The cantaloupe belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family which includes popular delicacies such as the pumpkin, cucumber, and squash. This fruit has been in cultivation for many centuries with various texts from various ancient civilizations describing the melon in great detail. Many historians have argued where the juicy fruit comes from, many believe it was in Persia others Greece. However there is no concrete evidence of its origins. Melons are a summer season fruit and grow on the ground with a vine attached to them.
The cantaloupe can be a great addition to any diet, but you should be aware that while low in calories it has a medium glycemic index (GI); which if not taken in the proper amounts will spike the body’s blood sugar level. The juicy fruit is hard to ignore due to its health benefits. Like most fruits it is packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties due to its incredibly high amounts of vitamins and flavonoids.
One cup of diced cantaloupe contains: 53 calories, 0.3 grams of fat, 12 grams of sugar, 1.31 grams of protein, 106% of the recommended daily value (DV) for vitamin A, and 96% of DV for vitamin C. These help by preventing the occurrence of certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that regular consumption of vitamin A-rich foods helps promote a healthier set of lungs which in turn lowers the risk of developing respiratory diseases like emphysema. It also keeps the skin healthier and younger by increasing the repair of skin cells and protecting against harmful toxins that quickly age the skin.
Vitamin C on the other hand strengthens the body’s immune system by boosting the production of white blood cells. The melon may also help protect the eye from age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) and cataracts due to a carotenoid called zea-xanthin found abundantly in the fruit. Potassium found within the cantaloupe has been found to be a vasodilator, which helps relax blood vessels and reduce blood pressure. This can result in you feeling more relaxed and stress-free with regular intake.
While most diabetics avoid sugary fruits you have to remember that they can be eaten with proper care and moderation. The cantaloupe can be enjoyed in numerous ways that include eating it by alone, juice, or fruit salad. We hope you strongly consider adding this melon into your diet and always consult a nutritionist.