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Health Benefits of Cantaloupes

Indrajit Deshmukh Apr 13, 2020
Cantaloupes were introduced to America by Christopher Columbus and since then, generation after generation of Americans are benefiting from this fruit. This story describes a few of the numerous health benefits offered by this famous fruit.
Classified as a melon, cantaloupe belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family of fruits, and is also known as muskmelon or rock melon. The best time for finding fresh cantaloupes is from June through August. However, they are available throughout the year.
Cantaloupes contain a copious supply of vitamins A and C. A single serving of cantaloupe has around 103% and 112% of the daily value of vitamins A and C respectively. Cantaloupes also contain beta-carotene, an important nutrient, which is also known as pro vitamin A.
In addition, they are also a good source of vitamin B6, dietary fiber, folic acid, and potassium. Production and maintenance of new cells is attributed to these nutrients found in cantaloupes. Some of the health benefits offered are:

Vision

Vitamin A and beta-carotene found in cantaloupes are a great deterrent for cataracts, and help in vision correction. One serving of cantaloupe per day, will help to improve your vision, and also prevent age-related macular degeneration (ARMD).

Lungs

If you are a smoker, active or passive, you are at risk for lung cancer. A carcinogen called benzo(a)pyrene, present in smoke, induces vitamin A deficiency, which can cause lung cancer. Beta carotene and vitamin A in cantaloupe are good antioxidants, and protect from several lung diseases.

Heart

Cantaloupes are a great source of potassium, and a study has revealed that eating cantaloupe reduces the risk of heart attacks by as much as 50%. Potassium is needed to maintain the balance of electrolytes in the cells and body fluids. An appropriate amount of potassium is essential for good cardiovascular health.

Immunity

The immune system helps the body to ward off diseases and protect from foreign substances. A high percentage of vitamin C supports the growth of white blood cells, and boosts the immune system. The growth and maintenance of these cells is also credited to the other nutrients present in this fruit.

Cholesterol

Cholesterol is essential in maintaining membrane permeability, and plays an important role in several metabolic processes. Antioxidants present in cantaloupes prevent the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL). The oxidation of LDL increases the risk for heart diseases. Cantaloupes have less amount of saturated fat and cholesterol, thus making it a healthy option for everyone.
In addition to the above health benefits, cantaloupes are known to be effective against high blood pressure, obesity and kidney disorders. The potassium in cantaloupe helps bring down blood pressure, while cantaloupe juice helps the body excrete excess sodium, thereby reducing water retention.
A single cup of cantaloupes provides 56 calories, 14 mg sodium, 494 mg potassium, 1.0 g protein and 1.0 g fiber. These vital nutrients, coupled with a low fat content, makes them a favorite ingredient in several health drinks.