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Galia melon Nutrition facts

Galia melons are a hybrid variant of summer cantaloupes, initially developed by Israeli scientists. Exhibiting a distinctive beige hue, thick netted rind, and tender, succulent, light green flesh with a sugary taste, they are quite popular in Europe and the US for their juicy, aromatic, and refreshing qualities. They belong to the Cucumis melo (gourd/cucumber) family, closely similar to cantaloupes, muskmelons, charentais, and ogen.

Scientific name: Cucumis melo var. reticulates.

Galia melon with sections
Galia melon with sections. Note: a round fruit with thick, patterned, yellow-brown skin and light-green flesh. Courtesy: Richard North

Galia melon grows best in arid desert climates and well-draining sandy soil. Early on, the crop requires some moisture in the soil to flourish. Like other melons, it runs along the soil surface as a trailing vine and requires honeybees for fruiting.

Galia melons always come in round shapes. They feature a raised pattern of fine netting on their rough skin.

Fully grown fruits attain 4- 6 inches in diameter and weigh about 2 lbs. Inside, pale green flesh is juicy and has a soft consistency with a sweet, musky aroma that emanates best in the completely ripe fruits. Flesh encloses a hollow space filled with a large number of pale, pointed seeds encased in a web of mucilaginous fibrils.

Yubari melon (Yubari king) is a special hybrid cultivar type grown in Yubari city in Hokkaido, Japan. Surrounded by mountains and well-drained volcanic ash soil, the produce commands a special prize for its sweet mellow flavor.

8 Amazing Health Benefits of Galia Melon

  1. Galia melons are very low in calorie, sweet, and delicious summer melons. Their rich flavorful flesh composes just 34 calories/100g and very minute amounts of fats. Nonetheless, the fruit is rich in numerous health-promoting polyphenolic plant-derived compounds, vitamins, and minerals that are essential for optimum health.

  2. It is also rich in antioxidant flavonoids such as beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthin. These antioxidants can help protect cells and other structures in the body from oxygen-free radicals and hence, offer protection against colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers.

  3. The fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin-A, (100 g provides 3382 IU or about 112% of recommended daily levels) one of the highest among Cucurbita fruits. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant and is essential for healthy vision.

  4. Vitamin-A and carotenes help in maintaining healthy mucosa and skin in humans. Studies suggest that the consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin A has been found to help protect against lung and oral cavity cancers.

  5. Zeaxanthin, an important dietary carotenoid, is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eye, where it is thought to provide antioxidant and protective UV light-filtering functions. It, thus, offers protection from "Age-related macular degeneration" (ARMD) disease in the elderly.

  6. Galia melon is good source of electrolytes, particularly potassium. 100 g fruit provides 267 mg of this electrolyte. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids and helps control heart rate and blood pressure. It thus offers protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.

  7. The fruit also contains moderate levels of B-complex vitamins, such as niacin, pantothenic acid, and vitamin C, and minerals like manganese. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.

  8. Minerals in Galia melon take part in metabolic functions inside the human body. Manganese is used as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. Commercially, Galia melon is being employed to extract an enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD), which plays a vital role as a first-line antioxidant defense in the human body.

See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:

Galia melon (Cucumis melo var. reticulates), Fresh, Nutritive Value per 100 g. (Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)

Principle Nutrient Value Percent of RDA
Energy 34 Kcal 1.5%
Carbohydrates 8.6 g 6.5%
Protein 0.84 g 1.5%
Total Fat 0.19 g <1%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 0.9 g 2.25%
Folates 21 µg 5%
Niacin 0.734 mg 4.5%
Pantothenic acid 0.105 mg 2%
Pyridoxine 0.072 mg 5.5%
Riboflavin 0.026 mg 2%
Thiamin 0.017 mg 1%
Vitamin A 3382 IU 112%
Vitamin C 36.7 mg 61%
Vitamin E 0.05 mg 0.5%
Vitamin K 2.5 mcg 2%
Sodium 1 mg 0%
Potassium 267 mg 6%
Calcium 9 mg 1%
Copper 41 µg 4.5%
Iron 0.21 mg 2.5%
Magnesium 12 mg 3%
Manganese 0.041 mg 2%
Zinc 0.18 mg 1.5%
Carotene-α 2020 µg --
Cryptoxanthin-β 1 µg --
Lutein-zeaxanthin 26 µg --

Selection and storage

Galia melons grow best during the summer months. Look for those that feel heavy for their size and give off a pleasant, sweet aroma. Like all muskmelons, Galia too must ripen on the vine before harvesting for sugar content to reach its peak.

To judge the ripeness and flavor, gently press the stalk end with your thumb, which gives a little yield. Ready-to-eat melons should feature a firm rind that is neither overly shiny nor lustreless, without any cuts or bruises on the surface, which might have occurred while transporting them.

Ripened melons are best kept in cool, dry places. If you wish to keep them in the refrigerator, then wrap them in a clear film.

At home, place them in a cool, well-ventilated place. Cut sections, however, should be kept inside the refrigerator.

Preparation and serving methods

When at home, thoroughly wash the entire fruit under cold running water before use. Depending on your preference, you can slice, cube, or scoop the fruit into balls.

Galia melon balls
Melon balls! Photo courtesy: sethbaur

Here are some serving suggestions:

  • Enjoy fresh Galia melon as is, without any seasonings, to savor its delicious, aroma-filled natural sweet taste.

  • The fruit sections or scooped balls can be cubed and added to fruit salad.

  • It can be used to prepare jam, sorbet, and juices, offering nutritious and delicious options to enjoy.

Safety profile

Galia melons are safe to consume for pregnant and nursing mothers. Allergic reactions are not common. However, as a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, some fruits may contain cucurbitacin toxin. Therefore, it's advisable to avoid unripe or bitter-tasting melons.

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Further Reading and Resources:

  1. USDA National Nutrient Database.

  2. Stanford School of Medicine Cancer information Page- Nutrition to Reduce Cancer Risk.

  3. Specialty melons-University of Kentucky -PDF.

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