“Growing and using cucamelon” is one of the most searched keywords of 2020, because it is official: cucamelon is Instagram’s most popular superfood. And what did you expect anyway? A combination of watermelon and grape was sure to generate so much fuss. I mean, have you seen how cute those things are?
And as you’ve mostly seen these tiny watermelons on Instagram, it can be surprising to find out that they’re much more than just cute pictures. Far from it. Cucamelons are jam-packed with excellent nutrients. Isn’t that a pleasant surprise? However, getting your cucamelon from the grocery store can be difficult, but who says you have to? As you will learn below, you can easily grow your cucamelon at home.
What Is Cucamelon?
As already said, cucamelon is a combo of grape and watermelon that’s been in existence for a while. If I were to share its appearance on the two, I’d say it looks more like the latter: think of a watermelon that’s as tiny as an almond. But what can we know apart from what Instagram’s showy photos tell us?
Cucamelon belongs to Cucurbitaceae, also known as the cucumber family, and is a native of the Melothria Scabra vineyard. It is also called Sandita, mouse melon, Mexican melon, and Mexican sour cucumber.
This one-inch fruit tastes tangy or sour, like yogurt, and is as crunchy as a cucumber. Its skin is thin but firm, while its interior is pleasant and tasty and contains edible seeds like a cucumber.
Nutritional Value of Cucamelon
You, of course, don’t think that the cucamelon is called a superfood due to its flashy life, do you? The fruit, for its size, is remarkably rich in excellent nutrients, of which the most prominent are:
- Powerful antioxidants, particularly beta-carotene and lycopene.
- Vitamin C.
- Vitamin E.
- Vitamin K
Not bad for an Instagram celebrity of 0.8 inches width and 1.25 inches length.
Remarkable Benefits Of Cucamelon
If you’re searching “growing and using cucamelon”, it isn’t just for the show, is it? What would be the uses of the generous nutrients in it? Cucamelon has specific benefits, 5 of which are treated below.
Lycopene is a pigment with antioxidant qualities. It is a plant pigment, meaning that it is the red-pink crayon to specific fruits, such as watermelons, tomatoes, and pink grapes. Studies recognize lycopene for its effectiveness in managing oxidative stress as well as appraise its brain-bolstering and anti-inflammatory properties.
Research in the Journal of Nutritional Science associated lower levels of lycopene in the body with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s, which is a neurodegenerative illness.
Likewise, studies suggest that lycopene may help to tackle cancer and improve heart health, although more research is underway.
Rich In Beta-carotene
Beta-carotene belongs to the carotenoids and is also a plant antioxidant. When taken, the body converts it to vitamin A, thereby assuming a crucial role in skin health, healthy vision, and neurological function. So, the next time you see beta-carotene listed among the ingredients of a skincare product, you know why.
Away from that, beta-carotene, particularly the type in cucamelon, prevents cellular modifications and diseases caused by oxidative stress. In fact, a meta-analysis in Scientific Reports proposes that high levels of beta-carotene in plasma or serum is linked to a considerably lesser risk of all-cause mortality.
There’s no waste in cucamelon, and this is proven by the fact that its thin, firm skin supplies viscous (soluble) fiber when consumed. This simply refers to a fiber that thickens upon consumption and assumes a gel-like form.
In case you were wondering, viscous fiber is useful in the sense that it fills the belly faster and lasts longer. And as a result, you can get more nutrients from lesser calories when you eat cucamelon and other related fruits.
Additionally, it is suggested that eating soluble fiber regulates blood pressure and lessens the risk of a cardiovascular ailment.
Potassium is required for the proper functioning of several critical organs, such as the heart, brain, and kidneys, and is therefore essential and highly beneficial to the body. Research indicates that it also plays a defining role in the hydration of the body.
Further studies point out that higher levels of potassium benefit the body greatly, including the possibility of reducing cardiovascular mortality rates.
Enriches Immune Function
Cucamelon is rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that tackles inflammation, neutralizes free radicals, and strengthens the immune system.
Various studies on the premise agree that acting as an immune-booster, vitamin C shortens the duration and frequency of respiratory illnesses, and is typically the first line of the body’s defense against harmful pathogens.
How To Grow Cucamelon
A cucamelon is easy to grow. All it takes is plenty of sunshine and a lot of time as they are typically slow to germinate. A good move then is to start the planting indoors and transfer to an outdoor vine or garden after the seedlings harden.
- The soil for growing cucamelon should be moist and above 70° Fahrenheit. You need to be patient as the crops may take up to a fortnight before germinating.
- After that, it will take 3 – 5 weeks for the seeds to harden, after which the plant can be transplanted.
- Settle for a sunny spot without the barest risk of frost.
- For your cucamelons to grow well, they need sunlight for at least 16 hours as seedlings and an average of 7 hours sunlight after transplanting.
Remember to keep the soil moist and well-drained, and in warm temperatures. Cut your cucamelon off the vines before consumption. And if you aren’t eating immediately after harvest, you can refrigerate for some days.
Conclusion On Growing And Using Cucamelon
Growing and using cucamelon is evidently easy and highly beneficial. It is recommended across all quarters due to its excellent benefits, yet low stress of growing. You can start growing yours right now, so what are you waiting for? Shutter, Shutter: that’s some Instagram sauce and, more importantly, an elixir of well-being.