What Is Honeydew Good For?
Honeydew melon is one of the fruits that come to mind when looking for a sweet and refreshing treat on a hot summer day. This fruit is commonly known for its smooth yellow rind and pale green flesh, and is one of the most popular members of the Cucumis melo family, along with watermelon and cantaloupe.1
Honeydew also boasts high nutritional content. From vitamin B to zinc, every bite of this fruit is packed with various vitamins and minerals. There’s no doubt that honeydew is a great addition to your diet, with its flavorful taste and optimal health benefits.2
What Is Honeydew?
Honeydew melon, also known as honeymelon, is a member of the Indorus group of Cucumis melo,3 which also includes casaba, canary and Santa Claus melon. Its size usually ranges from small to medium, and it comes in a round or oval shape with a weight of around 4 to 8 pounds.4, 5
Although this fruit is commonly known for having pale green flesh and yellow rind, it’s actually available in other colors and textures as well. Several varieties of honeydew have a bright yellow skin due to a mutation, while others have an extra-sweet orange flesh.6 A distinctive variety of this fruit is called golden honeydew because of its bright golden-hued rind and crisp, white flesh.7
Unlike other melons that thrive in tropical climates, honeydew is best grown in warm and dry regions. If planted in a humid area, it may produce smaller fruits with poor resistance against pests and diseases.8
A ripe honeydew is a pleasure to eat especially in the summer, but an unripe one is very bland and unsatisfying. If you want to enjoy a juicy and sweet honeydew melon, then you should know when it’s ready for picking.
How Do You Tell If a Honeydew Is Ripe?
Unlike other melons that can ripen off the vine, a honeydew won’t mature if it’s picked too early.9 With that in mind, you have to be very careful when harvesting this fruit or when buying it from your local market. A honeydew usually matures between 80 to 100 days. But aside from counting the days before harvest, there are also a few signs that will help you decide when to pick a honeydew.
One of the easiest things to check is the appearance of the rind. When a honeydew is ripe, the rind loses its green coloring and turns into a creamy color that range from yellow to white. The texture also becomes waxy. Moreover, a ripe honeydew gives off a sweet aroma from the stem. The opposite end from the stem should also feel soft and springy when probed. 10
You should also know how to pick a ripe honeydew if you’re planning to harvest one on your own. Keep in mind that this fruit does not separate from the vine like other muskmelons, so you must clip it once it reaches maturity.11
Honeydew Versus Cantaloupe: How to Tell the Difference
Honeydew is usually mistaken for cantaloupe at first glance, and vice versa. This is not surprising since both fruits are a type of muskmelon, and they are somewhat similar in shape. Despite their many similarities, there are several differences that you can look out for to easily tell these two melons apart.
One of the easiest ways is to check the color and texture of the rind. Honeydew has a smooth and waxy rind that comes in white, green, yellow and orange colors, while cantaloupe has a tough, reticulated rind that’s usually light brown or golden-hued.12
The appearance of these fruits’ flesh is also relatively different. Honeydew comes with a pale green, orange or white flesh,13 but cantaloupe has a peachy-orange one. In terms of flavor, both fruits have a distinct taste and are juicy when eaten ripe. However, honeydew tends to be sweeter than cantaloupe because it has a higher sugar content.14
The size and weight of honeydew and cantaloupe are also a bit different. Honeydew has an average weight of 6 pounds15 and is usually larger than an average medium-sized cantaloupe, which weighs around 3 pounds.16
Both of these fruits are a great source of nutrition, but honeydew contains a different set of vitamins and minerals compared to cantaloupe.
What Are the Health Benefits of Honeydew Melon?
Adding honeydew to your diet can help you achieve optimal health in more ways than one. Here are some of the essential health benefits that this fruit has to offer:17, 18, 19
✓ Hydrates the body
Honeydew is made up of 90 percent water, which is why it can quench your thirst and keep the body hydrated on a hot summer day. Plus, it contains a good amount of potassium, which helps maintain the water level in your body by countering your sodium intake.
✓ Promotes skeletal health
Honeydew is rich in calcium, helping your body maintain and improve bone health. It also keeps your teeth healthy and strong.
✓ Keeps the skin healthy
Honeydew is a great source of vitamin C, which plays an important role in the production of collagen in your body. Collagen can repair and nourish not just your skin but also your hair and nails.
✓ Helps reduce weight
Honeydew has a low calorie content, so it’s a perfect fruit snack for people who are trying to lose weight. It’s also rich in fiber that can aid in food digestion.
✓ Prevents hypertension
Honeydew is beneficial for people who are suffering from hypertension, as it has a high potassium content that can help prevent blood elevation.
✓ Reinforces the immune system
The vitamin C in honeydew helps boost your immune system to fight off bacteria and illnesses.
✓ Improves eye health
Honeydew contains lutein and zeaxanthin — these are important phytonutrients that help maintain eye health and reduce eye disorders.
How to Cut a Honeydew Effortlessly
Cutting a honeydew may seem hard, what with its large diameter and heavy weight. But there’s actually a technique to slice this fruit without breaking a sweat, or worse, cutting your finger. The most important thing that you need for this task is a sharp knife. Follow these steps:20
- Cut the honeydew into halves through the stem area.
