Botanical name: ‘Cucumis melo’L.
Synonyms: Sweet melon, Muskmelon.
Description: The fruit of the melon plant (‘Cucumis melo’L.) Of the botanical family Cucurbitaceae, is a round fruit occupied by many small seeds at its center with a fleshy mesocarp. It varies in colour from green to orange, or even yellow.
Properties of melon
Melon contains a very large amount of water which constitutes about 90% of its content.
Melons contain virtually no fat, just about 0.1% of its content.
They also contain a neglible amount of sugar than other fruits, having just about 5.4% of its content.
Melons contain a reasonable amount of protein, about 0.9% of its content.
Melons however, provide a well-balanced supply of vitamins. They include vitamin C, some B group vitamins, ans others.
Minerals are also provided by melons in reasonable amounts. Some of them include magnesium, potassium, and iron. Researchs have showed that a 2.5 kg melon provides the daily iron intake required by an adult, and about half of the total recommended dietary allowance for magnesium.
Health benefits / medicinal uses of melon
The indications / medicinal uses of melon are quite many, some of them are listed below:
• Dehydration – melons are highly recommended for those suffering from dehydration which is usually accompanied by mineral loss. They help replenish body minerals and as well provides vitamins which helps the body function in general.
• Constipation – melons are also effective against chronic constipation, mainly due to intestinal atony. This is attributed to its laxative property, and thus are highly recommended for those suffering from chronic constipation.
• Urinary conditions – The consumption of melons provides the blood with vitamins and mineral salts, and as well facilitate the filtering ability of the kidneys. Eating melons helps the kidney to effectively eliminate toxins and waste materials produced during body metabolism.
• Urinary infections – The alkalizing effect of melons in the urine helps stop the growth of Coliform bacilli which causes urinary infections. Thus, regular consumption of melon can eliminate the risk of urinary infections.
• Kidney stones – The alkalizing effect of melons helps facilitate the solubility of the acidic salts that make up uric calculi (tiny stones), and at the same time helps in eliminating them. Thus, melons are highly recommended against kidney stones.
Other indications of melons against renal functions are:
• Against excess uric acid which is manifested by gout.
• Against early stage kidney failure, which can be noticed by these primary symptoms, scanty urine, and fluid retention.
Preparation and use
Melons can be eaten either fresh or conjunction with other foods. It is used as an ingredient in making jams.
In order to derive the best possible nutrients from melons, it is recommended to be consumed fresh. This way minerals and vitamins are not lost at all.