Cantaloupe, also known as muskmelon, belongs to the curcurbitaceae family. Cantaloupes are believed to have originated in India or ancient Persia. The fruit gets its name from the Italian village “papal” where it was originally cultivated in the year 1700. The two common varieties of cantaloupe are European cantaloupe and North American cantaloupe. The fruit is round or oval in shape and has a rough and scaly skin. Cantaloupe flesh comes in colors like salmon, yellow and orange. Read on further to know about the several benefits and nutritional value of cantaloupe fruit in detail.
Cantaloupe Benefits for Health:
Cantaloupe is a nutrient rich fruit, which aids in preventing many degenerative diseases. Some of the health benefits of cantaloupe are:
1. Cardiovascular health:
The anti-coagulant properties in cantaloupe decrease the viscosity of the blood, preventing the formation of blood clots in the cardiovascular system. Potassium in cantaloupe helps to transport oxygen to the heart, regulating the body’s water balance. It also prevents the hardening of arteries, preventing arteriosclerosis. It fights oxidative stress by lowering low density lipoprotein the blood. It prevents hypertension by reducing the effects of sodium in the body. Thus, cantaloupe offers protection from stroke and coronary heart diseases.
2. Metabolic syndrome:
Consumption of cantaloupe has been found to lower the risk of metabolic syndrome, especially in women. Women who consumed large amounts of this fruit were shown to have the healthiest levels of C-reactive protein in their bloodstream. This decreases the risk of metabolic syndrome in women. It has high folate content, which prevents neural tube defects in infants.
The high levels of Vitamin C in cantaloupe protect the cells from free radical damage. Drinking cantaloupe juice on regular basis keeps cancer at bay – particularly intestinal cancer and melanoma.
4. Eye health:
Studies have proven that consuming foods rich in beta carotene reduce the risk of developing cataracts by almost 50%. Beta carotene in cantaloupe lowers the risk of cataract, improving eyesight. Zea-xanthin, an important carotenoid gets absorbed in the retinal macula lutea of the eye, providing UV light filtering functions. Thus, it offers protection from age related macular degeneration in the elderly.
5. Immune system:
Cantaloupe stimulates the white cells to fight infection, helping you build a good immune system. White blood cells are body’s natural defense mechanism that prevents the foreign bodies from attacking the healthy cells. It also eradicates fungal attack from the body. The antioxidants present in cantaloupe are very effective for combating the free radicals in the body effectively.
Potassium in cantaloupe promotes the supply of oxygen to the brain, making one feel relaxed and focused. It contains superoxide dismutase, a compound which combats stress and calms anxieties. It soothes the nervous system, preventing sleeping disorders. It also prevents cell death caused by oxidative stress.
Cantaloupe juice is very effective in regulating menstrual flow and preventing menstrual cramps in women. It considerably reduces the flow and blood clotting, inducing menstruation.
8. Lung health:
Cantaloupe is very useful for improving lung health. The nutrients present in cantaloupe provide a synergistic combination, which helps to recover from nicotine withdrawal in people who are trying to quit smoking. Cantaloupe juice also replenishes the body from the depleted Vitamin A in a smoker.
9. Weight loss:
Cantaloupe is an excellent food to lose weight. This high fiber fruit takes a long time to enter the digestive tract, thereby keeping your full for longer time. This slows the digestion process, preventing overeating. Moreover, this bulky food takes a lot of room in your stomach, preventing snacking in between meals.
Cantaloupe Benefits for Skin:
10. Promotes Clear Skin:
The flesh of cantaloupe is packed with high levels of Vitamin A, which gets converted to beta carotene in the body. This promotes clear skin by thinning the outer layer of the dead skin cells. It also protects skin from the damaging rays of the sun.
11. Prevents Fine Lines & Wrinkles:
Cantaloupe is loaded with high amounts of water, making it an amazing fruit for upping your beauty quotient. Eating high amounts of cantaloupe increases the water content in the body, thereby nourishing the skin and preventing fine lines and wrinkles.
12. Offers Skin Elasticity:
Cantaloupe contains high levels of Vitamin C and antioxidants, which support the formation of collagen, a protein that provides elasticity and fullness to the skin.
13. Treats Freckles, Blemishes & Burns:
Cantaloupe juice or puree is highly beneficial for treating freckles and blemishes. You can also use the puree to treat burns and abrasions.
14. Face Mask for Glowing Skin:
Cantaloupe contains high levels of folic acid, a nutrient that facilitates the regeneration of cells. Prepare a face mask by combining cantaloupe puree, oatmeal and yoghurt. Apply on the face and neck and remove it after 20 minutes by gently massaging the skin. Wash it off with warm water to witness a healthy and glowing skin.
Cantaloupe Benefits for Hair:
The benefits of cantaloupe for hair are stated below.
15. Stimulates Hair Growth:
Cantaloupe contains inositol, a form of Vitamin B required to control hair loss and stimulate hair growth.
16. Smooth & Manageable Hair:
Cantaloupe puree is a perfect hair conditioner for the summers. Mash or puree a cup of cantaloupe and massage your scalp with it. Wash it off to get smooth and manageable hair.
Cantaloupe Nutritional value:
Cantaloupe is well known to be packed with high nutritional value. One cup of cantaloupe provides around 50 calories and 90% water. The fruit is concentrated with high levels of beta-carotene, folic acid, potassium, magnesium, antioxidants and dietary fiber. It also contains high levels of B complex vitamin, thiamin, niacin riboflavin, pantothenic acid and pyridoxine. One cup of cantaloupe delivers more than 100% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin A and C. It contains a wide variety of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients like carotenoids, alpha carotene, lutein, beta-cryptoxanthin and Zea-xanthin and flavonoids.
|See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:Cantaloupe (Cucumis melo),Fresh, Nutritive Value per 100 g (Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)|
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.19 g||<1%|
|Dietary Fiber||0.9 g||2.25%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.105 mg||2%|
|Vitamin A||3382 IU||112%|
|Vitamin C||36.7 mg||61%|
|Vitamin E||0.05 mg||0.5%|
|Vitamin K||2.5 mcg||2%|