Probably native to the Middle East, the melon is a fruit with numerous varieties grown in semi-arid regions around the world. The melon’s fruit is more or less spherical, with a thick rind and a fleshy, juicy pulp, and it has flat seeds in its center. However, the color and texture of the rind, as well as the color and flavor of the pulp, vary according to different cultivars. In 2020 alone, Brazil produced approximately 582 thousand tons of melon in 24 thousand hectares, ranking as the 11th largest producer in the world. Rio Grande do Norte alone accounts for about 70% of the national production. Other Brazilian states that stand out are Ceará and the state of Pernambuco. Approximately 40% of the country’s production is destined for export. As recently as 2020, 236 thousand tons were exported, for a total of US$ 148 million. The largest buyers of this Brazilian fruit are England, the Netherlands and Spain. The major varieties are: Yellow Honeydew, Cantaloupe (American and Italian), Piel de Sapo, Galia, Dino. Brazilian melon is certified by international companies in good agricultural and social practices, and it is exported to countries that are also leaders in the production of this fruit, but experience shortages during the winter months. The diversity of varieties, flavors, and sweetness of the Brazilian fruit captivate the tastes of the most demanding consumers. It was in the semi-arid Brazilian northeastern region (known as "Northeast" or "Nordeste", in Portuguese) that the melon farming has totally changed the regional socioeconomic scenario, creating a virtuous cycle of development and transforming the lives of the people where it is produced. The combination of science, entrepreneurship, and hard work has generated thousands of direct jobs in an agricultural activity fully aligned with the modern concepts of sustainability and food safety. Consolidated as a business that supplies the largest markets in the world, Brazil provides melons with quality, unmatched flavor, and practically all year round. Melon #health Rich in fibers that regulate the proper functioning of the digestive tract, vitamins and nutrient minerals, melon is one of the most recommended fruits by nutritionists. Its pulp is rich in fructose and potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure. It contains vitamins A (protects cells and promotes their growth), C (a powerful antioxidant) and vitamin B complex (help maintain the proper functioning of the body as a whole), in addition to calcium. Few people know it, but it is possible to use almost everything from melon: the roasted seeds can be eaten as a snack, and when washed and dried, they can be used to make an excellent tea to regulate kidney function. They are an excellent source of vitamin B12, thus being very suitable for those who follow a vegetarian diet. The rind of the melon can be used as a natural fertilizer or even for making jams. Its pulp can be used to prepare juices, sweets, ice cream, puddings and even savory dishes. Its regular consumption can also help:
- Weight loss: its fibers give a feeling of satiety and help the bowel to work properly.
- Eliminate toxins: the presence of folic acid stimulates the diuretic action and helps the body get rid of accumulated liquids.
- Decrease PMS symptoms and menstruation cramps: due to its anticoagulant action, it is recommended to eat a piece of melon before, during and after the periods. • Combat insomnia: it has a calming effect.