A diet rich in fruit, including melons, can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Melons are low in calories and and provide essential vitamins and minerals that support your health. Most varieties are available at any time of year, making them a good addition to your diet.
Calories vary slightly between the different types of melons. A 1-cup serving of honeydew balls contains 64 calories; cantaloupe balls, 60 calories; cubed casaba, 48 calories; and watermelon balls, 46 calories.
The carbohydrate content of the different types of melons also varies slightly. A 1-cup serving of honeydew balls contains 16 grams of carbohydrates and 1.4 grams of fiber; cantaloupe balls,14 grams of carbohydrates and 1.6 grams of fiber; cubed casaba, 11 grams of carbohydrates and 1.5 grams of fiber; and watermelon balls, 12 grams of carbohydrates and 0.6 gram of fiber. Carbohydrates should provide most of your calories, making up 45 to 65 percent of your calorie needs. Fiber is a type of indigestible carbohydrate that improves bowel function, aids in hunger control and lowers blood cholesterol levels.
Protein and Fat
Melon is not a significant source of protein or fat. Each 1-cup serving of the different types of melon contains 1 to 1.8 grams of protein and no fat. The casaba melon contains the highest amount of protein per serving, with 1.8 grams. A balanced diet should contain 10 to 35 percent of its calories from protein and 20 to 35 percent of its calories from fat.
High intakes of natural potassium can help lower your blood pressure by blunting the effects of sodium, according to the American Heart Association. A healthy diet should contain 4,700 milligrams of potassium a day. Honeydew and cantaloupe contain the highest amounts of potassium with 404 milligrams and 473 milligrams per 1-cup serving, respectively. A 1-cup serving of casaba melon contains 309 milligrams of potassium, and watermelon contains the least with 172 milligrams per serving.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin essential for growth and development, and also supports eye health. The vitamin A content in melons also varies among the different types. Both cantaloupe and watermelon contain the highest amounts. A 1-cup serving of cantaloupe contains 5,986 international units, meeting 110 percent of your daily value needs. A 1-cup serving of watermelon contains 876 international units.
- melons image by apeschi from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.