The orange color of cantaloupe's flesh relfects its extremely high beta-carotene content, which converts to vitamin A in the body; both are important for eye health. Cantaloupe is an antioxidant powerhourse, providing more than 100 percent of the Daily Value for vitamin A, as well as significant amounts of vitamin C, potassium, folate and fiber.

With its potent antioxidant profile, eating cantaloupe may help curb chronic conditions associated with oxidative stress. Research has linked deficiencies of beta-carotene, vitamin C, and folate - nutrients in cantaloupe - to increased oxidative stress in the eye, which contributes to cataracts. Foods rich in vitamins A and C as well as carotenoids, such as cantaloupes, may also protect against lung diseases. And in a study just released, researchers found that women who consumed the most alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene were the least likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer (both estrogen-positive and progesterone-positive).

Choose cantaloupes that have no evidence of a stem. They should be well-netted or webbed, with a diameter of five inches or greater. Look for smooth, round cantaloupe with netting all the way around and a depressed area at the stem end. Then sniff it! If it has a "good cantaloupe" aroma, it's the one for you. Avoid soft or bruised cantaloupes.

Use in smoothies with bananas or other fruit; cut cantaloupes in half and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the center.

Nutrition

  • Fat-free
  • Saturated fat-free
  • Very low sodium
  • Cholesterol-free
  • High in vitamin A and vitamin C
  • A good source of folate

 

 

 

 

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