Goa’s bounty: Musk Melon (Cucumis melo)

Musk melon is a delicious fruit available in India throughout the year. In Goa, musk melons, locally called chibad, are abundant in the rainy season. When over ripe it gives a musky flavour and hence the name musk melon. Musk melons offer many health benefits and have a high nutritional value.

Musk melon is a low calorie, high fibre fruit with high water content. One hundred grams of musk melon gives just 34 calories. It is thus a good substitute for high calorie snacks and desserts and benefits those trying to lose weight. The high fibre content provides satiety. In addition the fibre also prevents constipation and help control cholesterol levels. The juice of these melons benefits those suffering from hyperacidity, ulcers and lack of appetite.

Musk melons have an abundance of vitamin A and C, both powerful antioxidants which protect the body from oxidative damage by free radicals, and thus help prevent cancers. The beta carotene content, a precursor of vitamin A, of these melons maintains healthy eyesight and may also help prevent cataract. Vitamin C helps boost immunity. Musk melon is also very good for the skin.

This fruit also contains a good amount of potassium, Folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin B3. Being rich in potassium, it is heart healthy. Potassium helps control blood pressure, regulates the heart beat and is said to prevent strokes. It also helps maintain a proper electrolyte balance. Musk melon helps treat water retention. The folic acid helps in cell regeneration and prevents neural tube defects in new born babies.

Musk melons can be consumed chilled or as a juice, added to fruit salads and desserts. It is also a great addition to custards.

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