Health Benefits of Cantaloupe

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Cantaloupe or musk melon is a highly nutrient dense fruits and proffers several significant health benefits.

Cantaloupe belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. It is round or oval; grows on the ground and has a hollow core that contains seeds. The flesh of the fruit is soft, succulent and yellow in color. The fruit has a musky smell, when ripe.

Cantaloupe Nutrition

Cantaloupes are packed with vital nutrients. The fruit provides large amounts of potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folic acid, niacin thiamine, and carotenes. It is also a wonderful source of dietary fiber.

Cantaloupe Nutrition Facts

Cantaloupe provides loads of nutrients, more so, if the skin of the fruit is juiced as well. In fact, one cup of the fruit supplies the daily dose of vitamin B6 and 90 % of the body’s daily requirement of vitamin C.

Cantaloupe Calories

Cantaloupe is relatively low in calories. Half a kilogram of cantaloupe provides only about 150 calories. Approximately, one cup of cantaloupe will give only 56 calories.

Benefits of Cantaloupe

  • Cantaloupe acts like an anti-coagulant: adenosine present in cantaloupe keeps the blood thin, decreases viscosity, and prevents clot formation.
  • Helps fight atherosclerosis: the vitamin C content prevents oxidative damage to the cardiovascular system and checks hardening of the arteries.
  • Cantaloupe maintains normal cholesterol levels: carotenes and vitamin C prevent oxidative damage. They prevent oxidation of LDL and thus check plaque formation within the arteries.
  • Manage high blood pressure: cantaloupes are chockfull of potassium, and this helps keep B.P. levels normal.
  • Cancer prevention: the fruit is loaded with vitamin C and carotenes, both of which are powerful free radical scavengers. They destroy free radicals and thus prevent damage to the DNA of the cells and stave off cancer.
  • Cantaloupe consumption prevents the development of cataract: carotenes in cantaloupe greatly lower the risk of cataract and help improve vision as well.
  • Fortify the immune system: vitamin C in the fruit perks up immune system functioning. It strengthens the working of the immune and defense mechanisms appreciably.

Cantaloupe Benefits for the Skin

The fruit has a wonderful influence on the skin. Cantaloupe is packed with vitamin C. Vitamin C is very essential for optimal skin health. It boosts collagen synthesis, helps increase skin cell turnover, eliminates dead cells, enhances elasticity, fights winkle formation and lends a radiant glow.

Experts recommend individuals suffering from psoriasis, dermatitis and acne, to incorporate the fruit in to their daily diet.

Benefits of Cantaloupe during Pregnancy

Cantaloupe provides generous amounts of vitamins B1, B3, B5, B6 and C. It is an excellent source of folic acid. Consuming cantaloupe juice during pregnancy helps have a normal pregnancy and wards off occurrence so neural tube defects in the fetus.

Cantaloupe Recipes

Cantaloupes can be added to the daily menu. Adding the fruit to the everyday meal significantly boosts the nutritive value of the meal. One could make sorbets, soups, smoothies or salads.

Cantaloupe Smoothie

Blend about half a cantaloupe in a food processor. Add plain yogurt and blend again. Add sugar as par taste. Other fruits, such as cherries, kiwis, apples or oranges may be added as well.

Cantaloupe Soup

Take about half a cantaloupe and a handful of cherries (sweet or sour). Cook them until soft. Then, purée the fruits. Sweeten with honey, as per taste, and chill. Serve topped with yogurt.

Reference:

The Journal of Nutrition, Beta Carotene, Carotenoids and the Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease, Kritchevsky, S. B., 1999.

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