The cantaloupe is also commonly called the muskmelon, I suppose for the musky aroma that it gives out when ripe. In some parts of the world, it is also known as the rockmelon, perhaps for its rough skin that looks like a rock.
It belongs to the “curcurbitaceae” melon family, along with cucumbers, gourds and pumpkins.
The cantaloupe is shaped round and sometimes oval with skin that looks like it’s being wrapped in a net. The yellow-orangey colored flesh is soft, succulent and sweet. Its texture is very much like that of the honeydew.
Although available throughout the year, cantaloupes are at their best in its season sometime from June to September.
Cantaloupe is one of the most common fruits but its full health benefits may not have been fully understood, and often taken for granted. It is extremely nutrient-packed but yet has very low calories.
This wonder fruit is highly concentrated with excellent levels of beta-carotene, folic acid, potassium, vitamin C and dietary fiber. It is also one of the very few fruits that has a high level of vitamin B complex—B1 (thiamine), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), and B6 (pyridoxine).
Cantaloupe is rich in anti-oxidants that can help prevent cancer and heart diseases.
The high amount of beta-carotene and vitamin C (anti-oxidant) in cantaloupe makes it an excellent fruit in helping to prevent many degenerative diseases. I get excited just thinking how much more my body can absorb these precious nutrients when I drink of its juice.
Anti-coagulant: A unique compound in cantaloupe helps decrease the viscosity of the blood, hence preventing the abnormal formation of blood clots in the cardiovascular system.
Arteriosclerosis: Regularly consuming vitamin C retards the development of hardening of the arteries.
Cancer prevention: The high vitamin C content acts as a good anti-oxidant that protects cells from damages by free radicals. Regularly drinking juices high in anti-oxidants keep cancer at bay, especially against intestinal cancer and melanoma.
Cataracts: The natural vitamin A from beta-carotene in this juice lowers the risk of cataract and generally helps improve your vision too.
Cholesterol: Drinking juices high in anti-oxidant has been proven to fight the oxidative stress that is the main culprit in oxidizing the LDLs in the blood.
High blood pressure: Potassium in this rockmelon helps excrete sodium, thus bringing down high blood pressure especially in those with salt-sensitive hypertension.
Immune system: The strong content of vitamin C stimulates white cells to fight infection, naturally building a good immune system.
Insomnia: A special compound in cantaloupe relieves the nerves and calm anxieties. A help for insomniacs.
Menstruation problems: For women, drink this wonder juice around the time of menstruation and it will help reduce heavy flow and clots.
Muscle Cramps: A deficiency in potassium can cause muscular cramps and greater susceptibility to injury. Drink cantaloupe juice to prevent these.
Pregnancy: The high content of folate (folic acid) prevents neural tube defects in infants.
Skin: Promotes synthesis of collagen and skin. Makes skin glow and looking bright.
Quit Smoking: The natural nutrients and minerals found in this juice provides a synergistic combination that helps the body recover from nicotine withdrawal of one who is trying to quit smoking. Smoking also quickly depletes the vitamin A in a smoker, but cantaloupe juice can help replace it with its beta-carotene.
Stress: When going through a stressful period, keep this musky melon on the side and drink its juice regularly. The potassium content helps to rebalance and normalize the heartbeat. This in turn sends oxygen to the brain and regulates the body’s water balance.
Water retention: Especially in pregnant women and people wanting to lose weight. Muskmelon juice helps your body excrete excess sodium, thus reducing water retention.
Choose cantaloupes that are firm but not hard. Reject over-ripe fruit that is yellowing and soft.
The melon must be heavy, which means it is very full with juice. It should have a fragrant, musky smell.
As melons are grown on the ground, it comes into contact with dirt and may become contaminated with human or animal waste. Just be sure that you wash and scrub it under running water before cutting it.
Leave a firm cantaloupe at room temperature for a few days till its flesh is softer and juicier, then place it in the refrigerator to store.
Cut melons should be wrapped and store in fridge if not consumed immediately. But remember the simple rule of always eating fruits as fresh as possible.
When juicing, include the rind as well. Do not throw away the pulp and seeds—blend these thoroughly with a little pineapple juice and serve as a delicious nut milk drink.