Cantaloupe: Things you should know

In the summer, cantaloupe melon is a refreshing snack and provides nutrients that can help the health of an individual.

Cantaloupe, which is popular with kids and adults, can produce a refreshing, nutritious and simple summer dessert, although its high water content helps avoid dehydration.

A variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are also present in this type of fruit.

Other names include muskmelon, mush melon, rock melon, and Persian melon for cantaloupe. They are, along with honeydew melons, watermelons, and cucumbers, a member of the family Cucurbitaceae.

cantaloupe fruit
The antioxidants in cantaloupe can help to avoid damage to the cells.

A variety of health benefits may be provided by the water, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in cantaloupe.

For instance, antioxidants can help prevent damage to cells that can lead to cancer and other health conditions.

The body generates unstable molecules called free radicals during metabolism, which can gather in the body and damage cells. This damage is known as oxidative stress. Antioxidants help to remove the body from free radicals and avoid oxidative stress.

A variety of antioxidants are present in Canteloupe, including:

  • selenium
  • beta carotene
  • vitamin C
  • lutein
  • zeaxanthin
  • choline

It should be noted that, while food nutrients are essential to maintaining a healthy body, scientific studies on the effects of these nutrients often deal with supplements rather than dietary sources, and the results may vary somewhat.

Find out which other foods are good sources of antioxidants.

Age-related macular degeneration
Two similar antioxidants and plant pigments that give a yellow-to-red hue to fruits and vegetables are lutein and zeaxanthin.

The combination can assist in filtering out damaging blue light rays. Doctors think it plays a protective role in eye health and can help avoid damage caused by age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Authors of a 2009 study also indicate that the combination of lutein and zeaxanthin present in cantaloupe may help protect the eyes from damage leading to AMD.

Asthma

Animal studies have suggested that consuming a large amount of beta carotene, a form of vitamin A, can help prevent the development of asthma later in a person’s life.

Beta carotene, like cantaloupe, is present in yellow and orange fruits. A cup of cantaloupe balls, or 177 grams (g), contains 3,580 micrograms (mcg) of beta carotene.

Specialists advise a daily beta carotene consumption of 18,000 mcg per day for males ages 14 and older and 14,000 for females in the same age group.

An essential vitamin and antioxidant that can protect against asthma is vitamin C. In order to treat asthma, some experts have suggested using vitamin C supplements.

A cup of cantaloupe balls provides 65 mg of vitamin C. Current guidelines recommend that adult women eat 65-75 mg of vitamin C per day and that adult men eat 75-90 mg per day.

Also, according to a 2010 study, people with asthma who received choline, another antioxidant in cantaloupe, experienced a reduction in inflammation levels as a treatment.

However, most studies focus on antioxidant supplements that provide much greater doses than dietary nutrient sources.

Blood pressure

Heart health is all supported by fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and choline in cantaloupe.

Consuming potassium-rich foods can help reduce blood pressure. In order to maintain the cardiovascular system healthy, the American Heart Association (AHA) advises that a typical adult eat 4,700 mg of potassium a day.

A cup of cantaloupe supplies approximately 473 mg of potassium, or 10 percent of the recommended daily intake of a person.

Learn about other foods that might help lower your blood pressure.

Cancer

Beta carotene, tocopherol, and other cantaloupe antioxidants can help prevent oxidative stress-induced cell damage.

There is evidence that it may reduce the risk of lung, prostate, and other types of cancer by taking supplements containing these and other antioxidants.

It also appears that dietary fiber provides protection from colorectal cancer. 1.6 g of fiber is found in a cup of cantaloupe.

Digestion

Cantaloupe provides fiber and has a high water content. Constipation, promoting regularity and a healthy digestive tract can help prevent fiber and water.

Hydration

Cantaloupe is a good option for improving hydration during the hot summer months or during a workout with its high water and electrolyte quality.

160 g of water is contained in a 177-gram cup of cantaloupe balls.

Sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium are examples of electrolytes in cantaloupe.

Learn more about electrolytes.

Skin and hair

Vitamin A contributes to the growth and maintenance of all body tissues, including skin and hair tissues.

Vitamin C helps the body to generate collagen, which provides structure to cells, skin, and hair.

A 2019 study showed that a combination of minerals and vitamins can play a role in stimulating hair growth and hair loss prevention.

Many are present in various amounts in cantaloupe, such as:

Cantaloupe also leads to overall hydration. Studies say that it may help to maintain the skin supple by drinking extra water, but further research is required to support this.

