Muskmelon is another name given to cantaloupes, which belong to the Cucurbitaceae family; it has a peak season from June to August. This round or oval shaped fruit, with a rough and scaly skin is orange-yellow in color with a high water content. It has a fleshy hollow core in the center with a mesh full of melon seeds. These seeds are dried and also eaten after peeling them, for their high nutritive value.
Cantaloupes are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, magnesium, thiamine, pantothenic acid, superoxide dismutase and dietary fiber. As it is rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C, it helps prevent many degenerative diseases.
Health Benefits of Cantaloupes/Muskmelons:
Cantaloupes are good for diabetic nephropathy Ė which is a progressive kidney disorder where kidney is damaged. An extract of cantaloupe called oxykine is very effective in arresting the damage.
This fruit has superoxide dismutase which relieves stress and lowers blood pressure. The potassium in the fruit keeps the heart beat regularized. Potassium controls blood pressure and prevents hypertension. The sodium content in the fruit works as an anti coagulant, which controls viscosity and prevents clotting of blood.
Cantaloupes are rich sources of folic acid and help women conceive. The folic acid present is very important in regeneration of dead cells Ė especially for pregnant women. The high content of folate prevents neural tube disorders in the fetus. It greatly improves the healthy elasticity of skin and prevents wrinkles.
Pregnant women are given supplements of folic acid Ė in the same way cantaloupes are very beneficial during pregnancy as they have high folate content. It keeps water retention at bay by flushing out extra sodium from the body.
Cantaloupes are rich in vitamin C which is an anti-oxidant and prevents free radicals from damaging cells, thus fighting cancer. The fruit also strengthens the immune system while stimulating and increasing the white blood cells which help in destroying viruses and bacteria. It prevents pre-mature ageing.
Beta carotene present in cantaloupes turns to vitamin A. The natural vitamin A is absorbed by the body and delays the onset of cataracts, is vital to maintain healthy eyesight. By having a cup of the fruit regularly you can actually prevent or delay cataracts.
Those with sleep disorders will find a difference by eating a cup of the fruit as it relaxes nerves and muscles and helps insomniacs to sleep better.
Eating cantaloupe helps when women have menstrual problems - it stops heavy flow and clots while easing menstrual cramps. Muscle cramps also ease out with the fruit or juice.
Lung health benefits with a diet of cantaloupes. When people who are exposed smoke, the carcinogens create a deficiency of vitamin A which is reversed by the fruit. Sometimes smokers who have already damaged their lungs, a regular diet of cantaloupes can rejuvenate the lungs over a period of time and reduce the risk of emphysema.
The natural nutrients and minerals form a synergy to help the body recover from nicotine withdrawal when a person is trying to quit smoking.
This fruit is rich in adenosine which is a compound given to patients with heart disease as it has blood thinning properties thus preventing heart attacks.
It is ideal to eat the fruit during times of stress as it increases the flow of oxygen to the brain making you more relaxed and focused.
It is an ideal substitute for a high calorie snack as 1 cup of diced cantaloupe has just 50 calories Ė it has 89% water and is best in summer to combat de-hydration.
Some water can be added to fresh squeezed fruit and had as a refreshing juice or add some peaches to it and blend in a juicer for a delicious drink. Dipping sliced cantaloupe in a bowl of curd is a great way to add zinc to the body.
Melons, cantaloupe, raw
|Calcium, Ca||9 mg||0.9 %|
|Copper, Cu||0.04 mg||2.05 %|
|Iron, Fe||0.21 mg||1.17 %|
|Magnesium, Mg||12 mg||3 %|
|Manganese, Mn||0.04 mg||2.05 %|
|Phosphorus, P||15 mg||1.5 %|
|Potassium, K||267 mg||7.63 %|
|Selenium, Se||0.4 mcg||0.57 %|
|Sodium, Na||16 mg||0.67 %|
|Zinc, Zn||0.18 mg||1.2 %|
|Vitamin A||3382 IU||67.64 %|
|Vitamin C||36.7 mg||61.17 %|
|Vitamin B6||0.07 mg||3.6 %|
|Vitamin E||0.05 mg||0.17 %|
|Vitamin K||2.5 mcg||3.12 %|
|Riboflavin||0.02 mg||1.12 %|
|Thiamin||0.04 mg||2.73 %|
|Folate, DFE||21 mcg||5.25 %|
|Niacin||0.73 mg||3.67 %|
|Fiber||0.9 g||3.6 %|
|Cholesterol||0 mg||0 %|
|Carotene, alpha||16 mcg|
|Carotene, beta||2020 mcg|
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