Everybody knows cantaloupe as the fruit usually served during hot summer days. Cantaloupe is sweet and delicious with many health benefits.
Its sweetness is exactly the reason why everybody thinks of cantaloupe as fruit. However, it is actually a vegetable that belongs to the family of cucumbers, which include some other types of melons, pumpkins, gourds, and squashes. Although there are still some discussions about its classification, consumers don’t care as long as it is sweet and refreshing.
A cantaloupe is also known as "sweet melon", "rock melon", "spanspek", or "muskmelon". It can grow from 1-11 pounds or 500 g to 5 kg. There are some conflicting opinions about its origin because some claim that it came from Asia, while others say, Africa. It is said that cantaloupe existed in China a thousand years before Christ.
It is mentioned in the Bible that Israelis remembered cantaloupe when they were wandering through the desert after leaving Egypt. The biggest producers of cantaloupe in the world are China, which produces over 55 percent of all cantaloupes, Turkey, USA, Egypt, India, Iran, Mexico, Spain, and Romania.
Cantaloupe is usually eaten fresh in fruit salads, as an appetizer, or in addition to ice cream or whipped cream. It is normally a breakfast food. Here are some ways to eat cantaloupe:
- Chop into small pieces and cool off before eating.
- Put cubes of cantaloupe into Greek yogurt and serve instead of ice cream.
- Make a fruit salad by mixing it with fresh pineapple, mango, and coconut flour.
- Make a fruit kebab with strawberries and other fruits with melted chocolate poured over it.
- Add cubes or balls of cantaloupe in the glass of water or lemonade.
Cantaloupes are supposed to be placed in the fridge after cutting. It is recommended for cantaloupes to be carefully scrubbed and washed before cutting. Moreover, its flesh should be eaten within three days after cutting because it can contain the dangerous Salmonella bacteria. Choose hard, heavy, and symmetric cantaloupes, without any soft spots or damages. It is the best to eat cantaloupes that are in season because they are the sweetest in that period.
Cantaloupe health benefits
Cantaloupe contains vitamin B6, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B9 (folate), vitamin B3 (niacin), and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). It also contains minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium.
In the fruit pyramid, cantaloupe is as important as any other fruits and is recommended to be served up to four times a day. People who are having problems with their weight can consume it without the fear of gaining weight because it contains just 34 calories, a small amount of sugar, and 90 percent of water along with the vitamins needed to become fit.
It contains large amounts of vitamin C and A, which is necessary for the skin and vision. These two antioxidants together protect the body against cardiovascular diseases and aging. Moreover, high amounts of vitamin A have a great impact on skin and hair. Vitamin C helps to create and sustain the level of collagen needed for beautiful, healthy hair and skin.
Some researchers found out that beta-carotene from cantaloupe can help fight the following types of cancer:
Cantaloupe is also high in fiber, which can influence body detoxification against harmful substances. Fiber alongside with water can help prevent constipation by helping the digestive system to normally function.
If it is eaten regularly, it normalizes high blood pressure because it contains high amounts of potassium and helps the body release sodium. It also helps relieve stomach bloating.
Water and potassium can help the kidneys release harmful substances. Eating cantaloupes can help hydrate the body with water and minerals after sweating. It is also beneficial for people who have gallbladder problems and urinary tract infections. Because it contains over 90 percent of water, it is very good and useful for hydration during hot summer days.
If taken regularly, cantaloupe can help reduce a person's risk of obesity and diabetes. Because of its anti-inflammatory effects, it can help ease the symptoms of arthritis and prevents bone and joint pain.
- For alternative medicine - it can be used as a cure for many diseases by using the whole cantaloupe, its juice, or seeds.
- Against cramps - mix 2 teaspoons of cantaloupe seeds and 2 teaspoons of cucumber seeds and add ½ of a liter of boiled water. Leave it for two hours and then strain. Drink half a cup before breakfast and a whole cup before lunch and dinner. Repeat for 10 days.
- For a stronger body – cantaloupe juice mix with yogurt, honey, and squeezed lemon juice. Drink 1-2 cups three times a day.
Cantaloupe nutrition facts
Cantaloupe is low in calories and fat but has a few carbs.
100 g of cantaloupe contains:
- Calories – 34
- Fat - 0.2 g (0.1 g saturated fat and 0.1 g polyunsaturated fat)
- Cholesterol – 0 mg
- Sodium – 16 mg
- Potassium - 267 mg
- Carbs - 8 g (0.9 g dietary fiber and 8 g sugar)
- Protein – 0.8 g
- Water – 90.2 g
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine) – 0.041 mg
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – 0.019 mg
- Vitamin B3 (niacin) – 0.734 mg
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) – 0.105 mg
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) – 0.072 mg
- Vitamin B9 (folate) - 21 μg
- Vitamin B12 - 0.0 μg
- Choline - 7.6 mg
- Betaine – 0.1 mg
- Vitamin A - 169 μg
- Vitamin C – 36.7 mg
- Vitamin E – 0.1 mg
- Vitamin K - 2.5 μg
- Calcium – 9 mg
- Iron - 0.21 mg
- Magnesium – 12 mg
- Manganese – 0.041 mg
- Phosphorus – 15 mg
- Sodium – 16 mg
- Zinc – 0.18 mg
- Copper – 0.0 mg
- Selenium – 0.4 μg
- Fluoride – 1.0 μg
- Ash – 0.7 g
People who are taking beta blockers should be careful because cantaloupes contain potassium. Also, people whose kidneys are not functioning properly should be careful because of the same reason.
10 reasons to eat cantaloupe
- Boosts immune system because it contains vitamin C
- Prevents cancer
- Healthier skin because it contains vitamin A
- Anti-inflammatory qualities
- Prevents diabetes
- Reduces the effects of stress and anxiety
- Healthier eyes
- Prevents kidney diseases
- Lowers risk of asthma
- You will look better because of the effect of cantaloupes on hair, skin, and nails
1) Cantaloupe jam
- 2 pounds of soft cantaloupe
- 1 pound of sugar
- Juice from 1 orange
- Juice from 1 lemon
- Peel and chop the cantaloupe and prepare one layer of cantaloupe. Layer by alternating cantaloupe and sugar. Repeat process for the rest of the cantaloupe and sugar.
- Leave it overnight in a cool place.
- The next day, add juice from the lemon and orange.
- Cook it for 20 minutes, constantly stirring.
- When it’s cooked, pour into glass jars and cool. Keep it in a cool place.
It goes great with pancakes and bagels.
2) Cantaloupe popsicles
- 1 pound cantaloupe
- 8 US fl oz. of water
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 4 tablespoons of squeezed lemon or lime juice
- Boil water with sugar until the sugar melts.
- Leave the sweet water to cool off.
- Chop cantaloupe and blend it together with the lemon or lime juice.
- Add the mixture into the water with sugar and stir.
- Pour the mixture into molds and when it is partially frozen, put wooden sticks and then freeze for another two hours.
Enjoy frozen cantaloupe popsicles during hot summer days.
3) Cantaloupe refreshment
- 3 pounds of cantaloupe
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- ½ piece of lemon
- 10-15 pcs. ice cubes
- 10 US fl oz. of water
- Blend the cantaloupe using a food processor or blender.
- Add sugar and squeezed lemon juice.
- Stir and leave it for 15 minutes so the cantaloupe can release its natural juices.
- Add water and leave it in the fridge for about an hour.
- Serve with ice cubes.