The El Nino heatwave is at its height now. The weather is sizzling hot and dry every single day, with temperatures ranging from 37 – 40 degrees Celsius.
Cooling fruits such as cantaloupe, pineapple and pear tend to be my choice of fruits these days, along with my favorite orange and apple. Snacking on cool and juicy fruits on such hot days is really refreshing and sure douses the ‘heatiness’ in our body.
Here’s one of the smoothies that I made last week-
Cantaloupe + red apple + orange + chia seeds + fresh coconut water smoothie.
While the girls had cantaloupe smoothie, I tossed in a few slices of beet root into my Blendtec blender.
Cantaloupes are also commonly known as muskmelons, mush melons, rock melons and Persian melons.
Cantaloupes have a very pleasant aroma and are delicious. Cantaloupe contains an abundance of antioxidants including choline, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene, all of which provide protection against a range of diseases and conditions from the common cold to cancer.
Health Benefits of Cantaloupe
1) Age-related macular degeneration
The antioxidant zeaxanthin, found in cantaloupe, filters out harmful blue light rays and is thought to play a protective role in eye health and possibly ward off damage from macular degeneration.
The risks for developing asthma are lower in people who consume a high amount of certain nutrients. One of these nutrients is beta-carotene, found in yellow and orange fruits like cantaloupe, pumpkin, carrots and leafy greens like spinach and kale. Vitamin C is another important nutrient that may protect against asthma and is found in abundance in cantaloupe,2 as well as citrus and tropical fruits.
3) Healthy Skin
Cantaloupes are chock-full of beta-carotene, which is the precursor to vitamin-A. The best part about dietary beta-carotene, instead of supplements, is that there is no chance for overdose or vitamin-A toxicity, because the body only converts as much as it needs; the rest remains as beta-carotene to fight diseases as antioxidants. But the amount that turns into vitamin-A enters the skin and stimulates the membrane of skin cells and increasing regrowth and repair. This protects that membrane into the body against harmful toxins that prematurely age the skin. Vitamin-A cream is also used as a salve for irritation and redness on the skin, due to its naturally soothing qualities.
Although human testing is not as widespread as it should be, early studies show cantaloupe to be connected with improved insulin metabolism, which means a more stable fluctuation of blood sugar, preventing the dangerous spikes and plunges of blood sugar all that diabetics fear. It has also been shown to reduce oxidative stress on the kidneys, which can prevent a number of kidney-related diseases.
Cantaloupes are high in both fiber and moisture, thus helps to prevent constipation, promote regularity and maintain a healthy digestive tract.
With its high water and electrolyte content, cantaloupe is a great snack to have on hand on hot days.
Potential health risks of consuming cantaloupe
It is the total diet or overall eating pattern that is most important in disease prevention and achieving good health. It is advisable to follow a diet with a variety than to concentrate on individual foods as the key to good health.
Be sure to wash and scrub the outside surface of a cantaloupe thoroughly before cutting to decrease the risk of harmful bacteria like Salmonella transferring to the flesh of the melon.
Beta-blockers, a type of medication most commonly prescribed for heart disease, can cause potassium levels to increase in the blood. High potassium foods such as cantaloupe should be consumed in moderation when taking beta-blockers.
Consuming too much potassium can be harmful to those whose kidneys are not fully functional.