Cantaloupe, a type of melon, is deep orange in color and full of nutrients. And cantaloupes are absolutely delicious! There is nothing quite like biting into a slice of fresh cantaloupe at the peak of their season. This sweet, juicy fruit offers a wide variety of antioxidants, phytonutrients, and electrolytes, for example, all of which help keep you healthy. With its many nutrients, cantaloupe health benefits include fighting oxidative stress as well as preventing diseases. Cantaloupes can also improve your skin and eye vitality. Keep reading to learn what else this tasty melon can do for your health.
Here are 10 fantastic cantaloupe health benefits:
1. Contains Anti-inflammatory Properties
Cantaloupe health benefits start with the power to fight inflammation. This is crucial when it comes to fighting a variety of diseases, as a lot of diseases start with poorly controlled inflammation. Many fruits and vegetables, of course, have strong anti-inflammatory abilities. To help fight diseases that stem from inflammation, be sure to keep a wide variety of them in your diet. However, specifically, the cucurbitacins in cantaloupe are known for fighting pain and other symptoms caused by inflammatory diseases. (1)
2. May Help Prevent Heart Disease
Heart disease is often correlated with high levels of inflammation. As such, cantaloupe health benefits also include the potential ability to prevent heart disease. For example, cantaloupe may stave off heart-related issues such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, as well as the risk for heart attack or stroke. This again is attributed to the cucurbitacins cantaloupe contains.
Here’s an interesting fact: In some countries, plants belonging to the cucurbitaceae species, such as cantaloupe, have been used in folk medicine to treat inflammation as well as decrease the risk for heart disease. (2) You can help mimic this practice by making cantaloupe a regular part of your diet.
3. Boosts Immunity
A cantaloupe slice a day keeps the doctor away! Indeed, cantaloupe health benefits also include the ability to boost the immune system. You can attribute this to the beta-carotene found in cantaloupe. Beta-carotene is what gives many orange foods, such as cantaloupe and carrots, their hue. It helps support healthy skin, hair and vision. Furthermore, studies suggest beta-carotene may enhance cell function. And it may be useful in fighting common illnesses as well as more serious diseases, such as cancer. (3, 4)
4. Helps Muscle Recovery & Stamina
The right foods will help fuel your exercise routine and will also help in muscle recovery. If you’re looking for an effective, natural muscle recovery for your workouts, then, you should consider trying cantaloupe. Cantaloupe health benefits continue with the fruit’s potassium content. Potassium aids in muscle recovery. Plus, it can help reduce stress on the body as you build muscle. This enables you to have more endurance.
5. Protects Eye Health
When it comes to your health, it’s imperative to consume plenty of fruits as well as vegetables. This includes the health of your eyes. And, as mentioned above, cantaloupe comes with key nutrients that help protect your eye health. For example, beta carotene, vitamins A and C, lutein, and zeaxanthin are all present in cantaloupe and can all help keep your eyes in good working order. (5)
6. Protects Skin Health
Cantaloupe health benefits extend to your skin, as well. In particular, nutrients in cantaloupes can help reduce your risk of skin cancer. As mentioned a few sections above, this is true of several orange-colored foods, including carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and, of course, cantaloupe. Furthermore, these foods can relieve pain associated with sunburn and prevent fine lines, discoloration, and wrinkles.
7. Good for Digestion
If you have issues with irritable bowel syndrome, you’ll want to consider cantaloupe health benefits regarding digestion. Cantaloupe is easy to digest and is void of FODMAPs, which are carbohydrates that can trigger IBS symptoms. Cantaloupe also has a high water content, which helps to dispel toxins from the body. You can learn more about this in the next section.
8. Helps the Body to Detox
While it’s true that your body is able to naturally detox on its own, eating the right foods can help improve this process. Cantaloupe health benefits continue with the ability to detox the body. Cantaloupe is rich in electrolytes, specifically potassium, which helps the body maintain proper fluid balance. Balanced fluid levels in the body support kidney function, which in turn supports the body’s natural detoxification process.
9. Restores the Body’s pH Level
Cantaloupe is an alkaline food. That means it can help balance the pH level in your body. Disease has a harder time developing in an alkaline environment, as opposed to a more acidic environment. As such, doing what you can to keep your body from being too acidic can help prevent disease. You can help achieve a more alkaline environment with many fruits and vegetables, but cantaloupe is among them.
10. Helps Support Weight Loss
Cantaloupe health benefits also include aiding in weight loss. As it’s only 60 calories per cup and high in water as well as nutrients, cantaloupe is a smart choice when it comes to weight loss goals. With some weight loss journeys, malnutrition is a danger. Foods like cantaloupe are great options because they offer nutrients, but the low calorie content will help keep you from going off track. Furthermore, with its sweet, delicious taste, cantaloupe can help satisfy your sweet tooth while you’re watching what you eat.
How to Enjoy (And Pick a Ripe) Cantaloupe
Many people enjoy the simplicity of chowing down on cantaloupe slices. While you certainly can’t go wrong with that method, you can also cut the melon into small chunks and add it to a delicious, seasonal fruit salad. Or, try juicing cantaloupe along with some other fruits, such as carrots or lime. Try it with a knob of ginger, as well! The best way to choose a ripe cantaloupe is by its smell, which should be sweet and slightly musky. Furthermore, a good cantaloupe will feel heavy for its size. Its rind will look like raised netting, and it stem end will turn slightly yellow when you press it with your thumb.