There’s nothing quite like sinking your teeth into a sweet, juicy cantaloupe on a hot summers day. That, combined with the fact that the health benefits of cantaloupe are far beyond what anyone could imagine, make this fruit something quite magnificent.
Cantaloupes are also known as muskmelon, mush melon, rock melon or Persian melon. They are an excellent source of vitamins A, K and C, and minerals like potassium, manganese, calcium, iron and magnesium. They are also a good source of B vitamins like niacin, folate, and vitamin B-6.
10 Health Benefits of Cantaloupe
Here are 10 ways cantaloupe helps strengthen and protect our body:
Keeps Our Eyes Strong
Cantaloupe is high in beta-carotene, which helps keep the eyes healthy and prevents against night blindness. Cantaloupe also contains the antioxidant zeaxanthin, which filters our harmful blue light rays and can even ward off damage from macular degeneration.
Promotes Healthy Lungs
Beta-carotene and vitamin C, found in high levels in cantaloupe, have both been linked with lowering the risk for developing asthma. Studies have found beta-carotene supplementation to be effective against exercise-induced asthma, making cantaloupe a great contender for being a natural source of the purest form of beta-carotene you could get!
Supports Heart Health
Cantaloupe supports the cardiovascular system in more ways than one. It is a great source of potassium (just one cup offers 473 milligrams of potassium, around 10% of your DRV), vitamin C, fibre and choline, all of which help decrease blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke. Cantaloupe also helps lower chronic levels of inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, which under normal conditions promote many heart-related problems.
Lowers Cancer Risk
The flavonoid cryptoxanthin in cantaloupe protects our body from free-radical damage, helping to inhibit a variety of cancers like colon, breast, prostate, endometrial, pancreatic and lung cancers. Beta-carotene is also highly protective against prostate and colon cancer.
All melons are great for helping improve digestion. It is best to eat them on an empty stomach, as their digestion time is the fastest of any food on the planet (merely 20-30 minutes!). They’re high in fibre and water, both of which are crucial in promoting healthy bowel movements and help prevent constipation.
Cantaloupe contains a variety of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients like choline, which reduces chronic inflammation and also helps assist in the absorption of fat and transmission of nerve impulses.
Promotes Healthy Skin and Hair
Providing an excellent source of vitamin C (over 98% of the daily value), cantaloupe works wonders for the skin and hair. Vitamin C is needed to build and maintain collagen, which provides structure to the skin and hair. It is also rich in vitamin A, which is required for sebum production, keeping the hair and skin moisturized and healthy.
Lowers The Risk of Metabolic Syndrome
Cantaloupe has recently been found to lower the risk of metabolic syndrome. Consuming cantaloupe (and other fruit) was linked with healthy levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), which is an indicator used to assess levels of inflammation in the body. Healthier CRP levels translate to a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome, likely caused by lower levels of inflammation and oxidative stress.
Helps The Kidneys
Cantaloupe is a great kidney-healer. It acts as a natural diuretic and so encourages urination and flushing of toxins at a faster rate. Keeping the kidneys filtered throughout the day via urination is important – aiming for 10-12 pees per day will keep the kidneys strong and healthy. Cantaloupe is also high in potassium, which reduces the formation of kidney stones.
High in Vitamin C
Cantaloupes are an incredible source of vitamin C, helping to boost the immune system and protect against viral and bacterial infections. Studies have found that when given in high doses, vitamin C is a potent virucidal (virus-killer), helping lower levels of Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) in the body, while also working effectively against viruses like H3N2 influenza.