A cantaloupe is a type of melon that belongs to the cucumber family. Cantaloupes can have a light yellow-orange color or a deeper salmon hue. Known for its low calorie content and sweet and enticing aroma, cantaloupes are the most popular kind of melons in the US. Cantaloupes are usually best during the summer months. Here are some health benefits that you can enjoy when snacking on cantaloupes:
1. Great Source of Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene
If you are looking to incorporate vitamin A sources into your diet then cantaloupes will make a great addition to your food plan. In fact, cantaloupes contain concentrated amounts of beta-carotene. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A. Both nutrients are essential for the maintenance of healthy eyesight. In a study that included more than 50,000 women whose ages ranged from 45 to 67, it was found that those who consumed high amounts of vitamin A on a daily basis reduced their risk of developing cataracts by as much as 40%. Those women who ate cantaloupes as a regular part of their diet also had a lower risk of surgery from cataracts. On the contrary, women whose diets included a lot of salt, butter and unhealthy fats had a higher risk of cataract surgery. Research has also shown that there may be a possible link between beta-carotene and cancer prevention.
2. Great Source of Vitamin C
Aside from being a significant source of vitamin A, cantaloupes are also good sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant which functions in the water-soluble parts of the body. As you know, antioxidants help fight free radicals in your body. Free radicals spread damage to your cells, causing diseases and signs of aging. Vitamin C also strengthens your immune system by stimulating your white blood cells. Your white blood cells are responsible for killing viruses, bacteria and other foreign elements that seek to enter your body.
3. Promotes the Health of Your Lungs
A recent study showed that consumption of a vitamin A-rich food like cantaloupe is also beneficial to smokers. If you're a smoker or someone who is constantly exposed to second-hand smoke then you might want to make cantaloupes a regular part of your diet. One of the carcinogens found in cigarette smoke reportedly created a vitamin A deficiency in the body. When you start incorporating more vitamin A into your diet, the deficiency is reversed and you also lower your risk of developing lung diseases like emphysema.
4. Prevents Cardiovascular Disease
Cantaloupes are also rich in a compound called adenosine. Adenosine is typically administered to patients who have heart disease since this compound has blood-thinning properties. When your blood is thin, you can prevent blood-clotting in the cardiovascular system. The folate present in cantaloupes and all types of melons also help in preventing a heart attack.
5. Reduces Stress
Cantaloupe might also be an ideal fruit to eat during those times when you are feeling anxious and stressed. Cantaloupe is rich in potassium which normalizes the heartbeat and promotes the supply of oxygen to the brain. As a result, you feel more relaxed and focused.