Cantaloupe, another summer fruits like other melon. It is also known as muskmelon and belongs to the cucumber family.
Low in calorie, high in water can beat the summer heat. Eat or drink smoothies, you will enjoy the sweet flavor and body will feel great with rich water and nutrient content.
With 30 times more beta-carotene than orange and high vitamin C, potassium and other vital nutrients, you will enjoy the summer delight guilt free.
Let’s explore what cantaloupe can provide.
1. They are Good Source of Nutrients
Cantaloupe is a good source of nutrient so they can provide a wide range of health benefit. Before looking over the benefits they possess, let’s look over their nutritional value which says more about any food.
1 cup diced cantaloupe (156g) provides: (1)
- Water – 141 g
- Sugar – 12.3 g
- Calories – 53
- Protein – 1.3g (3% of DV)
- Vitamin A – 5276 IU (106% of DV)
- Vitamin C – 57.2 mg (95% of DV)
- Folate – 32.8 mg (8% of DV)
- Vitamin B6 – 0.1 mg (6% of DV)
- Niacin – 1.1 mg (6% of DV)
- Potassium – 417 mg (12% of DV)
156 grams of cantaloupe is mostly 141 grams of water and contains only 53 calories. With low calorie and abundant nutrients, they are best low-calorie food.
It contains phytonutrients like
- Alpha-carotene – lutein
- Beta-carotene – beta-cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin
- Flavonoid – luteolin
- Antioxidant organic acids – ferulic and caffeic acid
- Anti-inflammatory cucurbitacins – cucurbitacin B and cucurbitacin E
The exception benefits that cantaloupe is going to provide is due to its high Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
Vitamin A – 5276 IU (106% of Daily Value) in form of carotene
It contains both, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene.
- Alpha-carotene – lutein
- Beta-carotene – beta-cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin
Cantaloupe is a dense source of vitamin A in form of beta-carotene.
A study found that orange-fleshed cantaloupe has equal bio-available beta-carotene compared to carrots. (2)
Beta-carotene is red-orange pigment carotenoid found in plant and vegetables.
These carotenoid give the cantaloupe its bright color. It is considered that, brighter the color of natural food dense its phytonutrients.
Beta-carotene is the precursor of Vitamin A. Once ingested, the body either convert it to Vitamin A or acts as an antioxidant.
With 106% of daily value, cantaloupe is a great source of beta-carotene which can be used to provide protection from free radicals and inflammation. While with conversion to Vitamin A, it plays many roles in health.
Vitamin C – 57.2 mg (95% of DV)
Vitamin C is water soluble vitamin so there is no worry of toxicity.
It is a vitamin with the strong antioxidant property. Along with its antioxidant property, it plays many roles and since cantaloupe provide 95% of the daily value it proves to be one of the healthiest fruit.
Role of Vitamin C can be range from:
- Production of collagen – a component of connective tissue and most abundant protein
- L-carnitine, and some neurotransmitters
- Metabolize protein
- Antioxidant activity reduce the risk of cancer
- Boost immunity to list few
With abundant vitamin C, it’s sure a great fruit to enjoy and get the required beta-carotene and vitamin C.
It also contains other vitamin and minerals in small quantity like:
Vitamin: Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Pantothenic acid, and choline
Minerals: Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Zinc, Manganese, Selenium
Wrap up: Cantaloupe is a dense source of beta-carotene (vitamin A), vitamin C, also contain some phytonutrient and other nutrients.
If you considered watermelon as a good source of water to quench your summer thirst then also have a look over cantaloupe.
Cantaloupes are loaded with water and are low in calorie which makes it perfect to eat or drink as a smoothie.
They can help to beat the summer heat and also helps to recover the electrolyte loss.
They can also be best snacks or a smoothie after an intense workout. A fruit with low calorie, a small amount of fiber, high antioxidants and phytonutrients, and potassium will prove to the best fruit than any sugar-loaded sports drink.
Wrap up: With high water, and a healthy amount of fiber, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and potassium, cantaloupe helps to keep hydrated and boost nutrient intake.
3. Have Strong Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Capacity
With a high amount of Vitamin C, beta-carotene and other phytonutrients, cantaloupe possesses strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacity. (3)
Antioxidant and phytonutrients are required to stay protected from chronic health issue caused due to oxidative stress and inflammation.
With 95% of recommended Vitamin C in a cup, it helps to meet the total need without the need to eat more. Vitamin C possess a strong antioxidant property and have the potential to protect from chronic disease. (4)
Diet rich in vegetable and fruit which contain Vitamin C are associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and longevity. (5)
Beta-carotene is the precursor of Vitamin A. Body use beta-carotene to produce Vitamin A, a strong antioxidant thus increase the antioxidant activity in the body.
While beta-carotene and other phytonutrients provide cantaloupe antioxidant and anti-inflammatory property. The quantity and variations of phytonutrients are less in cantaloupe compared to other fruit but its high antioxidant content is a perfect coverup.
