Colourful and sweet, cantaloupe is fat-free and low in calories yet packed with essential nutrients that help lower your risk for certain diseases and help to keep you looking and feeling great.
Cantaloupe is Good for Your Hair
Cantaloupe’s most potent vitamins—A and C—are essential to helping us maintain strong, healthy hair and just one serving (about one-quarter of a melon) contain 100 per cent of the recommended daily allowances of both. Vitamin A, also known as retinol, is required for sebum production, a compound that keeps our scalp and hair moisturized and healthy while vitamin C is needed for the building and maintenance of collagen, which provides structure to skin and hair. “Vitamin C also helps with the absorption of iron,” she explains. Iron deficiency is linked to hair loss, but you should always have your iron status checked before supplementing—too much iron can be toxic to the body, she says.
Cantaloupe Helps Keep Your Skin Healthy
Read the fine print on your favourite facial moisturizer and you’re likely to find “stabilized retinol,” also knows as vitamin A, among the ingredients. Research shows that the antioxidant has been proven to improve sun-damaged skin as well as repair, moisturize, and stabilize skin’s collagen production. While using skincare products high in vitamins A and C, which also contributes to photoprotection, are important, isolating the nutrients is not as beneficial as eating a whole food. “Finding a food high in vitamin A, C, and fluid such as cantaloupe is the hat trick.” To boost the health benefits of eating foods rich in vitamin A, she suggests combining them with healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, or almonds. Eating cantaloupe with these foods can help with the absorption of vitamin A because it is a fat-soluble vitamin, she explains. “Think about having cantaloupe in a salad drizzled with olive oil, as a snack with a handful of almonds, or combined with a piece of salmon.”
Cantaloupe Helps Keep You Hydrated
Eating cantaloupe is not only a refreshing, low-calorie dessert, its high-water content helps keep you hydrated, especially on hot summer days or after an intense workout. “Cantaloupe is high in potassium, an electrolyte that we lose when we sweat,” says Ginger Hultin, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Eating cantaloupe or other foods high in potassium as a post-workout snack helps our body recover and lessens the chance for muscle cramps and fatigue.
Cantaloupe May Ward off the Effects of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
A mounting body of research shows that eating the right foods can help ward off age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of legal blindness in people over age 60, according to the American Optometric Association. Studies show that the development of the disease is linked to depleted macular pigment, the retinal layer that filters out harmful blue light waves and reduces the number of free radicals in the macular area. “Antioxidants like zeazanthin and lutein found in cantaloupe have been shown to protect the eye and scavenge free radicals in the retina,” says Hultin. Another study shows that eating three servings of fruit a day affects eye health and decreases the risk of age-related macular degeneration. As an added boost, vitamin C, also found in cantaloupe, has been shown to slow the progression of cataracts.
Cantaloupe is Good for Your Heart
Cantaloupe contains several ingredients—fibre, potassium, and vitamin C—that contribute to keeping our heart healthy. “Foods high in fibre help control blood pressure and lower LDL, the bad cholesterol,”. Just one cup of cubed cantaloupe contains 1.5 grams of fibre or five per cent of the daily requirement, explains Hultin. “If you have it for breakfast or a snack, you are on your way to meeting the national fibre recommendations.” Consuming foods that are high in potassium help to lower blood pressure and may reduce the risk of stroke, the formation of kidney stones, and protect against loss of muscle mass and bone mineral density. “Potassium helps lower blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium.