The peak season for cantaloupe is almost here, and it will bring a great chance to buy some at a reasonable price. But what is cantaloupe good for? Is it worth buying over other fruit? Below you will learn all about cantaloupe and how numerous studies point to the fruit as a means of naturally boosting health at a reasonable price.
One study published just last month says that during this time of the year cantaloupe can be had at roadside stands and farmer’s markets for about 36% less than what supermarkets are charging. But no matter where you get it, cantaloupe is one of the super energy foods that can be eaten by everyone, including the very young and the old.
1. Digested Quickly and Easily
This is because cantaloupe, like all the melons, is digested very quickly and easily if there is nothing else in the stomach. Dr. William Hay, the ‘father of food combining,’ says melon should always be eaten alone, on an empty stomach. If you have difficulty digesting cantaloupe, it’s because there is other food in the stomach.
The worst time to eat cantaloupe or other melons is following a meal, as dessert. In this case, the heavier foods that made up the meal will need to be digested first, leaving the melon to sit in the stomach and ferment, producing unpleasant happenings.
2. Provides a Natural Energy Boost
Cantaloupe does not require pancreatic enzymes for its digestion, as all the live enzymes needed are already in the fruit. This means eating cantaloupe increases energy rather than sapping it as some foods do.
3. High Beta-Carotene Content
The orangey color of its flesh is a tip off to the high content of beta carotene in cantaloupe. One study found that levels of this important carotenoid are about 30 times higher than what is found in fresh oranges, and the bioavailability of it is comparable to that found in carrots.
Although a cup of cantaloupe contains only 56 calories, it provides more than the total daily requirement of vitamin A. Beta-carotene is also a precursor for Vitamin A, taking on the form of vitamin A when that is needed, and staying as beta-carotene when it is not.
4. Lowers Risk of Metabolic Syndrome
In 2008, researchers found that eating cantaloupe can lower the risk of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that includes increased blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, excessive fat deposition abound the midsection, and abnormal cholesterol profile. Metabolic syndrome often increases risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
In the study, which involved hundreds of women, the lowest risk of metabolic syndrome went to those who ate the greatest amount of fruit, meaning a minimum of 12 ounces a day. Other fruits producing a similar effect were watermelon, apples, grapes, and bananas. Those with this level of fruit consumption also displayed the lowest levels of C-reactive protein, a well documented indicator of inflammation.
5. Improved Eye Health, Vision
Cantaloupe and certain other fruits are good for the eyes due to their levels of vitamin A and C. Some research has shown that consuming 3 or more servings of fruit every day may lower the risk of developing macular degeneration by as much as 36%. Macular degeneration is the primary disease behind the loss of vision in aging adults.
Additionally, another study found that eating cantaloupe and other fruits rich in carotenoids may ward off cataract formation.
The carotenoids in cantaloupe, in addition to beta-carotene, include the vision-boosting compounds lutein and zeaxanthin, the same carotenoids that give blueberries their power.
6. Reduces the Risk of Death from All Causes
Cantaloupe provides a broad spectrum of antioxidant protection because its vitamin A is fat soluble, and its vitamin C is water soluble. Several research studies have concluded that consumption of fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C reduces risk of death from all causes, including the most common causes of death, heart disease and cancer.
Cantaloupe has plenty of potassium, the mineral that works with sodium to keep heartbeats regulated, and vitamins B3 and B6. These also contribute to cantaloupe being a good choice for energy production.
Cantaloupe is one of only a few fruits that continue to ripen after being picked. This means they can be bought even when they are hard and left to ripen on the kitchen counter. On the morning you walk into the kitchen and instantly smell the aroma of cantaloupe, it’s time to eat it.
Buy cantaloupes whole to protect their vitamin C until it’s time to eat them. Those that have been sliced up and packaged will have lost a portion of the vitamin C that was once present.
So what is cantaloupe good for? Now you know!