The importance of healthy eating has never been better understood. Many research studies have corroborated what we have long known—the food we put in our bodies influences our bodies. If you are seeking a healthier lifestyle, you can’t ignore the impact that making healthy changes in your diet can have. Certainly, living a healthy life is at the top of most people’s priorities. Each year, roughly 45 million Americans attempt to maintain a diet and spend an estimated $33 billion on products that promote weight loss effects. It’s clear that people are concerned about their health and want to make changes that improve their quality of health. Yet, many people are struggling with being overweight or obese. While there seems to be an endless array of weight loss products and new diets to try, the answer to a healthier life has been the most obvious answer all along—eat healthier food.
For many people, choosing healthy food options can be challenging; they may not know which foods to choose or how much of these foods is the correct amount to consume. There is certainly a plethora of foods to choose from when grocery shopping and the number of choices we have can be overwhelming. When it comes to choosing the right foods, it’s best to go back to basics and consider one of the oldest foods in human culinary history—fruit.
Fruit has many benefits for our health; it is usually high in fiber and low in calories, as well as containing a range of different vitamins and minerals. Yet, not all fruits are created equally—some fruits contain more health benefits than others, and some health benefits may be more appealing to different people depending on their needs. For this reason, it’s useful to understand the health benefits that different fruits can offer before deciding which fruits you would like to include in your diet as you progress towards a healthier lifestyle.
One fruit, in particular, remains a favorite to be included in fruit salads and as a healthy option for snacking. Melons are one of the most popular fruits today, with Americans consuming 27 pounds of melon each year. China, Turkey, and Iran are the world’s top producers of melons, contributing about 65% of the world’s 32 million tons of melons produced per year. This fruit is versatile, making it an easy addition to one’s diet; melons are usually eaten as part of breakfast, in picnics, as desserts, and snacks. This adaptable fruit is an easy addition to your diet, making it a great choice for those looking to improve their diets through an increase in fruit consumption. Before we delve into the health benefits that including melons in your diet can yield, let’s learn more about the melon itself, a fruit that has been part of the human diet for many centuries.
The origin of melons has been traced back to both Africa and Southwest Asia. Melons were part of the earliest plants to be domesticated in many parts of the world. Melons also have the historic distinction of being one of the first crops grown by settlers that traveled to North America. Several of the Native American tribes from New Mexico continue to grow historic varieties of melons that originate from seeds that were initially brought over by the Spanish. Melons are a fruit with as rich a history as they have flavor.
While the many ways it can be served and its colorful history might seem like reason enough to add melons into your diet, the health benefits of melons will leave no doubt in your mind about whether this fruit has earned its place as part of a healthier lifestyle.
One of the most prominent aspects of what makes melons a wonderful choice for healthy eating is the high level and range of antioxidants they contain. Antioxidants are vital for our health, as they undo the damage that occurs to our cells from harmful molecules called free radicals. By ensuring you have a diet that provides high levels of antioxidants, you better equip your body to defend against and lower your risk of harm due to oxidative stress, the term used for damage done by free radicals. Oxidative stress is linked to several negative health outcomes, including neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Lou Gehrig’s disease. The antioxidants present in melons are also shown to help protect against cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Melons contain a range of antioxidants: beta carotene, vitamin C, lutein, choline, and selenium. For this reason, melon makes a powerful health food to include in your diet.
As is true for most fruit, melons have a high water content. The water in melons does more than just quench thirst, however. Melons being high in water aids the process of digestion, making them the perfect fruit to maintain a healthy digestive system. The fiber present in melons combined with their high water content helps keep your digestion regular as well. Melons are also an excellent dietary choice if you’re seeking to improve your work out performance by staying hydrated after exercise. Melons are not only high in their water content but have a significant amount of electrolytes to offer. Sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium are all electrolytes that perform essential functions for our bodies by interacting with the cells in our nerves, tissues, and muscles. It’s vital to maintain a proper balance of electrolytes and melons are an excellent source to keep that balance. A healthy balance of electrolytes helps to regulate muscle and nerve function, to keep our body hydrated, reconstruct damaged tissue, and balance blood pressure and acidity. These integral bodily processes are all supported by the electrolytes found in melons—a wonderful reason to add a serving of them to your next healthy meal.
One of the most obvious reasons for why melons are a great health food is how rich they are in vitamins and minerals. In melons, you can find potassium, vitamin C, copper, and vitamin B; each of these vitamins and minerals play crucial roles in keeping us healthy. Potassium is one of the most important minerals our bodies require; it’s responsible for maintaining our heart in top shape. Vitamin C, long touted as the king of health, is proven to keep your immune system strong but also aids in healthy brain function and even helps provide you with healthier skin. Copper is also important in keeping your skin healthy, making melons the perfect fruit for anyone seeking clear, beautiful skin. Vitamin B is another aspect of what makes melons so valuable for health; this vitamin helps to remove toxins that can contribute to disease and illness. Melons are certainly not just all water, but offer vitamins and minerals that are crucial to our body’s healthy functioning.
Healthy eating has only become more important as research continues to prove the integral role our diet has in keeping us healthy. If you’re searching for the next health food you can incorporate into your diet, look no further than melons. These fruits are great for staying hydrated and packed full of vital minerals and vitamins. It’s no surprise why they are so widely sold across various countries today.