Health From Melons

Nutritional Benefits And Healing Properties Of Melons

Researchers found that watermelons and muskmelons which include honeydews contain a number of substances that are very good for your health. They provide folate, a B vitamin that has been shown to lower the risks of birth defects and heart disease. Melons also contain potassium, which is essential for keeping blood pressure at healthy levels. And because melons are low in calories and fat, they are perfect for weight watchers.

 

For a long time, folate was suspected to play a role in preventing birth defects but there wasn't enough evidence. A study on almost 4000 mothers showed that those who got enough folate were sixty percent less likely to have children with brain and spinal cord defects than women who got smaller amounts.

 

Melons are very good sources of folate. For example, a cup of honeydew contains eleven micrograms of folate, that's three percent of the Daily Value. Even better are casaba melons which provides 29 micrograms of folate with the same cup. That is seven percent of the Daily Value. A cup of melon is about the same as five good bites.

 

Folate that protects against birth defects is also good for the heart. Folate is used to control the levels of a chemical called homocysteine in the blood. Although small amounts homocysteine are normal, too much will cause artery-clogging leading to heart disease. Low levels of folate are related to too-high homocysteine levels.

 

Folate has been shown to reduce the risk of polyps, a pre-cancerous growth in the colon that sometimes progress to full blown cancer. Researchers found that people getting the most folate were thirty three percent less likely to develop polyps in the colon than those getting less

 

Melons also contain fiber. The fiber found in melons is soluble fiber. It is tremendously important for keeping the colon healthy. As it moves through the digestive tract, soluble fiber absorbs water and causes the stool to get heavier and larger. Because of this, they move more quickly through the intestine, reducing the time that harmful substances in the stool are in contact with the colon wall. Researchers found that getting more fiber has been shown to reduce the number of polyps in the gastrointestinal tract and the risk of colon cancer.

 

Melons contain potassium, perhaps the most important mineral for keeping blood pressure down. Potassium in melons acts as a diuretic, removing excess fluids from the body. This is important because when fluid levels are high, blood pressure can rise. Potassium also helps to keep blood pressure down by keeping the artery walls relaxed.

 

Folate is readily destroyed by heat, so it is important to store melons in a cool place.

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