By Jocelyn Villavilencio
It’s not a mystery that the cantaloupe with its rich flavor and refreshing aroma is disputably the most favorite melon. The name cantaloupe derives from the Italian village Cantalup, where it was first cultivated around 1700 AD. It belongs to the same family as the cucumber, squash, pumpkin, and gourd. Cantaloupe is referred to as a netted melon because it has rib less rind with a distinctive netted skin and contains seeds encased in a web of netting.
Cantaloupe is an excellent source of vitamin A because of its concentrated beta-carotene content. Beta-Carotene inside the body converts to vitamin C so when you eat Cantaloupe, you are getting two beneficial nutrients at once. According to a study of over fifteen thousand nurses between the ages of 45 to 67 who ate Cantaloupe had a forty percent reduced chance of developing cataracts. In another study that looked at the study of cataract surgery and diet, researchers found that those people who ate diets including cantaloupes had half the risk of cataract surgery, while those who ate the highest amounts of butter, salt, and total fat were more at risk of receiving cataract surgery. The cantaloupe has been proven to prevent cancer and protection against oxygen-based damage to cells.
In addition, the cantaloupe is a great source of vitamin C because of antioxidants in the cantaloupe. Vitamin C is critical for proficient immune function, stimulates white cells to fight infection, kills many bacteria and viruses, and regenerates vitamin E after it has been deactivated by free radicals. According to researchers from a New England Journal study, people who consume cantaloupes have a reduced death risk from heart disease, stroke, and cancer because of the amounts of vitamin C stored inside cantaloupes.
Furthermore, according to a study from by the Archives of Ophthalmology, eating three or more servings of cantaloupes per day may lower your risk macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary eye loss in older adults, by forty percent compared to participants who consumed less than half the servings of fruit intake on a daily basis. Three servings of cantaloupes may seem a lot to eat each day, but by simply slicing cantaloupes some on your cereal, topping a cup of cantaloupe yogurt, or a green salad with side of cantaloupe slices can really make a difference between having stable eyesight and drastic eye loss when you reach the ages of fifty and sixty.
Note: Jocelyn Villavilencio is a dietician who lives and works in Portland, Oregon. She wrote this piece exclusively for CSMS Magazine.
Also see Coconut: nature milk fruit