Often overlooked in the pantheon of superfoods, cantaloupe is a delicious and nutrient-packed fruit. A member of the Cucurbitaceae family, which includes squash, pumpkin, and cucumber, cantaloupe is in season April through August, though finding it year round is possible. Many enjoy cantaloupe for its mild sweetness and refreshing flavor. But what are some cantaloupe health benefits? Read on to learn about the health benefits and nutritional makeup of the cantaloupe as well as how to integrate it into your diet.
Cantaloupe Health Benefits
Cantaloupe health benefits cover a wide range of uses. You can use cantaloupe to improve your skin, hair, cardiovascular health. Cantaloupe is also useful for weight loss. Is it any surprise that many consider cantaloupe a superfood? Rich in vitamins, this fruit is almost 90% water which means its benefits include those common to any food that aids in hydration. Try adding a daily cup of balled or diced cantaloupe to your diet to enjoy these benefits.
The nutrient rich content of cantaloupe can do wonders for dry or aging skin. The hydrating melon is rich in Vitamins K and A, which regenerate skin cells. Vitamin C, responsible for the collagen that keeps skin fresh, is also found in the fruit. Individuals with eczema, blemishes due to aging, or scars find that cantaloupe heals and reduces the appearance of marks.
Cantaloupe is truly a beauty booster; as it hydrates hair through its high water content, it also combats hair loss. The melon contains Inositol, which forms hair loss prevention agent Vitamin B. For a more direct application of cantaloupe, mash a few slices and massage them into your hair as a conditioner during a shower.
Cantaloupe health benefits extend beyond just beauty and appearance. Regularly eating cantaloupe, which contains heart-healthy potassium and Vitamin C, can help prevent blood clotting and hypertension.
The high water content of cantaloupe makes it an ideal and filling snack for individuals looking to lose weight. Additionally, cantaloupe is high in fiber. Adding fiber to your diet allows you to feel longer as your digestive system takes longer to process fiber. The sweetness of cantaloupe can curb the cravings for unhealthy sources of sugar.
Cantaloupe Nutritional Value
Understanding the nutritional breakdown of cantaloupe provides several clues to why it is such a powerhouse of health benefits. The serving size for cantaloupe is 177 grams, or about 1 cup of diced melon. One serving is 60 calories, with 3 of those calories coming from fat. This is only 1% of the recommended fat intake for a person on a 2,000 calorie diet. At 28 milligrams per serving, cantaloupe is low in sodium. Cantaloupe contains 14 grams of sugar and 2 grams of dietary fiber per serving.
Since it is low in the fat and sodium that are particularly harmful for cardiovascular health, cantaloupe is already ahead of many other food choices. In addition to its basic composition, cantaloupe is high in a variety of vitamins and minerals. Many are mentioned above. However, the most significant ones are Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, and iron. Each of these are essential for a healthy diet. One serving of cantaloupe alone provides over 100% of a person’s recommended amount of Vitamins A and C, making it a more affordable and effective alternative to vitamin tablets.
Cantaloupes are most often eaten raw. However, you can also enjoy them in juices, smoothies, and sorbets. Additionally, cantaloupes combined with herbs and roasted create a new and delicious world of possible cantaloupe uses.
- Fresh Cantaloupe Smoothie: Blending cantaloupe with yogurt (or a non-dairy substitute), ice, and a seasonal fruit is a refreshing breakfast that provides all the health benefits of cantaloupe. Getting creative with the components and adding supergrains like chia or flax seed contributes minerals such as Vitamin B3 or Zinc to the drink.
- Cantaloupe Sorbet: Making a cantaloupe sorbet can be as simple as placing diced cantaloupe, lemon juice, and a little sugar into a food processor. Add mint or thyme for extra flavor, if you prefer more interesting tastes.
- Superfruit Cantaloupe Salad: Eating cantaloupe in its simplest, raw form is the most effective way to obtain all of the cantaloupe health benefits. Diced cantaloupe combined with other superfruits, such as grapefruit, makes a nutrition-packed snack.
- Melon Carpaccio: Cantaloupe is usually thought of as a dessert. However, sliced melon and tarragon meld into a delicious roasted treat in this recipe. This creates a dish with a completely unexpected flavor. However, you should bear in mind that cooking or baking cantaloupe can diminish some of the health benefits of cantaloupe.
- Chilled Melon Soup: You can make a delicious summer staple, cantaloupe soup using only a food processor. Minimal ingredients make for an effortless first course. You can easily change and adjust the flavor of this dish by adding ingredients like cayenne pepper or mint.
Due to its wealth of vitamins, fiber, and water, cantaloupes are an ideal choice for individuals who want to improve their overall health and appearance. Using cantaloupe in a variety of sweet and savory preparations creates versatile means to include this superfood in your diet. Cantaloupe health benefits can be surprising to many people, as most have not heard of the many reasons to be intentional about eating cantaloupe. What ways do you most enjoy eating cantaloupe?