How many of you really know about cantaloupe? Or even about cantaloupe Benefits or side effects? Many people eat cantaloupes and do not even know about its properties for our body. Here you can get all the information about cantaloupe melon.
Cantaloupe, like other types of melon, can serve as a great dessert at a summer picnic or barbecue. The very high water content helps prevent dehydration and fight the heat, and the refreshing sweet taste makes it a favorite delicacy of children and adults.
Cantaloupe (Persian melon, cantaloupe) belongs to the pumpkin family (Cucurbitaceae), that is, it is a close relative of the common melon and pumpkin.
For the first time, cantaloupe began to be cultivated 5,000 years ago in the territory of modern Iran, and a thousand years later the plant took root in Ancient Egypt. In the ancient period was known in Greece and Rome. Today cantaloupe is cultivated all over the world – from India and North Africa to Mexico and the USA.
Cantaloupe nutritional value
One cup of chopped cantaloupe (about 156 grams) contains 53 kcal of energy, 0.3 grams of fat, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 12 grams of sugar, 1.4 grams of fiber, 1.3 grams of proteins, 106% of the daily requirement of vitamin A, 95% daily intake of vitamin C, 1% of normal calcium and 2% of normal iron. One such cup provides at least 5% of the daily need of an adult for vitamins K, B9, B6, niacin, magnesium and potassium.
Cantaloupe contains a large amount of antioxidants, including choline, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene – all of these substances protect our cells from the action of aggressive free radicals and help prevent a whole spectrum of dangerous diseases, including cancer.
Chemical composition of cantaloupe
Cantaloupe is recognized worldwide not only due to the captivating taste, but also for its healing properties. In a sense, this fruit literally has no analogues among other fruits. For example, it contains the largest amount of carotene compared to other melons. In addition, a large concentration of sucrose is present in cantaloupe. The presence of sugar in this berry is higher than in watermelons, where there is a lot of fructose, which, if it is in excess, can harm human health.
In fact, the ability of our body to repel attacks of airborne, “cold” germs, exciting SARS and influenza, depends primarily on the state of the main safety barrier – the nasopharyngeal mucous layer. It is his and is able to support the melon due to its unique properties.
Cantaloupe also contains iron, which is twice the volume in chicken meat and 17 times higher than the iron content in dairy products and milk. Vitamin C can be distinguished from the healing components, which, again, is much higher in quantity than this element in watermelon 3 times.
Musk melon can be useful for eating in situations where a person suffers from baldness, obesity or an excess of cholesterol. The substance inosine prevents the progress of these pathologies. A significant amount of potassium prevents the increase in pressure, so cantaloupe will be very useful in chronic hypertension. Moreover, this fruit is also low-calorie, for this reason it can safely be eaten with diets.
Potential health benefits of cantaloupe
The consumption of fruits and vegetables of all kinds is associated with a decrease in the risk of a number of chronic diseases. Some studies suggest that increased intake of plant foods, such as cantaloupe and plain melon, reduces the likelihood of obesity, diabetes, heart failure. Such nutrition is associated with lower overall mortality.
The use of cantaloupe for various diseases:
1. Age-related macular degeneration
(AMD) The antioxidant zeaxanthin, which is found in large quantities in cantaloupe fruits, protects the retina from damage and slows the development of macular degeneration. In general, an increased intake of any fruit (more than 3 meals per day) reduces the risk of AMD and slows the progression of the disease.
2. Bronchial asthma
The risk of developing asthma is somewhat lower in people who prefer foods rich in beta-carotene (orange and yellow fruits, cantaloupe, pumpkin, leafy greens, carrots, spinach, kale). Vitamin C is another important substance that, according to some scientists, protects against asthma. Valuable sources of this vitamin are cantaloupe, citrus fruits, as well as tropical fruits and some berries (such as currants).
3. Hypertensive heart disease
Dietary fiber, vitamin C, choline – these three components help to maintain heart health. Eating foods that contain a lot of potassium helps lower blood pressure.
By the way, the restriction of sodium (salt) and increased potassium intake is one of the recommendations for the prevention of hypertension. Foods that contain a lot of potassium – cantaloupe, pineapple, tomatoes, oranges, spinach and bananas.