Nutrition

Any of the main nutrients in cantaloupe are seen in the table below. It also demonstrates how much of each nutrient a person needs each day, depending on their age and gender.

NutrientAmount in 1 cup (177 g)Adult daily requirement
Energy (calories)60.21,600–3,000
Carbohydrate (g)14.4, of which 13.9 g are sugar130
Fiber (g)1.622.4–33.6
Calcium (mg)15.91,000–1,300
Iron (mg)0.48–18
Magnesium (mg)21.2310–420
Phosphorus (mg)26.6700–1,250
Potassium (mg)4734,700
Sodium (mg)28.32,300
Selenium (mcg)0.755
Fluoride (mcg)1.8No data
Vitamin C (mg)6565–90
Beta carotene (mcg)3,240No data
Vitamin A (mcg RAE)270700–900
Folate (mcg DFE)37.2400
Lutein + zeaxanthin (mcg)46No data
Tocopherol, gamma (mg)0.2No data
Vitamin K (mcg)4.475–120

Diet

Look for one that is firm, heavy, and symmetrical, without soft spots or bruises, when picking a cantaloupe.

In-season cantaloupes would have bright, sweet, and juicy flesh. Out of season, it may be hard and bland. To figure out the right time to purchase cantaloupes, consult with a nearby supermarket.

Here are few cantaloupe preparation and serving tips:

  • Dice or slice it, and eat it fresh.
  • Make a tropical fruit salad with chunks of fresh cantaloupe, papaya, pineapple, and mango.
  • Slice cantaloupe very thinly and add it to lemonade, iced tea, or water.
  • Make a fresh salsa by combining papaya, mango, jalapeño, cantaloupe, red peppers, and chipotle peppers.
  • Make a smoothie by combining cantaloupe with pineapple juice, frozen strawberries, and unsweetened Greek yogurt.
  • Make fruit kebabs with cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and strawberries, and serve them with a yogurt dip.

Risks

When eating cantaloupe, certain individuals may need to be careful:

Sugar content

When deciding the proper serving size of the cantaloupe, people with type 2 diabetes or other disorders that require a low sugar diet should be vigilant.

Contamination

The outer skin may not be clean if the melon comes into contact with bacteria by irrigation or other means.

The risk of dangerous bacteria, such as Salmonella, from penetrating the fruit flesh can be minimized by washing and scrubbing the outside before cutting into the melon.

Potassium

Around 10 percent of the potassium needs of a human are provided by Cantaloupe.

Beta-blockers, a form of medication often administered by physicians for heart disease, can cause levels of potassium to increase. Cantaloupe should be consumed in moderation by individuals who use beta-blockers, as high levels of potassium will contribute to kidney injury.

Also, before increasing their intake of a high potassium food such as cantaloupe, anyone with a kidney condition should consult with their doctor.

Conclusion

Cantaloupe is a good, refreshing fruit that’s at its best in the summer.

It provides water and a number of nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants that can be useful as part of a diverse diet.

Sources

  • Almohanna, H. M., et al. (2019). The role of vitamins and minerals in hair loss: A review.
    (LINK)
  • Akdeniz, M., et al. (2018). Does dietary fluid intake affect skin hydration in healthy humans? A systematic literature review.
    (LINK)
  • Antioxidants and cancer prevention. (2017).
    (LINK)
  • Carpentier, S., et al. (2009). Associations between lutein, zeaxanthin, and age-related macular degeneration: An overview.
    (LINK)
  • Checkley, W., et al. (2011). Supplementation with vitamin A early in life and subsequent risk of asthma.
    (LINK)
  • Hemila, H., et al. (2014). The effects of vitamin C on asthma should be also be studied.
    (LINK)
  • How potassium can help control high blood pressure. (2016).
    (LINK)
  • Kunzmann, A. T., et al. (2015). Dietary fiber intake and risk of colorectal cancer and incident and recurrent adenoma in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. 
    (LINK)
  • Mehta, A. K., et al. (2010). Choline attenuates immune inflammation and suppresses oxidative stress in patients with asthma [Abstract].
    (LINK)
  • Melons, cantaloupe, raw. (2019).
    (LINK)
  • Everything you need to know about cantaloupe (LINK)
  • Nutritional goals for age-sex groups based on dietary reference intakes and Dietary Guidelines recommendations. (2015).
    (LINK)
  • Vitamin A: Fact sheet for health professionals. (2019).
    (LINK)
  • Vitamin C: Fact sheet for health professionals. (2019).
    (LINK)

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