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Cantaloupe

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7 Nutritious Benefits of Eating Cantaloupe


Cantaloupe

 

Did You Know...

Cantaloupes are named for the papal gardens of Cantalupo, Italy, where some historians say this species of melon was first grown.          

 

How to Select

Choose fragrant, symmetrical cantaloupes, heavy for size with no visible bruises and yellow or cream undertone. Stem end should give to gentle pressure.

 

How to Store
Store uncut cantaloupes at room temperature for up to 1 week. Refrigerate cut melon in airtight container up to 5 days.

 

Nutrition Benefits
Fat free; saturated fat free; very low sodium; cholesterol free; high in vitamin A; high in vitamin C; good source of folate.

 

Top 10 Ways To Enjoy Cantaloupe

  

  1. Melon Soup?Yes Indeed. Enjoy chilled cantaloupe purée with a hint of lime juice and mint in our Chilled Melon Soup. A great choice for those hot summer days!

 

  1. Kebab It! Thread cubes of melon and other favourite fruit on skewers. Serve with a yogurt dip. Recipe:Desert Fruit Kabob

 

  1. Melon Salsa. Mix melon with finely chopped red onion, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice for a fresh salsa that pairs well with seafood.

 

  1. Sweet Salad.Cantaloupe is the perfect light and sweet addition to any salad! Try it in our Melon & Butter Lettuce Salad or Strawberries w/Melon Balls Salad.

 

  1. Cantaloupe Cooler. Get the kids to help with a simple and refreshing fizzy cooler made with cantaloupe, 100% orange juice, and a small amount of sugar. See Recipe

 

  1. The Perfect Pyramid. Place a peeled slice of cantaloupe on a plate. Pile on slices of banana and your favourite berries. Top with a scoop of low-fat frozen yogurt or sherbet and a sprinkle with crushed walnuts for a fun dessert you can create with your kids! See Video

 

  1. Smiley Wedges! Clean out the core of the cantaloupe and slice into large smile shaped wedges then simply enjoy … the way nature intended. A great way to get kids to eat more fruit!

 

  1. Summer Salad.Mangos, avocados, and cantaloupe are all in season during the summer! Make a light summer salad by combining these 3 summer fruits with red onion, a splash of 100% orange juice, lime juice and cilantro.

 

  1. Freeze It. Make popsicles by puréeing cantaloupe with a little sugar and a splash of lime juice. Pour into molds and freeze.

 

  1. A Sweet Sauce.Purée cantaloupe, raspberries, honeydew, honey, a small amount of lemon juice and nutmeg to make a delightful topping that goes great over any low-fat pastry, frozen yogurt, or ice cream.

 

 



7 Nutritious Benefits of Eating Cantaloupe

The humble cantaloupe may not get as much respect as other fruits. But it should.

This tasty, although odd looking, melon is packed with nutrients. If you don’t think about nabbing a cantaloupe each time you hit the produce section of your grocery store, read on to learn why you may want to think again.

 

Cantaloupe Nutritious Benefits

Adding fruit of any kind to your diet is beneficial. Cantaloupe, also known as musk melon, is a particularly good choice.

  1. Beta Carotene

When it comes to beta carotene, cantaloupe knocks other yellow-orange fruits out of the park. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), cantaloupe has more beta carotene than apricots, grapefruit, oranges, peaches, tangerines, nectarines, and mangoes. One study determined that orange-flesh melons like cantaloupe have the same amount of beta carotene as carrots.

Beta carotene is a type of carotenoid. Carotenoids are pigments that give fruits and vegetables their bright colours. Once eaten, beta carotene is either converted into vitamin A or acts as a powerful antioxidant to help fight free radicals that attack cells in your body.

Vitamin A is important to eye health, a healthy immune system, and healthy red blood cells.

  1. Vitamin C

According to the USDA, 1 cup of balled cantaloupe contains over 100 percent of the recommended daily value (DV) of vitamin C. The Mayo Clinic indicates that vitamin C is involved in collagen production in bones, blood vessels, cartilage, and muscle.

More study is needed on vitamin C to prove its effectiveness against diseases like asthma, cancer, and diabetes. However, eating vitamin C-rich foods may help reduce how long you suffer the next time you catch a common cold.

