A member of the muskmelon family, honeydew first grew in the Middle East. Most honeydew has green or white flesh, while the fruit of fresh honeydew is bright orange in color. Ripe honeydew has a mildly sweet flavor and a soft, juicy texture.
The average person eats about 3 pounds of honeydew each year--almost twice that of cantaloupe or watermelon. Their popularity may be due, in part, to their mild flavor, which makes them easy to add into fruit salads or to include in salad bars at restaurants and hotels.
With high levels of Vitamin C, fiber, and other nutrients, honeydew has proven itself to be very good for your health. Here are some of the health benefits you can get from adding honeydew to your diet:
Strengthen Your Bones
Eating honeydew may help strengthen your bones and prevent the development of certain conditions, including osteoporosis. That’s because honeydew contains several key nutrients that are essential for your bone health, including folate and Vitamin K.
Folate helps break down a compound in your body called homocysteine, high levels of which can weaken your bone mineral density. Meanwhile, Vitamin K helps the calcium ions found in your bones bond with a protein called osteocalcin.
Both the folate and Vitamin K found in honeydew can help strengthen your bones while preventing them from losing density over time.
Improve Skin Health
Aside from its high water content, one half-cup serving of honeydew contains about a quarter of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin C, making honeydew an excellent resource for your skin’s health.
Studies have shown that Vitamin C can help protect your skin against sun damage. Your body also needs Vitamin C to help produce a protein called collagen, which keeps your skin plump and healthy. By making sure you’re getting enough Vitamin C each day, you can help protect and nourish your skin from the inside out.
Honeydew is naturally low in both fat and cholesterol, making it a quick and healthy source of energy for your body. Honeydew is also packed with vitamins and minerals, including:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin K
Nutrients per Serving
One ½ cup serving of chopped honeydew contains:
- Calories: 31
- Fat: 0 grams
- Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
- Sodium: 15 milligrams
- Carbohydrates: 8 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Sugar: 7 grams
- Protein: 0.5 grams
Things to Watch Out For
Although honeydew is generally considered a healthy fruit to eat, it’s important to remember that it ranks high on the glycemic index. That means it can cause your blood sugar levels to spike. As a result, people with diabetes may want to limit their intake of honeydew.
How to Prepare Honeydew
When choosing the right honeydew, you want to select one that feels heavy. This indicates that it has a lot of water in it, which will make for a sweet, juicy melon.
The easiest way to eat honeydew is to slice it open, scoop out the seeds and stringy bits, and eat the fruit raw. You can either cut the honeydew into strips and eat it straight off the rind, or cube the fruit and put it in a bowl to eat. If a honeydew is ripe, you should be able to cut it off the rind using only a spoon.
If you’re looking for more creative ways to use honeydew, try some of these suggestions:
- Pop chunks of honeydew in a water bottle to make a refreshing spa water
- Make a tropical smoothie with frozen honeydew, mango, and bananas
- Puree honeydew and freeze the mixture to make all-natural popsicles
- Make a breakfast parfait with honeydew, berries, granola, and Greek yogurt