Diet and Nutrition

Health Benefits of Cantaloupe

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 seem to care as long as it is sweet and refreshing.

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A cantaloupe is also known as "sweet melon", "rock melon", "spanspek", or "muskmelon". It can grow from 1-11 pounds. 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 1,000 bc. Cantaloupe is mentioned in the Bible when Israelis referred to it while they wandered through the desert after leaving Egypt. The biggest producers of cantaloupe in the world is China which produces about 55% of all cantaloupes. Turkey, USA, Egypt, India, Iran, Mexico, Spain, and Romania also grow cantaloupe. 

Cantaloupe is usually eaten fresh in fruit salads, as an appetizer, or in addition to ice cream or whipped cream.

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 the fresh pineapple, mango and coconut flour
  • Make fruit kebab with strawberries or other fruit and pour with melted chocolate
  • Add cubes or balls of cantaloupe in the glass of water or lemonade

Cantaloupes are supposed to be held in the fridge after cutting and it is recommended they are washed before cutting. They should be eaten within 3 days of cutting because it will go bad and can develop salmonella.  Choose the cantaloupe that is hard, heavy and symmetric, without any soft spots or damage.

Cantaloupe health benefits

Cantaloupe contains vitamin B6, Vitamin B1 (thiamin), Vitamin B9 (folate), Vitamin B3 (niacin),   Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). Also, it contains minerals potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium. In fruit pyramid, cantaloupe is as important as any other fruit and it is recommended to be served up to four times a day and people who are having problems with their weight can consume it without the fear of gaining weight because it contains just 34 calories, small amount of sugar and 90 % of water, alongside the vitamins import for being fit. It contains large amounts of vitamin A, which is necessary for the skin tan and the vision, and vitamin C. These two antioxidants together protect the body from cardiovascular diseases and aging.

Some researchers found that beta carotene from cantaloupe reduce the risk of lung cancer, as well as oral cancers, stomach cancer, and cervix cancer. 

The fiber and water in cantaloupe will help prevent constipation. If eaten regularly, it can lower blood pressure because it contains high amounts of potassium and helps the body release sodium. Also, it helps to prevent bloating. Water and potassium help the kidneys function work efficiently.

Cantaloupes help the body regain water and minerals after sweating and also help with the inflammation of the gold bladder and urinary tract. Because it is 90% of water, it helps maintain hydration during hot summer days.

Cantaloupe is high in vitamin A, known to improve hair, skin and nails.  Its vitamin C properties help to create and to sustain the level of collagen needed for beautiful, healthy hair and skin. Because of its anti-inflammatory effects, it can help with arthritis and prevent the stress on bones and joints.  

Cantaloupe nutrition facts

Delicious cantaloupe is low in calories. It is a healthy fruit, because it contains vitamins A, C, B6, potassium, fiber, folic acid, and niacin. A normal medium sized cantaloupe contains:

-          Calories – 34

-          Fat - 0.2g 

-          Cholesterol – 0mg

-          Sodium – 16mg

-          Potassium - 267mg

-          Protein – 1g

-          Vitamin B1 (thiamin) – .041 mg

-          Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) –.019 mg

-          Vitamin B3 (niacin) – .734 mg

-          Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) – .105 mg

-          Vitamin B6 – .072 mg

-          Vitamin A - 10%

-          Vitamin C – 101%

-          Calcium – 1%

-          Iron - 1%

-          Phosphorus – 15 mg

-          Sodium – 16 mg

-          Zinc – 0.18 mg

-          Selenium – 0.4 μg

-          Fluoride – 1.0 μg

Reasons to eat cantaloupe

  1. Boosts immune system
  2. Promotes Healthier skin
  3. Anti-inflammatory properties
  4. Potassium reduces the effects of stress
  5. Promotes healthy hair, skin, and nails

Cantaloupe ice cream recipe

-          8 us fl oz of water

-          2 spoons of sugar

-          1 pound of cantaloupe

-          4 spoons juice from squeezed lemon or lime

Boil water with sugar until the sugar melts. Leave the sweet water to cool off. Chop cantaloupe and blend it together with lemon or lime juice. Add the mixture into the water with sugar and stir it. Pour the mixture into cups and when it is partially frozen, put the wooden sticks and then freeze it for 2 hours. Enjoy the frozen cantaloupe ice cream on the hot summer days.

Cantaloupe drink

-          3 pounds of cantaloupe

-          2 spoons of sugar

-          ½ of lemon

-          10 – 15 ice cubes

-          10 us fl oz of water

Blend the cantaloupe; add sugar and juice from one squeezed lemon. Stir it and leave it for 15 minutes that cantaloupe can release its natural juices. Add water and leave it in the fridge for about an hour. Serve with ice cubes.