Cochrane Library review found vitamin C reduced the length of the common cold in adults by 8 percent. In children, colds were reduced by 14 percent.

  1. Folate

Folate is also known as vitamin B-9. Folate is the term used when it is naturally present in foods, while folic acid is the term used for supplements and fortified foods. This vitamin is well-known for preventing neural tube birth defects like spinal bifida. It may also help reduce your risk of some cancers, and help battle memory loss due to aging, although more research is needed.

When it comes to cancer, folate may be a double-edged sword. According to a closer look at studies on folate published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it may offer protection in early cancers and in people low in folate. However, supplementation may stimulate or worsen later-stage cancers, and when taken in high doses.  

According to the Mayo Clinic, pregnant women and women of childbearing age need to consume 400-600 micrograms of folate daily. Males over age 13 should consume 400 micrograms. Two cups of balled cantaloupe have 74 micrograms of folate.

  1. Water

Like most fruits, cantaloupe has high water content, at almost 90 percent. Eating cantaloupe helps you stay hydrated throughout the day, which is important for heart health. When you’re hydrated, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood. Good hydration also supports digestion, healthy kidneys, and helps you maintain a healthy blood pressure.

Mild dehydration may cause:

  • dizziness
  • headache
  • less urination
  • dry skin
  • dry mouth
  • constipation

Severe cases may be serious and lead to:

  • rapid heart rate
  • confusion
  • low blood pressure
  • shriveled skin
  • unconsciousness

Dehydration is also a risk factor for developing kidney stones.

Straight water is your best bet for staying hydrated. Eating water-rich fruits like cantaloupe can help.

  1. Fiber

The health benefits of fiber go beyond preventing constipation. A high-fiber diet may reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes, and help you lose weight by making you feel fuller longer.

The Mayo Clinic recommends these daily fiber intakes:

Men Under 50

Men Over 50

Women Under 50

Women Over 50

38 grams

30 grams

25 grams

21 grams

  1. Potassium

Cantaloupe provides 14 percent of your potassium DA. Potassium is an essential electrolyte mineral.

According to the American Heart Association, potassium helps keep the right balance between cells and body fluids. Potassium is also vital to nerve health and proper muscle contraction. Eating a potassium-rich snack like cantaloupe after exercise helps replenish depleted electrolytes.

  1. Other Vitamins and Minerals

One cup of cantaloupe contains 1.5 grams of protein. It also has small amounts of these many other vitamins and minerals, including:

  • vitamin K
  • niacin
  • choline
  • calcium
  • magnesium
  • phosphorous
  • zinc
  • copper
  • manganese
  • selenium

These make it a well-rounded, nutritious fruit choice.

How to Choose Cantaloupe

Cantaloupes are available year round, but this melon shines during the summer when it’s at its freshest and sweetest.

When choosing a ripe cantaloupe, look for one that is symmetrical and feels slightly heavy. The color should be a creamy, light yellow-orange, and there should be little to no green. Ripe cantaloupe should smell sweet and a little musky.

For the freshest taste, use cantaloupe within three days of purchase.

Ways to Use Cantaloupe

Cantaloupes are delicious on their own or in fruit salad, but there are other surprising ways to use them.

  • cantaloupe smoothie: This nutritious drink is made from cantaloupe, Greek yogurt, and natural sweetener. It makes a great breakfast or snack. View the recipe.
  • cantaloupe salad: Combining cantaloupe with basil, mozzarella, onions, red wine vinegar, and olives gives it a savoury kick. View the recipe.
  • cantaloupe sorbet: You only need four ingredients to make this frosty treat: cantaloupe, lemon, honey, and water. View the recipe.
  • roasted cantaloupe: Most people wouldn’t dream of roasting cantaloupe, but it brings out the melon’s natural sweetness. View the recipe.

The Takeaway

When it comes to melons, you can’t do much better than cantaloupe. It’s nutritious, delicious, and versatile.

If you typically buy watermelon or honeydew melon and shy away from cantaloupe, you’re missing out. At 60 calories and no fat per 1-cup serving, adding cantaloupe to your diet arsenal is a smart way to get potent nutrients and sweetness into your healthy eating plan.

 

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