Melon: how healthy is the juicy fruit?

With rising temperatures in summer, we often feel like fruity refreshment. A chilled melon is then the healthy alternative to ice cream and  soft drinks . The watermelon in particular is ideal as a refreshing treat. Thanks to its high water content, this classic is a low-calorie thirst quencher. It also tastes particularly good as a fresh snack between meals. In addition to watermelons, many other types of melons are commercially available. Here you can read about the types of melons, when they are ripe, what makes them special and how healthy they really are. We also present a delicious recipe for a melon and feta salad.

The variety of melons – the most popular types

melons. They are green, yellow or white, oval or round. Sometimes they are smooth, sometimes they have a rough skin. Some almost fit in your pocket, others require a lot of muscle power to carry them home.

In summer, the variety of melons is particularly great when the fruits are ripe in their main growing areas in Spain, Greece or Italy. Melons are divided into sugar and watermelons. The most common types of melon available in this country are as follows:

  • Watermelon:  This round type of melon is probably the best known and most popular. It has a light to dark green skin and red flesh. It contains the seeds, which can be dried and roasted for salads and desserts. The large fruit can weigh up to 20 kilograms. It should be stored in the refrigerator and – once cut – eaten quickly.
  • Mini melon:  A special breed of watermelon is the small mini melon. You can easily grow them in your own garden or on the balcony. In late summer and autumn, the 10 to 15 centimeter melons are ripe and can be harvested. There are also numerous other types of watermelon.
  • Honeydew melon :  In addition to the watermelon, the oval-shaped honeydew melon enjoys great popularity. It tastes a little sweeter than the watermelon and belongs to the sugar melons. Their shell is sun yellow, smooth and has vertical stripes. The pale yellow flesh encloses the seeds inside. This melon variety can weigh up to 3 kilograms.
  • Cantaloupe melon:  The round variety Cantaloupe, which belongs to the sugar melon family, is characterized by its sweetness and its fine flesh. It is sometimes considered the sweetest melon. Under the greenish-yellowish patterned, rough skin is an orange-colored, very juicy flesh. This melon variety tastes wonderfully aromatic and can reach a weight of up to 1.5 kilograms.
  • Galia melon:  The Galia melon is also called a net melon because of its special skin that looks like it is covered with a net. The shell is yellowish to brownish in color, the net usually appears lighter. It is spherical, its flesh is light green to whitish in color and very sweet. When it has reached the right degree of maturity, it gives off an intense fragrance. Their weight can be up to 1.5 kilograms.
  • Charentais melon:  This melon variety is a subspecies of the cantaloupe melon. It is round and usually has a light green to yellowish skin with dark green longitudinal ribs (stripes). The orange flesh is juicy and sweet and surrounds the pips in the center, which are easy to remove. When this rather small melon has reached its optimum degree of ripeness, it smells very pleasant and should be eaten soon.
  • Futuro melon:  This oval melon is a bit reminiscent of a rugby egg. The skin is dark green and rough with yellow furrows. The sweet and slightly firmer, crunchy flesh is light green. This refreshing melon variety is particularly popular in Spain.
  • Limelon:  The Limelon is a new hybrid between lime and melon. It tastes fresh and sour like lime and at the same time the flesh is as juicy as a melon.

How many calories are in melons?

All melons, no matter what variety, contain a lot of water. Depending on the variety, the watermelon consists of up to 95 percent water with 24 to 39 kilocalories per 100 grams of pulp (100 to 163 kilojoules). For comparison: An apple – like honeydew melons – has a water content of around 85 percent and 52 kilocalories per 100 grams of flesh.

Melon black Kilocalories (kcal) per 100 grams
watermelon 24
Honeydew melons 50
Cantaloupe 35
Power 25

Ingredients – how healthy are melons? 

Melons provide numerous important  minerals  and vitamins, the content of which can vary depending on the type of melon. Secondary plant substances are also contained in melons. The following ingredients can be found in melons:

The cantaloupe melon has a particularly high content of vitamin E, which protects the body’s cells from UV rays. Of all the melon varieties, watermelon has the most lycopene. These secondary plant substances intercept free radicals and can prevent cell damage. Vitamin A is found in abundance in watermelon and honeydew melon. It keeps the skin and hair supple and is important for the normal function of the eyes.

Watermelons also contain the  amino acid  citrulline, which is said to stimulate fat burning in the body and can help with states of exhaustion. A scientific study indicates that an extract from watermelons in animal experiments leads to weight loss and reduces arteriosclerotic changes in vessels.

The  seeds of the melon  also contain healthy ingredients such as vitamins A, B and C, magnesium,  iron , calcium and valuable fats. In order to absorb these  nutrients  , however, the melon seeds must not be swallowed whole, but must be chewed, ground or chopped. 

Losing weight with melons – is that possible?

Melons, especially watermelons, are considered healthy slimming aids. There are various reasons for this:

  • Due to its low calorie content, watermelons can be consumed in larger quantities and thereby reduce the feeling of hunger.
  • The high water content of the melon is said to promote the flushing out of toxins.
  • The amino acid citrulline contained in watermelon is said to boost fat burning.
  • Fiber  in the pulp is good for digestion and keeps you full for a long time.

With the so-called watermelon diet, only watermelon is eaten in the first three days. The consumption is about one medium-sized watermelon per day. On the following days, a portion of watermelon is only on the menu once a day. The other two meals are replaced with healthy food dishes with lots of fresh vegetables.

The watermelon diet can lead to rapid weight loss. However, if you return to your old eating habits afterwards, the pounds will quickly be back on the scales. So that the weight remains stable even after the diet and the dreaded  yo-yo effect does not  occur, the diet should be changed over the long term. 

Melons – fruit or vegetable?

Like  cucumbers, melons belong  to the cucurbit family. Therefore, all types of melons are not a fruit, but a vegetable, more precisely a fruit vegetable.

Recognizing ripe melons – that’s how it works 

With the help of a simple trick, you can quickly tell when a melon is ripe. To do this, tap carefully on the end points. If there is a deep, full sound, then the melon is ripe. If it sounds rather hollow, then you should let the melon ripen a little longer. In the case of cantaloupes, a fragrant, intense scent also indicates that the melon has reached its perfect stage of ripeness.

Recipes with melons

Melons are very versatile in the kitchen. Classically as a melon boat with ham or in a fruit salad, but also as a punch or  smoothie  , melons cut a fine figure. In addition, a hearty preparation of the spherical fruit is extremely tasty and also very healthy. You can even grill melons, bake a cake with them or prepare them as a salad. Try it out!

Recipe: Melon Feta Salad

Ingredients for 4 small portions as a side dish:

  • 1 small watermelon
  • 200 g More
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon  of honey
  • 2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
  • Salt  and black pepper to taste
  • 4 small sprigs of fresh  thyme


  • Dice the flesh of the watermelon.
  • For the  dressing  , mix together the oil, honey, lime juice and salt.
  • Pluck the thyme leaves from 3 sprigs and mix carefully with the diced melon.
  • Crush the feta with your fingers, add to the melon with the dressing, stir well and leave to stand in the fridge for a while.
  • Before serving, sprinkle with ground pepper and garnish with a sprig of thyme.

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