Honeydew has a bad reputation as the bland, watery cubes abandoned at the bottom of the fruit salad bowl, but this nutrient-rich, hydrating, low-calorie fruit deserves so much better. While the exact origin of honeydew—sometimes called “temptation melons”—is unknown, it’s believed to have originated in Persia. Some say that in ancient Egypt, honeydew was a sacred fruit, revered for its juicy sweetness. Queen Cleopatra reportedly adored honeydew. Mature honeydew melon has a delightfully sweet, full flavor and is a phenomenal source of nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. Here’s the skinny on honeydew nutrition facts, whether honeydew is low-carb, and how honeydew benefits your health.
Wondering about honeydew calorie counts and other key honeydew nutrition facts? This sweet melon contains plenty of fiber and a surprisingly low amount of sugar given how succulent it tastes when it’s fully ripe.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database, 1 cup of honeydew melon contains:
If you’re looking to limit your carbohydrate intake, which is a key part of many diet approaches including the keto diet, it can be tricky to find low-carb fruits that fit within your diet parameters. Honeydew is frequently listed as a fruit that’s not only low in calories, but also fairly low in carbohydrates.
Many honeydew benefits can be attributed to its high vitamin C content—remember, 1 cup provides close to 40% of your RDA! Your body needs vitamin C to keep your immune system running at peak capacity, enhance the health and appearance of your skin, support the health of your heart, and decrease overall inflammation.
According to findings published by a research team from the Department of Biochemistry at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, vitamin C can be used to treat and prevent disorders such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, stroke, heart diseases, cancer, and more. Eating vitamin C-rich foods like honeydew melon is a wonderful way to ensure you maintain optimal levels of this vital nutrient.
Here are seven ways that the vitamin C and other nutrients found in honeydew can improve your health.
Honeydew is one of the rare foods that combines a taste sure to satisfy even the most hardcore sweet tooths with quite a low calorie count. With just 64 calories in a full cup, you can sate your sugar cravings without sabotaging your healthy eating habits.
Gram by gram, an astonishingly high percentage of honeydew is water: there are 89.82 grams of water in 100 grams of melon. This makes honeydew an ideal snack or meal component for anyone seeking to lose weight, as it will keep you hydrated and satiated without making too big a dent in your calorie totals for the day.
Thanks to the substantial concentrations of carotenoids and vitamin C honeydew contains, it’s highly beneficial for the health of your skin. A 2017 study published in Nutrients shows that vitamin C both stimulates collagen synthesis and assists in antioxidant protection against UV-induced sun damage, which keeps your skin looking fresh and glowingly healthy. The study also mentions that vitamin C has been shown to speed wound healing, minimize scarring, and prevent wrinkle formation, among other positive effects.
What you put into your body influences your skin health just as much as the topical products you apply, so be sure to prioritize vitamin C-rich foods like honeydew.
As we mentioned, honeydew is composed of approximately 90% water. Not only does this make it an ideal food to include in a weight-loss diet, but it also means that honeydew will help you stay hydrated.
We lose water over the course of the day by urinating, sweating, crying, and even just breathing. When we’re sick, we lose even more water. If we don’t take steps to consciously replenish our stores of water, we can easily become dehydrated.
Not only does honeydew contribute amply quantities of water in each serving, but it also provides you with potassium. As this article explains, that makes honeydew an even more effective way to rehydrate since potassium ensures a steady balance of fluids and electrolytes in your body.
Honeydew provides an ample supply of both vitamin B6 and folate, essential for brain development and proper cognitive function. A 2016 study stated that B vitamins work together synergistically to protect and enhance the health of your brain.
Low levels of folate in particular have been linked to inhibited cognitive function and may also increase your risk of developing a neurodegenerative condition such as Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
And since vitamin B6 plays a crucial role in the production of serotonin and norepinephrine—hormones that profoundly influence your mood and energy levels—it can help to treat mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.
If you’re invested in your mental health, you should definitely look for opportunities to add honeydew to your diet.
Honeydew’s high vitamin C content means it supplies your immune system with a vital nutrient needed to maintain the defense mechanisms that fight off pathogens and toxins.
A scientific article published in 2017 explained that vitamin C has been shown to protect us from environmental oxidative stress by promoting oxidant scavenging activity in our skin cells. It also kills off microbes and flushes infectious cells from the body.
It’s clear that a vitamin C deficiency impairs your immune function and makes you more susceptible to infections. It’s also evident that fighting infections drains your body’s vitamin C supply. To keep yourself healthy, you need to maintain adequate vitamin C levels, and if you’re feeling under the weather, you should look for even more opportunities to add vitamin C-rich foods like honeydew to your diet.
Increasing your intake of carotenoids, like the ones found in honeydew melon, has been shown to majorly reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Research reveals that these fat-soluble plant pigments appear to have antioxidant properties that prevent the development of atherosclerotic lesions in your arteries. They also lower blood pressure levels, decrease dangerous systemic inflammation, and improve insulin sensitivity. All these benefits can substantially improve the health of your heart.
Honeydew’s carotenoids—including beta-carotene—may have cancer-protective effects.
A large-scale review of the impact of carotenoid consumption found that they lower your risk of developing cancer in a multitude of ways, including reducing oxidative stress throughout the body. They appear to be especially valuable as a means of preventing lung cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, and oral and throat cancers.