Cantaloupe is a small fruit from the Cucurbitaceae family. Originating from France, the fruit is known to have a fragrant smell and it serves as a relative to melons, such as the Charentais melon. It is also called cantelope, muskmelon, cantaloup, mushmelon, sweetmelon, rockmelon, spanspek, and Persian melon. As a fruit, cantaloupe offers a wide range of health benefits.
Cantaloupe is rich in vitamins and minerals. According to World’s Healthiest Foods, the fruit contains vitamins A, B, C, and K. Vitamin A is good for vision, as well as to the integrity of the skin and the body’s mucus membranes. On the other hand, vitamin B boosts the brain’s function, allowing better learning, thinking, and memory. Folate, a B vitamin, is also essential to fetal development because it prevents conditions like neural tube defect. Then, vitamin C is known for its ability to raise the body’s defenses against illness-causing microorganisms and it is also capable of promoting the function of collagen, as substance that acts as cement by binding loosely connected cells and tissues. Meanwhile, vitamin K is responsible for blood clotting, which prevents excessive blood loss. Hence, vitamin K is administered to the newborn after delivery.
In terms of minerals, cantaloupes also contain copper, magnesium, and potassium. Copper is responsible for the growth and development of tissues and organs and it also aids in metabolism. Magnesium, on the other hand, promotes the function of the nerves and the muscles; it allows effective mind and muscle coordination. Then, potassium benefits the body, as it counters the fluid-retention abilities of sodium. Also, potassium facilitates proper muscle activity, which means it helps promote healthy cardiac rhythm and function.
Inflammation, Asthma, and Cancer
Cantaloupe helps combat inflammation, asthma, and cancer. According to Medical News Today, the fruit is able to reduce chronic inflammation with choline, a nutrient that promotes sleep, movement, memory, and learning. As per the publication, it also facilitates effective fat absorption and transmission of nerve impulses.
The fruit also contains beta-carotene and vitamin C, which helps reduce the risk of developing asthma. Also, vitamin C, as mentioned, increases the body’s defenses against harmful microbes and foreign bodies. Moreover, a study conducted by Harvard School of Public Health Department of Nutrition found that beta-carotene plays a protective role against prostate cancer. The nutrient also demonstrated its power to reduce the risk of developing colon cancer in Japanese subjects.
Since cantaloupe is a fruit, it can be part of diverse meal recipes, such as Avocado and Cantaloupe Salad with Creamy French Dressing. As per All Recipes, the ingredients include two tablespoons of white sugar, two teaspoons paprika, one-fourth teaspoon of salt, one-fourth teaspoon of dry mustard powder, one clove garlic (minced), a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, a pinch of cayenne pepper, three-fourth cup of vegetable oil, six cups of baby arugula leaves, half cup of silvered almonds, one avocado (peeled, pitted, cubed), and one-fourth cantaloupe (peeled, seeded, cubed).
To prepare, the sugar, salt, mustard, vinegar, garlic, paprika, cayenne pepper, and Worcestershire sauce are whisked together in a mixing bowl. Next, the vegetable oil is gradually drizzled while whisking rapidly, until the salad dressing gets a thick and creamy consistency. After that, the arugula leaves are placed in the salad bowl and the avocado and cantaloupe pieces are sprinkled. Finally, the salad dressing is drizzled and the salad is sprinkled with toasted almonds.
As per the publication, one may use a bottled French dressing for faster preparation. Also, baby spinach can be used as an alternative for the arugula. Other green leafy vegetables impact the creamy texture of the cantaloupe and avocado.
Cantaloupe is filled with multiple health benefits, making its inclusion to various meal recipes helpful to the promotion of health and prevention of illness.