Cantaloupes are very popular fruits, not only in the USA but throughout the world. Its juicy flesh is a great thirst quencher, especially during hot summer days. A cantaloupe can weigh anywhere from half a kilo to as much as 5 kilos! This fruit grows widely in California and Europe. But cantaloupes are indigenous to Africa, India, and Iran. What then are the benefits that make us want to include this succulent food in our diet?
The fruit is an excellent source of vitamins A and C. It's also rich in phytochemicals and carotene which are useful in combating free radicals. We are all familiar with vitamin C and almost always associate it with fruits. This vitamin is essential in maintaining a healthy immune system. It's also essential in staving-off of disease-causing free radicals. It can also stimulate the production of white blood cells. These are the body's defense team in fighting foreign bodies like viruses, bacteria, and other harmful substances. When these dangerous agents gain entry into the bloodstream, they alert the white blood cells. Then the white blood cells will seek these foreigners and destroy them.
Surprisingly, cantaloupes are also a good source of dietary fiber. This type of fiber is essential in the digestive system, especially in the elimination process of body waste. Eating enough foods with fiber will give bulk to stool. It will also reduce constipation and make bowel movement easier and more manageable. A regular smooth flow of food through the digestive tract can decrease the risks of colorectal cancer. Also, it may help prevent many other gastrointestinal problems.
Beta-carotene or vitamin A is also present in cantaloupes. These compounds can ward-off diseases because they are antioxidants. Vitamin A is also good for the skin as it stimulates the membranes of skin cell. This is important for their repair and growth. The vitamins can also protect skin cell membranes against harmful substances that can cause premature aging of the skin. When added to ointments, vitamin A is very useful for redness and skin irritations.
About 90% of the fruit is water and can effectively hydrate the body. This means that eating the fruit can keep you hydrated all day. Maintaining water is vital for many functions of the body. For the circulatory system, pumping blood through the heart would be easier when the body is well-hydrated. Blood pressure too will become more stable when the body has enough hydration. For the digestive system, hydration will support easier digestion and a smoother movement of the stool. For the kidneys, hydration will make excretion of toxic and waste materials easier. Cantaloupe has other nutrients too. All these can make your summer day picnics pleasant, but its water content makes for a great snack and will keep you hydrated.
One of the vital nutrients a cantaloupe contains is potassium. Its property as a vasodilator makes it essential in relieving anxiety and tension. Vasodilation refers to the widening of blood vessels, thus making the passage of blood easier. When blood vessels become constricted, blood pressure usually increases. When this happens, the condition can stimulate the release of cortisol, a stress hormone. Potassium as a vasodilator can ease the constriction of the vessels. This will lead to lower blood pressure and, consequently, will reduce the symptoms of anxiety. Aside from this, potassium can also increase the blood supply to the brain. This means more oxygen and nutrients to the brain that could lead to calmer and more relaxed attitudes.
Just a cup of cantaloupe can supply the body with all the RDI for vitamin C. According to studies, this vitamin is essential for different reasons. It's essential in the production of collagen in bones, muscles, blood vessels, and cartilage The vitamin is also always recommended for specific diseases like flu and colds. Its effectiveness against other health issues is still undergoing further studies. Such diseases include asthma, diabetes, cancer, and more.
Recent studies have shown that the fruit has connections in the improvement of insulin metabolism. This means that it can stabilize the rise and fall of blood sugar. This action can prevent plunges and spikes in blood sugar levels. This is usually what people with diabetes are most afraid of. Furthermore, the consumption of the fruit can reduce the oxidative stress on the kidneys. This is another significant benefit as it can prevent specific kidney-related disorders further.
We've mentioned that cantaloupes also contain phytochemicals. These crucial components found in cantaloupes have anti-inflammatory properties. This is highly beneficial as it can help reduce or even prevent oxidative processes in your bones and joints. For those suffering from joint issues, this action could reduce inflammation. For those who have chronic arthritis, add a little more cantaloupe in your diet. Do this to minimize those creaking feelings and the sounds which come from your joints.
Cancer prevention is one crucial health benefit of cantaloupe. Eliminating free radicals in the body is an excellent way to reduce the risks of cancer. Free radicals are harmful by-products of cell metabolism. When there's a high concentration of these in the body, they could cause dangerous conditions. The beta-carotene found in cantaloupes can act as an antioxidant which can lower the risks of many kinds of cancer. Furthermore, and aside from beta-carotene, the phytochemicals in the fruit are also beneficial. These components have also been frequently linked to their anti-tumor behavior.
The USDA or US Department of Agriculture has just made a significant announcement about cantaloupes. Apparently, they contain more beta-carotene than most of any other fruits. These include oranges, peaches, apricots, grapefruits, nectarines, mangoes, and tangerines. In fact, compared to carrots, cantaloupes have as much beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a type of carotenoid. This is any of a class of mainly orange, red, or yellow fat-soluble pigments which associate with bright colors. When the body ingests beta-carotene, it is either converted to vitamin-A or as a powerful antioxidant. The role of the latter is to attack free radicals that may pose any danger to the cells of the body.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.