Nutrition Articles

Be a Melon Head

The Sweet Tasting Fruit That's Sweet for You

At some point in your life, you have probably tried cantaloupe. Even if this is not your favorite fruit in the world, it has some amazing benefits that might just change your mind.

For starters, cantaloupe is an amazing source of Vitamin A and is highly concentrated in beta carotene. Not only that, but it’s a good source of Vitamin C.

When you think of good sources of potassium, bananas probably come to mind. Cantaloupes however are also an amazing source of this nutrient. Just one cup has over 4"0 milligrams! It is important to include potassium in your diet as it helps your muscles contract and your nerves function properly. Potassium also helps store carbohydrates for muscle use later on.

Cantaloupe is also saturated-fat and cholesterol free. According to the FDA, low fat diets rich in fruits and vegetable may help to cut the risk of certain types of cancer. The FDA goes on to say foods high in potassium and low in sodium, such as cantaloupe, may also reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.

When at the grocery store, it might be difficult to choose a “good” cantaloupe due to their thick shell. Here are a few helpful tips that should make it a little bit easier. First, look for one with a shell uniform in appearance. This means not having visible bruising or abnormal shaping.

Pick one that is firm. It might give off a mild melon aroma; this is okay. Choose one that appears more golden in the shell than green. Also, “better” cantaloupes are said to have a more even “netting,” the markings on the outside of the fruit. They also might feel heavy for their size; this is a good thing.

It is also important you wash the cantaloupe before you prepare it. You may not think germs on the shell will affect the fruit, but you can pass pesticides from the outside onto the inside with your knife.

There are many ways to enjoy cantaloupe and receive its fantastic nutritional benefits. One obvious choice is eat it plain, sliced or in cubes. However, you can also include it in fruit smoothies (paired with blueberries, this would be quite the nutritional kick) or as an ingredient in a chilled soup. Included below is an idea for cantaloupe salsa. This can be a great addition to some chicken, pork, or even fish.

First, cube one cantaloupe, removing the shell and seeds. Chop one bell pepper, of any color. Add the juice of one lime and a pinch of salt and pepper. Served chilled. Want to kick it up a notch? Try adding some finally chopped cilantro, chiles, or scallions to taste. Enjoy!

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Member Comments

  • I love fresh muskmelon right off the vine!
  • Cantelopes--one of my favs! Definitely going to try the melon mix-up with cayenne from BoogedyBoogedy of South Texas. Who knew it was so loaded with potassium??
  • I love to blend my fruits.
  • It sounds less than appetizing, but a fruit cup with melons and cucumber sprinkled with a little salt and cayenne pepper is an AMAZING snack on a hot summer day! Very popular down here in South Texas...
  • I grew Ambrosia melons for the first time this year. They were the sweetest melon and the plants were so abundant I supplied neighbors and co-workers! Tasty!
  • It's my first year growing them in the garden--so far I've picked 2 (with a bunch more on the way) and they've been delicious. Glad to hear they are so good for me too!
    Right now cantaloupe and other melons are abundant at my local farmer's market. I love to try the different varieties. They are inexpensive and grown organically. The best part is one is usually cut to sample. Check out farmer's market in your area.
    We love cantaloupe! We go through 3-4 each week during the summer months! I never get sick of eating it!
  • I love cantaloupe! Almost as much as bananas. Thanks for the tips on how to choose the best ones.
  • I used to eat them but didn't like how I felt afterward. Found out I am allergic to them, along with many other fruits now. Getting old is a, fill-in-the-blank
  • i"m thinking the salsa might be good.
    Throw it in the blender and drink your melons!!
  • thats really interesting.. i had no idea cantelope was a good sorce of potassium.. i will definately start eating more :)
    Wow,I knew about the potassium,but I didn't know about the beta carotene.That's good news,since cantaloupes are my favorite fruit!
    I liked cantaloupe and musk melon as a kid, but don't really like it much now. However, my husband and my children do, so I'm sure to buy it regularly at our farmer's market when in season! I'll eat a little bit, but there are so many other fruits in season at the same time that I prefer, so I'm not depriving myself of vitamins and minerals.

    I do enjoy watermelon (if it's not too sweet). You can make a refreshing salad with watermelon, feta cheese, a little olive oil and a tasty vinegar, mint or basil, and maybe some pine nuts. Great addition to a summertime brown bag lunch!

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