Cantaloupes, with their crisp and juicy orange flesh, are a staple in fruit salads and fruit shakes because of the additional flavor they introduce to these recipes. Their distinct taste goes well with other fruits, and does not overpower your taste buds.
Cantaloupes are often mistakenly referred to as a “melon” due to their similar appearance. Melons are actually an entire sub-group of fruit that includes watermelons, sprite melons, and honeydews.
Cantaloupes are usually abundant and sweetest during the months of June to September. This is “cantaloupe season” and it runs parallel to the ideal harvest time for other fruits that are high in vitamin C content.
Because of the high demand for cantaloupes, they are usually imported from other cantaloupe-producing countries. In the United States, California is the leading producer of cantaloupes.
Health Benefits You Can Reap from Consuming Cantaloupes
Good news for calorie counters. Even though cantaloupes are sweet, they actually come with a very low calorie content. A single cantaloupe only contains 34 calories per serving.
Health buffs should note that the fruit contains valuable nutrients and is loaded with fiber. Cantaloupes boost metabolism and contain niacin, which lowers your risk of contracting cardiovascular diseases.
Cantaloupes also contain vitamin B6, which helps improve your immune system, and folate, which is great for the heart and helps avoid strokes. This super fruit also contains, vitamins A and C. These are essential to the maintenance of good vision and defending the body from infections, respectively.
Research Links Cantaloupes to Disease Prevention
Studies also show that cantaloupes are one of several fruits that actually contribute to lowering the risk of contracting breast, prostate, and/or colon cancer. It is also said that the consumption of cantaloupes helps in avoiding age-related macular degeneration or the deterioration of the eye’s macula because of its zeaxanthin component. Consuming cantaloupe also helps in lowering the risk of contracting asthma because of its high content of beta-carotene.
But before consuming this fruit, it would be important to note that it contains a high amount of fructose which may be harmful to the body if taken in excess. Remember that cantaloupes, like other conventionally grown fruits, are usually grown in farms that use toxic insecticides, so it would be wise to buy them from local, organic farms to eliminate the risk of consuming these harmful toxins.
If you are thinking of buying cantaloupes, keep in mind that the ripeness of these fruits is quite hard to gauge. However, ripe cantaloupes are usually heavier as compared to unripe cantaloupes. Ripe cantaloupes also resonate a deeper and a hollower sound when you rap your knuckles on the fruit.
Overall, cantaloupes not only taste good but they’re also equipped with impressive nutritional properties. So the next time you have sweet craving, choose cantaloupes!
For more interesting trivia about your favorite foods, visit Dr. Mercola’s Food Facts page.