What’s in a Melon?

A perfect pool snack, refreshing salsa, sweet summer soup or a rejuvenating drink, melon is a versatile fruit that screams summer when added to just about any meal or snack. The produce section of your local market abounds with different melons, each offering a unique taste and fragrance to your plate.

Watermelon makes a great addition to this sweet & hot salsa.
Watermelon makes a great addition to this sweet & hot salsa.

Color means vitamins and antioxidants and no doubt melon provides both, coming from the many vibrant colors you see when you slice through the thick skin. According to our USDA Nutrient Database, 1 cup of diced cantaloupe offers a whopping 5200IU of vitamin A! That hits the mark and provides 100% of the Daily Value recommended for this important fat soluble vitamin. If potassium is what you are seeking then work toward the daily recommended 4700mg (for adults) with honeydew or cantaloupe, which each offer over 300mg per cup. Lastly, choose lycopene-rich watermelon to ensure you are getting this important cancer-fighting antioxidant into your diet. On average, a cup of watermelon offers 9-13mg lycopene, which is 40% more than raw tomatoes!

Unlike other fruits that may offer more pulp, melons tend to be lower in fiber. However, their watery flesh makes them quite hydrating and the perfect addition to hot summer day.Select the perfect melon (tip: your nose knows…go for a fragrant fruit) for a low-calorie snack or add it to your menu with these mouth-watering recipes:

Chilled Melon Soup

Melon and Apple Granita

Casaba Melon and Cucumber Salsa

Watermelon Smoothie

1 cup cantaloupe (diced):

53 calories
1.3 grams protein
12.7g carb
1.4g fiber
.3g fat
57.3 vitamin C
417 mg potassium
5276 IU vitamin A

1 cup honeydew (diced):

61 calories
.92g protein
16g carbohydrate
1.4g fiber
.24g fat
30.6 vitamin C
388 mg potassium
85 IU vitamin A

1 cup watermelon (diced):

46 calories
.93 protein
11.5 carbohydrate
.6 fiber
.23g fat
12.3g vitamin C
170mg potassium
865 IU vitamin A