Vitamin C and beta-carotene provide major of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory property to the cantaloupe.
Wrap up: With high Vitamin C, beta-carotene, and other phytonutrients, cantaloupe gets high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.
4. They Improve Heart Health
Health disease is one killer around the world.
The risk of heart disease is due to an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle. Metabolic syndrome like high blood fat, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, too much body weight results in unwanted inflammation and oxidative stress throughout the body.
Increased inflammation and free radicals in the body can damage the arteries and LDL cholesterol resulting buildup of plaque and hardening of arteries. The buildup of plaque and hardening of arteries result to a condition known as atherosclerosis. (6)
Vitamin C, beta-carotene and choline in cantaloupe reduce inflammation and neutralize free radicals before they harm LDL cholesterol or arteries.
With a reduced rate of oxidative stress and inflammation, the risk of heart disease lowers.
Cantaloupe also benefits the heart by providing 12% worth of potassium in a cup. Like banana, pineapple, tomato, orange you can also get a good amount of potassium in cantaloupe.
High intake of potassium reduces the blood pressure thus lowers the risk of stroke. (7)
Wrap up: With lowered inflammation and healthy blood pressure, the risk of heart disease lowers.
5. Protects From Cancer
Many types of cancer are the result of uncontrolled chronic inflammation and chronic oxidative stress.
Chronic inflammation and chronic stress can increase the damage to healthy cells DNA. As the damage progress the risk of cancer increases. The solution to staying protect from inflammation and oxidative stress are a diet rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients.
High intake of antioxidants and phytonutrients increase the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacity of the body. (8)
An increase of antioxidants not only protect from cancer, but they can also increase the survival rate.
A study found that supplementation with high Vitamin C increased the survival rate of an advanced cancer patient by 4.2 times than patient with less Vitamin C, by National Academy of Sciences. (9)
A study in Japan found the same effect. Cancer patient with high vitamin C supplementation survived longer than patients with lower vitamin C supplement. (10)
The vitamin C which can increase the survival rate of the advanced cancer patients are even equally potential to lower the risk of cancer.
Beta-carotene are also potential to provide protection from cancer. (11)
Cantaloupe is a great source of antioxidant and phytonutrient which provides it cancer-fighting property. They lower the risk of cancer by fighting the leading cause.
Wrap up: With a healthy level of antioxidant and phytonutrients, cantaloupe provide protection from chronic inflammation and chronic oxidative stress. With lower inflammation and oxidative stress, the risk of cancer lowers.
6. Improves Eye Health
Consuming 3 serving of fruits and vegetable have a lower risk of development of macular eye degeneration than consuming 1.5 serving per day, as per Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. (12)
Cantaloupe contains carotenoid (lutein and zeaxanthin and vitamin A) required for the healthy eye. These nutrients support healthy eye as they absorb the short wavelength blue light rays thus have a protective effect against Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). (13)
Other beneficial nutrients for an eye are Vitamin C. Studies suggest long-term consumption of Vitamin C may reduce the risk of developing cataract and macular degeneration. (14)
Wrap up: With lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin A, and vitamin C the risk of cataract and macular degradation lower.
7. Skin and Hair Health
Eating fruit can improve skin and hair health.
Consumption of Vitamin C increases the level of concentration of vitamin C in the skin. High concentration of vitamin helps in collagen synthesis and provide antioxidant protection from UV-induced photodamage. (15)
Vitamin A is required for every cell growth including hair.
They are required by skin glands to make an oily substance called sebum. Sebum moisturizes the scalp and helps keep hair healthy. (18)
Hair loss is common with lack of Vitamin A in the diet. (19)
Vitamin C is required for the synthesis of collagen – an important part of hair structure.
They can also protect from the damage through oxidative stress. (20)
Wrap up: Vitamin A and C are important for growth and protection of healthy skin and hair.
8. Protect from Diabetes
Cantaloupe is a great snack, low in calorie yet dense in nutrients.
Low-calorie snack prevents sugar rush, while the cantaloupe phytonutrients have been found to have a protective effect against diabetes.
Study animal found that cantaloupe extract can reduce oxidative stress in the kidneys of animals with diabetes and increases insulin sensitivity. (21)
Wrap up: With increased insulin sensitivity and reduced oxidative stress in the kidneys, cantaloupe can protect from diabetes.
Cantaloupe is a great source of nutrients. With high beta-carotene (vitamin A) and vitamin C, it proves to be the healthiest fruit.
If you are planning to add cantaloupe in your diet, do enjoy without overeating.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin so it is stored in the body. Excess consumption of Vitamin A can lead to toxicity which can be avoided by eating a few serving of cantaloupe and even enjoying the taste of other summer fruits like watermelon, mango, lychee, etc.
There are varieties of fruits available so prefer to enjoy all rather than depending on the single fruit.