I bought a cantaloupe this weekend, first one this season, it was so sweet and delicious. So every day I have enjoyed having it for breakfast or really several times through out the day. I decided to look up the benefits of this wonderful fruit.
Wonderfully delicious and unique flavored cantaloupe or “muskmelon” is a member in the large Cucurbitaceae family. Some of the popular fruits and vegetables in the cucurbita family include squash, pumpkin, cucumber, gourd,...etc., and like its relatives, melons grow on the ground surface as a trailing vine.
Muskmelons thought to be originated either from India or ancient Persia or Africa. They grow best on draining sandy soil with good irrigation facility, and require honeybees for effective pollination. Melons, just as mangoes, watermelon...etc., are actually summer season fruits. Their season runs from April through August, when they are at their best.
- Wonderfully delicious with rich flavor, muskmelons are very low in calories (100 g fruit has just 34 calories) and fats. Nonetheless, the fruit is rich in numerous health promoting poly-phenolic plant derived compounds, vitamins, and minerals that are absolute for optimum health.
- The fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin A, (100 g provides 3382 IU or about 112% of recommended daily levels) one of the highest among fruits. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant and is essential for vision. It is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin A is known to help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
- It is also rich in antioxidant flavonoids such as beta-carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin and cryptoxanthin.These antioxidants have the ability to help protect cells and other structures in the body from oxygen-free radicals and hence; offer protection against colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers.
- Total antioxidant strength measured in terms of oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) of cantaloupe melons is 315 µmol TE/100 g. The value for honeydew melon is 241 µmol TE/100 g.
- Zea-xanthin, an important dietary carotenoid, selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eye where it is thought to provide antioxidant and protective UV light-filtering functions. It thus, offers protection of eyes from "Age-related macular degeneration" (ARMD) disease in the elderly.
- It is a moderate source of electrolyte, potassium. 100 g fruit provides 267 mg of this electrolyte. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids and helps control heart rate and blood pressure. It thus offers protection against stroke, and coronary heart diseases.
- The fruit also contains moderate levels of B-complex vitamins, such as niacin, pantothenic acid and vitamin C, and minerals like manganese. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Commercially, muskmelons are being used to extract an enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD), which plays a vital role as strong first-line antioxidant defenses inside the human body.
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.19 g||<1 td="">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%|
So go out and pick up a Cantaloupe or 2 from your local farmer or grocery store and ENJOY!