The cantaloupe is a melon that belongs to the same family as the cucumber, squash, pumpkin and gourd. Cantaloupes are rich sources of beneficial nutrients. They are loaded with antioxidants, like vitamin C and vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids). They also contain necessary nutrients like copper, B vitamins, vitamin K, potassium, folate, magnesium, and fiber.
One cup of cantaloupe contains 1.5 grams of protein. It also has small amounts of these many other vitamins and minerals, including:
• vitamin K
5 Top Reasons to Eat Cantaloupe
- Boosts Immunity
Cantaloupe is rich in carotenes and antioxidants that boost the immune system and prevent infections. Cantaloupes contain a good dose of vitamin-C which scavenges disease-causing free radicals and act as an important line of defense for a healthy immune system. It also stimulates the production of white blood cells, which destroy viruses and bacteria.
2. Prevents Cancer
Cantaloupes have one of the highest concentrations of vitamin A among all fruits! Around 3500 IU per ½ pound of an average sized cantaloupe.
Vitamin A is a powerful anti-cancer vitamin.
A recent study published in The Journal Nucleic Acids Research found a link between prostate cancer and Retinoic acid (a metabolite of vitamin A -retinol):
“All-trans retinoic acid therapy (ATRA) is already used in another cancer – acute promyelomcytic leukaemia (APL) – and has been hugely successful in improving survival rates from 0% to 80%.”
3. Amazing Source of Polyphenols
Cantaloupe contains 2 unique phytonutrients: carotenoids and cucurbitacins. These are two types of powerful antioxidants that have been linked with the prevention of cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disorders.
4. Loaded with Disease-Fighting Nutrients
Cantaloupe is loaded with health-supporting compounds. As stated by the World’s Healthiest Foods:
“Cantaloupe contains more beta-carotene than alpha-carotene. But because it contains both of these carotenoids, it also contains both of their derivatives, including lutein in the case of alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin in the case of beta-carotene.
These carotenoid phytonutrients are joined by the flavonoid luteolin, antioxidant organic acids including ferulic and caffeic acid, and anti-inflammatory cucurbitacins, including cucurbitacin B and cucurbitacin E. The nutrient diversity of cantaloupe is perhaps its most overlooked health benefit!”
Furthermore, as written in the International Research Journal of Pharmacy:
“Cucumis melo [musk melon, or cantaloupe] has been shown to possess useful medicinal properties such as analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, free radical scavenging, anti-platelet, anti-ulcer, anti-cancer, anti-microbial, hepato-protective, diuretic, anti-diabetic, anthelmintic and anti-fertility activity.
Thus, it is evident that Muskmelon fruit possess a wide range of useful medicinal properties…”
5. Alkalizes Your Body
Cantaloupe melon is quite alkaline at about pH 8.5. It helps flush out acid and toxins.
There is plenty of research showing the link between acidic pH and cancer. Cancer thrives in an acidic environment and cannot survive in an alkaline environment. Cancer cells make your body even more acidic as they produce lactic acid. So if you have cancer, your pH levels are low and your body is too acidic.
Taking action to make your body more alkaline is vital in the battle against cancer.
Cantaloupe Salad with Thai Basil and Chile
• 1 medium to large cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and cut into bite-sized chunks
• 1 red jalapeño pepper, partially seeded and cut into small dice
• 2/3 cup torn Thai, Cinnamon or Spicy Globe basil leaves (regular basil can be used)
• 3 to 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
• Generous pinch sugar
• Salt and pepper to taste
1. Gently combine all ingredients, tasting as you add each one. Set out in a bowl with long bamboo skewers.
2. Spear chunks of melon to eat. You can top the pulao with the melon as well.
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