Yellow or white, with a round or elongated shape, with a smooth or rough skin, the melon is a tasty and healthy fruit, excellent to be enjoyed either alone or as an ingredient in fruit salads and salads. The melon is also a fruit with numerous therapeutic and cosmetic properties, often little known and therefore undervalued.
Characteristics and nutritional properties of the melon
Melon is a fruit composed of 90% water and contains many vitamins, mainly belonging to group A and C, as well as mineral salts, potassium and iron. For this reason it is indicated for those suffering from anemia and is an excellent "anti-age", as it counteracts the production of free radicals, responsible for skin aging and the formation of the very hated stretch marks. The yellow-orange variety also contains high percentages of beta-carotene, which helps the skin protect itself from the sun and keep the tan longer; some studies also seem to show that beta-carotene helps in the treatment of some types of cancer, such as that of the brain, liver and skin.
The high amount of water and fiber contained in its pulp makes the melon a fruit with marked purifying, diuretic and slightly laxative effects, while vitamin B helps to counteract nervous hunger, to maintain a high mood and improves capacity. visual and strengthens teeth and bones.
The very low content of fats and sugars (despite the typically sweet taste of this fruit) make it ideal to be taken even during diets, not only as an ingredient in delicious fruit salads or combined with delicious raw ham, but also alone or as a small cut pieces in a jar of low-fat yogurt.
Recipes for the cosmetic use of melon
Thanks to its invigorating and nourishing properties, the melon, especially in its yellow version, is widely used in cosmetics, mainly for skin and hair care. Among the various recipes available, some are proposed below, easily achievable even at home.
Cream for dry skin: centrifuge a few slices of not too mature melon and add the juice obtained, to the extent of a dl, to as many natural mineral water and whole milk. The cream can be kept in the refrigerator for a maximum of one week and shaken before use. If the mixture is too liquid you can add a little honey or beeswax to make the cream denser.
Refreshing lotion: to soothe the skin after excessive exposure to the sun, you can prepare and use a melon and clay-based lotion to keep on for a few minutes on the reddened and painful areas. To make it, blend a medium-sized ripe melon and strain it with a thick mesh strainer. Pour the juice into a bowl, add a teaspoon of white or green clay and stir until a homogeneous mixture is obtained, which can be applied to reddened skin with a cotton pad and left in place until the desired relief is achieved. Melon juice has an astringent and refreshing effect, while clay has an anti-inflammatory and healing effect.
Hair conditioner: the emollient properties of the melon can also be used for the preparation of an excellent homemade hair conditioner, especially useful in summer, when the sun, wind and sea water or chlorine can dry out the hair more. To prepare it, crush the pulp of some slices of melon and mix it with a knob of softened butter (preferably cocoa butter, but the classic food butter is also fine): applied to the hair for a few minutes after a sunny day it will make it stronger and voluminous.
The natural melon pulp is also used as a remedy to treat small wounds and burns.
Wellness and health: the melon at the table
To take full advantage of the beneficial virtues of the melon it is sufficient to insert it into the daily diet in the measure of a couple of slices a day, from May to September, a period of maturation and presence on the market of this very sweet fruit.
Of course the perfect pairing is, for us Italians who have launched the fashion, with a nice plate of raw ham, but the melon is also excellent as an alternative ingredient to an unusual salad, seasoned with a little oil and a few drops of balsamic vinegar or of the most traditional fruit salad.
Excellent as a dessert, accompanied by vanilla ice cream, a light citrus sorbet or fresh and lean yogurt.
Being extremely watery, it lends little to cooking, which would make it lose most of its beneficial properties, since vitamins are sensitive to heat sources, which disperse them.
Simply delicious, finally, the melon sorbet, which can be prepared quickly by following this simple recipe: blend about 1 kg of ripe melon pulp; dissolve 250 grams of sugar in 250 ml of water, bring to a boil for a few minutes and then let it cool. Add the pulp to the syrup, stirring carefully and add the juice of a lemon and an orange. Store everything in the freezer for at least two hours, taking care to mix everything every fifteen minutes until the sorbet has reached the desired density. Garnish with pieces of melon pulp, small red fruits or other fruit to taste.