Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Cool and Melony

melons Cantaloupe–a fruit with a fascinating name, refreshingly rich flavour and aroma is a dieter’s delight and an antioxidant powerhouse. The fruit derives its name from the ltalian papal village of Cantalup, where it was first cultivated around 1700 A.D. It belongs to the same family as the cucumber, squash, pumpkin and gourd, and like many of its relatives, grows on the ground on a trailing vine.
What’s in a name?
Cantaloupes are also referred to as a netted melon because it has a rib less rind with a distinctive netted skin. Inside of the melon there is a hollow cavity that contains seeds encased in a web of netting. Cantaloupe is also known as rock melon and muskmelon in several parts of the world.

Health Benefits

Cantaloupe Gets an A+. Cantaloupe is an excellent source of vitamin A on account of its concentrated beta-carotene content. Once inside the body, beta-carotene can be converted into vitamin A, so when you eat cantaloupe it’s like getting both these beneficial nutrients at once. One cup of cantaloupe provides 103.2% of the daily value for vitamin A. Both vitamin A and beta-carotene are important vision nutrients.

Beta-carotene has also been the subject of extensive research in relationship to cancer prevention and prevention of oxygen-based damage to cells. If you cannot quit cigarettes or the company of those who smoke, it makes sense to eat a cup of cantaloupe everyday. A research conducted by Kansas State University says–eating vitamin-A rich foods, such as cantaloupe, as a part of your healthy way of eating may be a life-saving proposition for smokers. 

 Eating 3 or more servings of fruit per day may lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary cause of vision loss in older adults, by 36%, compared to persons who consume less than 1.5 servings of fruit daily.

Antioxidant punch. Having cantaloupes in breakfast covers you against damage from oxygen free radicals, as it has the power of beta-carotene—fat-soluble and vitamin C—water-soluble vitamin. So, it has all areas covered against damage from oxygen free radicals. When it comes to maintaining a healthy immune system and fighting infections, C holds the key. Vitamin C stimulates white cells to fight infection, directly kills many bacteria and viruses, and regenerates Vitamin E after free radicals have inactivated it.
One cup of cantaloupe contains 112.5% of the daily value of vitamin C.
For managing high blood pressure. Cantaloupe is a very good source of potassium. Potassium is the un-salt in the body, which negates the effect of sodium.
Also, it is a good source of vitamin B6, dietary fibre, folate and niacin (vitamin B3). The combination of all these B complex vitamins along with the fibre found in cantaloupe make it an exceptionally good fruit for supporting energy production through good carbohydrate metabolism and blood sugar stability.
These B complex vitamins are required in our cells for processing carbohydrates (including sugars), and cantaloupe’s fibre helps ensure cantaloupe’s sugars are delivered into the bloodstream gradually, keeping blood sugar on an even keel.

Good for dieters. A cup of cantaloupe has 56 calories, so if you are trying to lose weight you know what to keep handy.

Remember that
 Since bacteria can grow on the surface of most melons, it is important to wash the outside of the cantaloupe before cutting into it. After washing, simply slice the melon into pieces of desired thickness and scoop out the seeds and netting.

You enjoy fresh cut cantaloupes in breakfast but have no time to cut them in the morning. USDA scientists have stumbled on the solution. Looking for a way to keep pre-sliced ready-to-eat cantaloupe fresh longer, USDA Agricultural Research Service scientists found that slicing the fruit when it’s held under water short-circuits the signals plant cells send to each other when they detect an injury, such as being sliced.

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