Health Benefits of Cantaloupe
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Cantaloupe is the member of large Cucurbitaceae family. Some other popular and healthy fruits of Cucurbitaceae family are squash, pumpkin, cucumber, gourd etc. melon grow on the ground surface as a trailing vine. Muskmelon is supposed to be originated either in India or ancient Persia or Africa. They grow best on draining sandy soil with good irrigation facility and need honeybees for effective pollination. Melons are summer season fruit. Melons are widely from April to August, they are at their best during these months.
Different types of muskmelon are grown world-wide, but two among them that are named after their country of origin are European Cantaloupe and North American Cantaloupe. Melons are round or in oblong shape, measures 4.5 – 6.5 inches in diameter and weigh 450 – 850 gm. Internally, flesh range from orange-yellow to salmon color, has soft consistency and juicy texture with a sweet, musky aroma that emanates best in the ripe fruits.
Delicious muskmelon is very low in calorie and fats; 100g of fruit contains only 34 calories. The fruit is power-packed with number of health promoting poly-phenolic plant derived substances, vitamins and minerals that are essential for overall health.
The fruit is provides high amount of vitamin A as compare to all other fruits. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant and is important for the correct vision. It is vital in order to maintain healthy mucus membrane and skin. Intake of food and fruits rich in vitamin A is said to be good for lungs and protect oral cavity cancer.
Muskmelon contains antioxidant flavonoids like beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin.This antioxidant has the power to protect cells and other body parts form free radicals. It also protects body from colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers.
Zeaxanthin is an important dietary carotenoid that protect eye from age related macular degeneration disease in the elderly people. It also contain potassium; an essential element of cell and body fluids and helps to control heart rate and blood pressure. It also protects against stroke and coronary heart diseases.
The fruit contain good amount of B-complex vitamins, such as niacin, pantothenic acid and vitamin C and minerals like manganese. Intake of food rich in vitamin C that helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen free radicals. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.Commercially, muskmelons are being used to extract an enzyme known as superoxide dismutase (SOD) which is essential for maintaining strong antioxidant defenses in the human body Cantaloupes are best grown during summers. Make sure you buy organically grown muskmelon as they are highly nutritious and tasty. Cantaloupes emanates rich, sweet, musky aroma that can be appreciated from a distance.
At home, place them in cool, well-ventilated place. Cut sections, however, should be kept in the refrigerator. Fresh cantaloupes should be consumed without any addition so as to experience its taste. Add this fruit in your salad and make your salad more healthy and nutritious.