet version, melon is the star of fruit salads; it goes perfectly with watermelon (as a granita, in a smoothie, etc.) and makes it possible to make very fragrant sorbets.
The melon keeps well Whole melon can be stored for up to a week at room temperature. Cut in half, it can be kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, provided the seeds are removed. And the melon can also be frozen, in which case it will keep for up to 3 months…