Winter Melon: Health Benefits, Nutrition, and All Interesting Facts About Winter Melon

Winter Melon: Health Benefits, Nutrition, and All Interesting Facts About Winter Melon
Photo by NC State Fair on Flickr
SHARE - One of the most popular summertime fruits is watermelon. This sweet and refreshing fruit is also very healthy. But do you know that there is one fruit that resembles watermelon and people often mistaken these two fruits?

Yes, it's winter melon. Sounds tricky, right? Watermelon and winter melon are two different fruits. While watermelon is eaten as a fruit, particularly fresh to consume in summer, winter melon is more like a vegetable.

Winter melon, or ash gourd, is a mild-tasting fruit that's typically used as veggie when ripe in Asian cuisines and most frequently in Chinese and Indian food. It's a prominent active ingredient in drinks, soups, and also sugary foods.

This fruit, say vegetable, grows in warm environments, such as Asia and also South Florida. Once picked, the winter melons are easy to transport, and also, they don't easily rotten. They are sold largely in Asian markets where there is a greater need.

Besides its refreshing taste, winter melon also has many health benefits. What are they? Read on this article to know more about winter melon!

What is Winter Melon?

Photo by Robin Kok on Flickr

Winter melon, clinically called Benincasa hispid, is commonly called ash gourd, wax gourd, white gourd, and also winter gourd. It is a member of the gourd family members (Cucurbitaceae), commonly referred to as cucurbits, that includes cucumbers, melons, zucchini, pumpkins, and also other squash.

The fruit's seasonal name most likely comes from the fact that, while grown during the summer season as well as autumn, it can be saved for 3 up to 4 months. It can also be consumed throughout the winter.

In addition, unripe winter melon has soft hair. Once it turns ripe, the fruit loses its hair and produces a waxy coating.

Winter melon can grow bigger than a foot in size as well as weight greater than 40 pounds. It resembles a huge watermelon with its elongate shape and also dark environment-friendly, waxy skin, although some are much more rounded in shape.

Unlike a watermelon, the flesh and seeds are white, it's reasonably unappetizing, and also, it cannot be consumed raw.

Winter Melon Nutrients

Photo by Girija Patel on Flickr

Winter melon has a water content of 96 percent and is very low in calories, sugar, calcium, and carbohydrates. But it stays rich in fiber, supplying minimal quantities of various nutrients.

One portion of raw winter melon, 3.5-ounce (100-gram) offers:

  • Calories: 13
  • Protein: less than 1 gram
  • Carbs: 3 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Fat: less than 1 gram
  • Vitamin C: 14% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Riboflavin: 8% DV
  • Zinc: 6% DV

Winter melon also contains lower quantities of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, and other B vitamins. Winter melon is a healthy source of flavonoids and carotenes in addition to vitamin C.

They are two antioxidants known to help protect the body from cell damage and other diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. At present, the antioxidant content of winter melon is thought to be the primary factor for its benefits.

Winter Melon Health Benefits

Photo by Deepa Reddy on Flickr

Winter melon has been used for centuries in ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for treating various diseases. The fruit is also admired for its remedy, aphrodisiac, and diuretic effects. Consuming winter melon is believed to help lower disease risk and conduct a healthy digestive system.

Some other health benefits include:

  • Can eliminate ulcers. Animal research suggests that extracts from winter melon can help avoid the occurrence of stomach ulcers in rats.
  • May reduce inflammation. Test-tube and animal experiments note winter melon extracts can minimize inflammation, which is believed to be the root cause of many chronic diseases.
  • Can provide some type 2 diabetes protection. Research in mice suggests that winter melon can help lower blood sugar, triglyceride, and insulin levels. Human experimentation, however, is showing contradictory findings.
  • May have an antimicrobial effect. Some studies show that extracts from winter melon can defend against some bacteria and fungi. But, many studies do not suggest any beneficial results.
  • Low in carbs. Winter melon is also notably low in carbs, making it suitable for those on low carb diets.

It is essential to remember that all of these experiments have used concentrated fruit's flesh, skin, or vine extracts rather than the fruit itself. In fact, the vast majority of these effects have not been studied in humans. Further research is also required before we draw firm conclusions.


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