- Scoop out all the seed in the middle using a spoon or your fingers, and then slice the honeydew into wedges.
- Hold a wedge in your hand, and then slide the knife between the rind and the flesh to separate them. Remember to keep one end of the flesh attached to the rind to keep it from sliding off as you slice it into smaller cubes.
Place all the neatly-cut cubes in a bowl, and serve fresh or set aside to be used as an ingredient for other meals.
Here’s How You Can Use Honeydew in Your Meals
The sweet and mild flavor of honeydew makes it a versatile fruit that’s sure to complement just about any meal. There are various ways to enjoy this fruit, and the most common one is by eating it fresh after it’s been sliced and peeled. This makes for a great snack or dessert at any time of the day, especially if you drizzle it with a bit of lime juice.
If you think that this fruit is only good for satisfying your sweet cravings, then think again. Honeydew also makes for a delicious appetizer when wrapped in thin slices of ham. You can even mix it with onion, cilantro and lime juice to make a salsa.21
Honeydew also provides a refreshing burst of flavor when mixed with other fruits or added to a green salad. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous with your meal, then you should try the honeydew melon smoothie and juice recipe below.
Try These Refreshing and Nutritious Honeydew Drinks
You can whip up your own sweet and delicious thirst-quenching drink using honeydew as a main ingredient. Here are some quick and easy recipes that you can try:22, 23
Honeydew Healthy Recipes:
Creamy Honeydew Smoothie
✓ 2 cups of cubed honeydew
✓ 1 cup plain yogurt
✓ 2 tablespoons fresh apple juice
- Place the honeydew cubes and yogurt in the blender.
- Pour in the apple juice. You may also use or add other fruit juices depending on your taste.
- Blend until the mixture becomes smooth.
- While the blender is running, add ice sparingly until the mixture becomes frothy.
- Pour the smoothie in a glass, and enjoy immediately.
(Adapted from Food Network)
Light and Healthy Honeydew Melon Juice
✓ ¼ honeydew
✓ 350 grams spinach
✓ 1 cucumber
✓ 1 lemon, peeled
- Wash and chop all the ingredients.
- Put honeydew, spinach, cucumber and lemon in the juicer.
- Extract the juice of the ingredients using the juicer.
- Pour the juice in a glass and enjoy.
(Adapted from Reboot with Joe)
What Are the Vitamins and Minerals in a Honeydew? Check Its Nutrition Facts Here
As mentioned above, honeydew is a great source of vitamins and nutrients. Plus, it contains low amounts of calories and carbs. In fact, a half cup of diced honeydew only contains 8 grams of carbohydrates, and a whole cup has only 61 calories.24 To learn more about the vitamins and nutrients that you can get from this fruit, you should check out its nutritional facts:25
|Calories from Fat||2|
|Total Fat||0.24 g||0%|
|Saturated Fat||0.065 g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrates||15.45 g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber||1.4 g||6%|
|Vitamin A 2%||Vitamin C||51%|
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
A Few Important Things to Keep in Mind When Eating Honeydew
Remember that honeydew contains fructose. This form of sugar may be harmful to your health if consumed in excessive amounts. No matter how tempting it is to load up on this refreshing fruit, make sure that you only eat it in moderation to avoid excess intake of fructose.
Honeydew is also one of the fruits that are usually contaminated by toxic insecticides, so make sure that you get one from an organic source.
- 1 Health Benefits Times, Honeydew
- 2 Serving Joy, 9 Essential Health Benefits of Honeydew Melon – Reasons Why You Should Consider Adding Honeydew Into Your Diet Plan, February 3, 2015
- 3 Horticultural Sciences Department, Honeydew Melon
- 4 SF Gate, Honeydew Varieties
- 5 Specialty Produce, Honeydew Melon
- 6 See ref 1
- 7 Friedas, Golden Honeydew Melon
- 8 See ref 5
- 9 Happy Happy Vegan, How To Tell If A Honeydew Melon Is Ripe (And What To Do If It’s Not)
- 10 Leaf, How to Know When a Honeydew Melon is Ripe
- 11 See ref 3
- 12 Soft Schools, Honeydew vs. Cantaloupe
- 13 See ref 4
- 14 KQED Food, Melons 101: How To Pick Ripe Melons and 12 Varieties You Need to Try
- 15 See ref 5
- 16 The Kitchn, How Many Cups of Fruit Are in a Pound of Cantaloupe?, August 26, 2016
- 17 See ref 2
- 18 Livestrong, Health Benefits of Eating Honeydew Melon, December 18, 2013
- 19 The Nest, What Nutrients Do You Get From Cantaloupe & Honeydew Melon?
- 20 Instructables, How to Cut a Melon
- 21 Fruit & Veggies More Matters, Top 10 Ways To Enjoy Honeydew Melon
- 22 Food Network, Honeydew Smoothie
- 23 Reboot with Joe, Heavenly Honeydew Juice
- 24 Self Nutrition Data, Raw Honeydew Melons
- 25 Fat Secret, Honeydew Melon