These products help reduce the risk of stroke and the formation of kidney stones, as well as protect against loss of muscle mass and maintain bone mineral density.
4. Oncological diseases
A diet rich in beta carotene may play an important role in preventing prostate cancer. This was reported by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (USA). And scientists from Japan have concluded that beta carotene reduces the risk of colon cancer (at least in the Asian population).
5. Digestive problems
Cantaloupe, due to the high content of water and plant fiber, helps fight constipation, ensures proper functioning of the digestive tract. It is especially useful to add this sweet melon to the diet if you are a busy person and eat on the go all the time, mainly fast food and solid food.
Cantaloupe and its closest relatives are not only rich in moisture, but also contain a lot of electrolytes – this is a wonderful combination to combat thirst and dehydration in the hot summer months.
7. Inflammatory diseases
Choline is a very important nutrient that is involved in the processes of muscle contraction, sleep, learning and memory. Choline helps to maintain the structure of cell membranes, transmit nerve signals, fight chronic inflammation and absorb fatty substances.
8. Hair and skin problems
The use of fruits, such as cantaloupe, is especially useful for problems with the appearance and structure of the hair. Vitamin A contained in cantaloupe is essential for the production of sebum, which keeps hair moisturized and healthy. Vitamin A is also indispensable for the growth of many tissues, including the skin.
Adequate intake of vitamin C is necessary for the construction of collagen structures of the skin and hair. One cup of crushed cantaloupe, as we have said, gives an adult a 97% daily dose of this vitamin.
Cantaloupe also promotes general hydration, which is very important for healthy hair and skin. Moreover, you can use this product as a hair conditioner! It is necessary to knead together the pieces of avocado and cantaloupe, apply on hair and wait 10 minutes. Moisturizing and shine are provided.
Side Effects of Cantaloupe
Any products should be consumed in moderation, with a reasonable approach. A healthy diet should contain moderate amounts of a wide variety of foods. This also applies to cantaloupe, no matter how you love it.
The second point is related to the purity of the products. Before slicing cantaloupe, make sure that the rind is washed thoroughly – this reduces the risk of Salmonella, as well as listeria, getting into the dish of pathogenic bacteria.
Many people completely forget that any product is a complex combination of chemicals that can be badly combined with drugs. Moreover, in our literature it is very difficult to find such information.
American experts warn that cantaloupe does not combine well with beta-blockers – drugs that are often prescribed for heart disease (metoprolol, atenolol, nebivolol, etc.) The fact is that beta-blockers can cause an increase in blood potassium, and cantaloupe itself by itself contains a lot of potassium.
In addition, the use of too much cantaloupe is harmful to people who have impaired renal function.
Use of cantaloupe melon
The most common use of cantaloupe is its use in food, but cantaloupe is also a raw material for making candied fruits of the highest grade, jams and preserves. Unfortunately, as a food, this fruit (or rather, this berry) can be consumed only by those who grow it. This is due to a very short temporary shelf life, and therefore she invented a different use: as a raw material for the manufacture of jam and nutmeg.
Cantaloupe is also very popular in dried form. However, it is necessary to prepare for a lengthy and complex procedure, so that the dried fruit of nutmeg can produce the highest quality. First, the fruits are placed on a flat surface, where they undergo the procedure of wilting in the sun for a couple of days. Next, cantaloupe rinsed and dried. After drying, the melons are divided in half along the entire length and all seeds are removed from the bright orange middle.
Next, each of the halves of the fruit is divided into equal shares from two to four or five centimeters, depending on the subsequent use of the resulting dried fruit. Each of the lobes is peeled, and a green layer is removed that borders on the skin. In this form, cantaloupe melon pieces are placed for another 8-12 days for wilting in the sun. After the dried fruits are ready, they are twisted into braids or their likeness (for example, into plaits) and put into boxes covered with parchment paper.
According to its texture, dried fruits made of cantaloupe are hard, tasteful – sour-sweet. The composition of moisture in the dried slices is almost zero, but at the same time they will have a high sucrose content, which reaches almost 65% of the resulting product. Humidity is about 15%, and sometimes less, it will depend on the timing for which the wilting was carried out. In finished form, candied cantaloupe fruit is distinguished by light yellow or light brown hues. The number of dark spots they have is always the smallest and does not exceed more than 5% of the total area of the obtained product.