Cantaloupe commonly referred to as muskmelon belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. They are basically the orange-yellow colored non-netted melons of Europe. It is a round or oval shaped fruit with a rib-less rind that grows on the ground and has a fleshy hollow core with a mesh having lots of seeds. It has a lovely fragrance and taste and is quite refreshing to have due to its high water-content. The peak season for cantaloupe is from June to August. It gets it name from the Italian village “papal" where it was originally cultivated in the year 1700 AD. Cantaloupe is known to be packed with high nutritional value. Let’s have a look at the nutritional content of cantaloupe and how it is beneficial.
Nutritional content of cantaloupe
Cantaloupe is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, folate, magnesium, vitamin B6, dietary fiber, niacin, thiamine, pantothenic acid and superoxide dismutase.
For Healthy Eyesight
Cantaloupe is rich in beta carotenes that are essential for maintaining healthy eyesight. When absorbed by the body these beta carotenes get converted to vitamin A that is the most vital nutrient for healthy eyes. In fact research shows that daily consumption of cantaloupe can go a long way to prevent cataract in later years too.
Cantaloupe is high in vitamin C that helps boost the immunity of the body by active stimulation of the white blood cells of the body. WBC’s are the body’s natural defense mechanism that does not allow foreign bodies from attacking and also eradicates the infections that attack the body. Being antioxidant vitamin C is also very effective in combating the free radicals in the body effectively. These free radicals cause immense damage to the skin and can cause premature aging too. By introducing cantaloupe into diet plan it is possible to keep aging at bay naturally and maintain a healthy and glowing skin.
For Healthy Lungs
This is especially for smokers who have already done immense damage to their lungs. A regular intake of cantaloupe would replenish the body from the loss of vitamin A that happens over a period of time due to smoking or second-hand smoke. As a result the lungs are rejuvenated when cantaloupe is consumed regularly.
Regeneration of dead cells
Cantaloupe has lots of folic acid that is very important for regeneration of dead cells. This aspect is especially useful for pregnant women. This property of quicker regeneration also helps in giving a healthy skin. It keeps wrinkles at bay, maintains the skin elasticity and helps in collagen synthesis and thus has anti-aging properties.
The high vitamin C and beta carotenes present in cantaloupes are known to effectively fight-off free radicals from the body. It is these very free radicals that attack the cells in the body and cause cancerous growth.
Good for the heart
Cantaloupes are high in potassium and can thus keep a check on the blood pressure thereby keeping the heart healthy. Also the potassium present in cantaloupe helps in preventing hypertension and does not let the sodium cause any further harm to the body. It also works as an anti-coagulant by keeping the blood viscosity down and thereby preventing clot formation. The vitamin C present in cantaloupe also helps prevent arteriosclerosis i.e. the hardening of the arteries.
Cantaloupe is very helpful in soothing the nervous system and helps insomniacs get rid of their sleeping disorder.
Relieves Menstrual Problems
Cantaloupe has vitamin C that is very effective in regulating menstrual flow and easing menstrual cramps in women. Regular consumption of cantaloupe during menstruation can help to get rid of these problems and reduce the flow and clotting considerably. It also reduces the cramps that may occur during these times.
Good for Pregnant Women
Doctors recommend folic acid for women trying to conceive as well as for pregnant women. The high foliate content in cantaloupe is effective in preventing neural tube disorders in fetuses. Cantaloupe is also quite helpful in keeping water retention away by regularly flushing out the extra sodium from the body.
Effective for Smokers trying to Quit Smoking
Cantaloupe has minerals and nutrients that help a smoker deal with nicotine withdrawal symptoms effectively when trying to quit smoking. Also it helps replenish the lost vitamin A of the body due to constant smoking and helps the body recover faster.
Effective for Combating Stress
Cantaloupe has superoxide dismutase which is very effective for combating stress by keeping the blood pressure low and the nerves relaxed. It also prevents any cellular death that may be induced due to oxidative stress. The potassium in the fruit maintains the water balance of the body and keeps the heartbeat regularized.
Effective for Diabetic Nephropathy
Diabetic nephropathy is actually a progressive kidney disorder in which the kidney cells may get dangerously damaged. Cantaloupe extract known by the name of “oxykine" is very effective in preventing the kidney cells damage.